More than 4,000 communities across the country had been supplied with power under the National Electrification Programme started 25 years ago.
Dr Alfred Ofosu-Ahenkora, Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, who announced this, said about 70 per cent of the population now has access to electricity.
He was speaking at a public lecture organized by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), to mark the first anniversary of the death of Professor Abeeku Brew-Hammond, Foundation Director of the University’s Energy Centre.
It was under the theme “Sustainable and renewable energy” and among the large gathering were energy experts, research scientists, technocrats and policy-makers.
The programme provided the platform for them to brainstorm in search of answers to the growing energy demands of the people.
Topics that came up for discussion included “Transformation of the energy sector – the role of renewable energy”, “Development of solar energy in Ghana – update and progress”, and “Renewable energy law in Ghana – how far?”
Dr Ofosu-Ahenkora spoke of stepped up efforts by the country to establish a West African Office to coordinate affairs and ensure the successful implementation of the United Nation (UN) “Sustainable Energy for All Initiative” in the sub-region.
The project focuses on achieving universal energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency through commitment, research and development of appropriate technologies and innovations to address the growing energy demands of the people.
Dr Ofosu-Ahenkora said Ghana was determined to provide the expected leadership, as the first developing nation to have signed on to it, adding that, the benefits could be enormous.
He said the Renewable Energy Act, promulgated in 2011 provides the legal and regulatory framework necessary for enhancing and expanding the country’s renewable energy sector.
He eulogized the late Prof Brew-Hammond for his vision of bringing experts together to address energy challenges.
Prof William Otoo Ellis, Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, underlined the critical importance of renewable energy to the industrial and socio-economic growth of the African continent.
It was, therefore, appropriate for the government to invest in technologies and infrastructure for solar, wind and waste-to-energy to augment the power supply from hydro sources.
He said considering the fact that demand for energy could tremble in the next 25 years, Africa ought to take advantage of the abundance of renewable energy sources to address the needs of the growing population, schools and other public facilities.
Prof Ogunlade Davidson, former Sierra-Leonean Minister of Energy, said research had shown that solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, for instance, had the potential to provide energy for use by households, clinics, schools and other public facilities. GNA