Nuclear, Solar Can Solve Dumsor Mahama

Resorting to solar and nuclear energy will improve power supply in Ghana, presidential hopeful Dr Edward Mahama has told Ekow Mensah Shalders on Class91.3fm’s Executive Breakfast Show on Wednesday December 30, 2015.

Ghana has been, for the past three years, tottering under a power crisis, which has affected industries and resulted in layoffs.

Power Minister Dr Kwabena Donkor has promised to reign if he is unable to solve the problem by Thursday December 31, 2015.

As part of measures to address the supply challenges, government has undertaken projects including the installation of the 225MW AMERI and 225 Karpower plants recently, while work on the 220MW Kpone Thermal Power Project has been on course.

Also, work on the 110MW TICO expansion is completed and commencement of commercial operations is expected in 2016.

Additionally, installation works on the 360MW Sunon Asogli expansion project is on-going. The first phase with an installed capacity of 180MW is to be commissioned by the end of the year, while the second phase of another 180MW would be completed in 2016. Furthermore, the Volta River Authority (VRA)’s expansion of the existing Siemens plant (49.5MW) by the addition of 38MW is 90 per cent complete, according to the 2016 budget.

Finance Minister Seth Terkper, who presented the budget to Parliament in November, said in 2015, a total of 272 solar systems were installed in public facilities including schools and community centres located in remote communities. A total of 375 solar systems were also rehabilitated in remote health facilities (CHP compounds) in 23 districts.

Dr Edward Mahama, who owns a private hospital and is running for President for the fifth time, told Ekow Mensah Shalders that the power crisis has dealt a big blow to the medical sector.

Proffering solutions to the problem, the medical doctor said building nuclear and solar plants will go a long way to solving the crisis.

“When Nkrumah was overthrown, the nuclear equipment we could have gotten from Russia, the Americans came and took it away. Nkrumah was planning to use nuclear not only for medical issues but also to provide power. America uses nuclear, France uses nuclear. Nuclear is a known source of generating power and our first president didn’t make many mistakes. He had the atomic energy situated because he knew in the future we will need nuclear energy in addition to hydro energy. And I would go nuclear, there are some dangers but you see, even flying is dangerous but we fly,” Dr Mahama noted.

He, however, said: “My priority will be solar. A German scientist has told me that it is possible to build a solar system in the desert to supply all of West Africa with some solar power so it will be a joint effort of all the Sahelian countries – Niger, Mali, Nigeria – we put the system out there and we can improve our power supply across the region. Africa can develop as a body.”

Dr Mahama also said if corruption is tackled properly, the monies saved as a result could be used in buying gas and crude to power the various plants in the country so as to avert outages.

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