World Bank, South Africa 2007.The managers of our energy sector have been trying hard to meet the demands of consumers, despite shortfalls in generation.

The country?s energy demand as of last Thursday was 2,000 megawatts, while the generation capacity stood at 1,600 megawatts, according to the Energy Commission.

The easiest way out is for the government to invest more in the sector in order to address the shortfall.
It will certainly take some time for it to mobilise the resources to update the capacity to generate more, although we are told demand for energy grows at 12 per cent per annum.

Faced with this challenge, the power companies do not have any choice but to undertake load-shedding at peak periods in order to safeguard the generating systems at Akosombo, Kpong, Aboadze, Bui and those in Tema.

Load-shedding comes at a cost to both domestic and industrial consumers. Housewives and individuals are unable to preserve their food items and other perishable merchandise at home because power is not reliable.

For big businesses and small-scale operators, the cost of doing business over the past few months that we have been experiencing load-shedding has gone up considerably. Businesses that do not want to shut down as a result of the load-shedding have to acquire generating sets that must be powered to provide electricity at extra cost.
We think something must be done if the energy sector is to play a critical role in our efforts at turning around the economy.

The power producers ? the Volta River Authority (VRA), the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) ? have not been very forward-looking in finding the strategies to put the country, once a net exporter of power, back on top of the energy crisis.

Unfortunately, in our present circumstances, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), with all the power at its disposal, has remained a sleeping giant. It barks at the power producers but it is unable to bite or even enforce its own directives and the end result is that power producers take their customers for granted.

Regrettably, Ghana is going through the power crisis at a period when the people will require reliable electricity to watch Brazil 2014, particularly the matches involving our national team, the Black Stars.

To avoid any public resentment during the period, the Energy Commission has proposed a novelty by launching an energy conservation promotion dubbed ?Switch off the freezer? campaign, with the view to making up for the shortfall in electricity supply to allow football fans to watch the World Cup in Brazil.

Obviously, the people expect the government to invest more in the energy sector in order to generate power to meet the demands of consumers.

But since we cannot generate enough energy to meet our needs now, we ought to concern ourselves with the prudent management of the energy sector, which requires that we switch off high-consuming electrical appliances.

The Daily Graphic thinks the Energy Commission needs to be supported to achieve the objectives of the campaign to conserve energy.
However, we urge the commission to sustain the campaign beyond the World Cup as a major conservation strategy, especially in our circumstances where people have the tendency to leave electrical gadgets on when they are not using those gadgets.
The country needs everybody?s contribution in the campaign to protect a strategic national asset like the energy generating system.

Daily Graphic?Tuesday, 17 June 2014

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