Ghana’s drive towards industrialization can best be hinged on factors that guarantee cheaper cost of production, including access to electricity and human capital.
A poverty and social impact analysis of power tariffs within the sub region shows Ghana is among the countries with the highest. This reflects on businesses forced to fold up or diversity because of cheaper imports competing with locally produced products.
For decades the quest for economic development and demand a rapidly ‘increasing population, and urbanisation’ has triggered the need to explore cheaper sources of power.
Though nuclear energy, which is cheaper cleaner and emission free has been on the drawing board since 1963, Ghana is yet to tap the full potential.
It has become necessary today because our hydropower sources is becoming unsustainable, while dependance on natural gas for thermal energy plants at Akosombo and Tema are also projected to deplete by 2050.
The high cost of their energy imports and the attendant balance of payment difficulties which has currently left government heavily indebted to independent power producers, even threatens the economy and attempts at addressing joblessness most because another return to ‘dumsor’ will worsen the COVID-19 induced crisis we face today and prospects for the future.
Mankind will use more energy in the coming years than it has consumed in its entire history. Ghana’s challenge today, beyond ability to directly fund a nuclear energy plant is that it has signed onto the Paris Agreement since April 2016 compelling it to join efforts at reducing climate change.
Again, opportunities to build new hydropower capacity remain limited, while greenhouse effect prevention measures impose limitations on burning oil, gas, and coal at thermal power stations .
The direction obviously points to renewable energy sources and Nuclear power is the best option.
Considerable progress has been made through legislation and the establishment of dedicated bodies to oversee the development of the nuclear power programme.
Funding agencies or intergovernmental agreements are possible today with countries like Russia, China and the US and other huge companies are ready to invest in Africa under Build Operate and Transfer agreements which will favour economies like ours.
It is the best guarantee for a sustainable source of power at lower tarrifs compared to thermal and even hydro, attract multinational companies looking for cheaper sources of labour and electricity for profit. It will guarantee jobs, expand the economy, generate growth through infrastructure development.
There is therefore the need for a serious stakeholder meeting to entrench commitment to develop the roadmap for the commissioning of the first nuclear power plant by 2029.