Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathaniel Yankson
If the rains do not come between now and September, the country’s power generation would face yet another crisis, the African Centre for Energy Policy said Monday.
The Executive Director of ACEP, Amin Adam, said “we are coming back to the crisis we had in the 90s when the water levels in Akosombo caused energy shortage.”
Maximum operating water level for the Akosombo reservoir is 84.73m, representing 278.00ft while the minimum operating level is 73.15m (240.00ft).
As at Sunday, August 17, 2014, the water level stood at 74.29m (243.73ft). There has been a decrease of 0.018m (0.06ft) on Monday.
In the previous year, August 17, 2013, the level was 77.92m (255.64ft), an improvement over this year’s.
With the drop in water level in the past, Amin Adam said there were plans to develop thermal generation as an alternative to hydro power in order to curb the over reliance on hydro.
However, he told Joy News Monday evening that the Volta River Authority has disappointed the country for not increasing the thermal generation to the size of the Akosombo.
To him, “we should have sufficiently invested in generation capacity; internal complementation to the extent that we would have reserved margin to accommodate the shortage in power that we’ll get as a result of the declining water levels.”
Dr. Amin added that “as a country, our planning has been poor; the execution of our planning has also been poor to the extent that, to date, we should not be crying because the levels of water in Akosombo are dropping.”
The country’s inability to have done this long ago, he stated “is a very serious failure on our part as a country.”
He explained further that any planning, which depended on rain water could not be sustained because “we do not have control over the rains and so, there are times the rains would be disappointing.”
And when the rains become disappointing, then there would be energy shortage because of the inability to produce adequate electricity.
It is for this reason that, “since the time we did the power sector reform document; we agreed that we needed thermal complementation as an alternative and so, we decided to invest in thermal generation.”
Touching on tariffs, Dr. Amin indicated the public should prepare to bear the cost of increasing the supply of electricity.
He maintained that “we must be ready to pay the true cost – real cost of bringing power to our industries, our homes and commercial centres,” adding that “without energy, our economic growth is in danger.”