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NRGI proffer solutions to effective renewable energy transition



Adnan Adams Mohammed

Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) has admonished that energy transition challenge cannot be solved by one type of solution as a multi-stakeholder approach is needed.

This, it says, should include governmental agencies, private sector, think-tanks, NGOs and academicians, adding that, an effective energy transition should be timely, inclusive, sustainable, affordable and secure.

During a virtual Energy Transition Dialogue for Civil Society and Media, an energy expert with the NRGI indicated that energy transition is a governance issue and requires political buy-in from policy makers at the highest level and as well believe that political interference in GNPC can be positive or negative depending on level of appreciation of energy transition.

“Openness of GNPC to engage all stakeholders will ensure consensus on a viable path to the transition”, Denis Gyeyir of the NRGI Africa Office juxtaposed. “GNPC should be allowed to operate commercially to seize opportunities of energy transition.”

 On the issue of how can Ghana positions itself to take advantage of the opportunities, he suggested that: the Ghana government must diversify in response to the revenue risk while maximizing current production such as investing in low carbon electricity, hydrogen, renewable energy; increased competitiveness and managing stranded asset risks can maximize opportunities; accelerating de-carbonization and environmental governance

The resource governance expert added that: as an Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) implementing country, Ghana is encouraged to make disclosures that will deepen public understanding and debate on revenue sustainability and resource dependence; embrace technology, innovation and improve governance; build a domestic financing base e.g direct budgetary allocation, SWF investment; positioning strategically to attract global climate financing; develop and share its energy transition plans, and invite public debate on the plan.

Consequently, a Senior Economist at Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), David Manley, has said Ghanaians have contributed to climate change yet not immune against the impact of energy transition in any case.

According to the economist, Ghana contributes 0.7tonnes CO2 per person, while United States of America contributes 15tonnes CO2 per person.

Renewable energy transition will definitely results in losses or decline in taxes and royalties from oil production, oil revenues from share of national oil companies profit and drastic decline in exploration and developments or cancellation of oil production related activities and projects.

“The energy transition is a big risk for Ghana and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) could make it worse”, the economist alluded.

For about three centuries now, the activities and progress of our world has been powered by fossil fuel.

We have lived to accept that fossil fuel consumption cannot be exempted from our everyday activities, right from cooking our foods to fueling our vehicles to powering our machines. The use of fossil fuel is inevitable in both obvious and subtle ways.

In the latest dialogue held by the NRGI on energy transition for civil society and media it was noted that, even though Ghana has not contributed much to global climate change, this global climate change will affect Ghana in any case.

In recent past decades, a series of concerns have been raised about the disadvantages of fossil fuels on the environment. As energy experts indicate, the continuous usage of fossil fuel will lead to environmental catastrophe.  Due to this, the world is drastically drifting to the usage of safer and renewable energy.

Renewable energy is useful energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, including carbon neutral sources like sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat. Renewable energy transition however, is the ongoing energy transition which is replacing fossil fuels.

This transition can positively impact our environment.  The following are some of the benefits of transitioning to renewable energy.

First and foremost, the energy transition is to limit the adverse effects of energy consumption on the environment which includes the reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases and the mitigation of climate change. The burning of fossil fuel leads to the emission of greenhouse gas which causes problems for humans, animals and the environment in general.

Studies have proven that renewable energy resources produce low to zero carbon or greenhouse gases. Thus, environmental related issues such as premature death of humans, loss of livestock and wildlife, reduction in crop yield due to acidic rain, loss of fish population, air pollution and rise in sea level will be massively minimised should the country switch to hundred percent renewable energy.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) at its 2017 conference revealed that, indoor pollution because of the use of fossil fuel caused 2 million deaths in 2016, and 4 million as at October, 2017, this figure is four times the number that dies from malaria.

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