Source: Graphic Online

A former presidential aspirant of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP),Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has said the country needs to work extra hard and adopt various strategies to deal with the energy challenges it is facing.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, who is also a former Chief Executive of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, said the country needed to tap or look at all the available energy sources to generate the required energy for national development.

he told the Daily Graphic in an interview that Ghana needed to consider fossil fuel, renewable energy, alternative energy, and then “deploy all our resources and abilities to make life easy for ourselves”.

“We have to be serious about solar energy by making adequate use of the sun. Even if the sun is not there we have heat,” he said, adding that renewable energy such as bio-diesel should be given critical attention.

According to the heart surgeon, there were lots of biodegradable materials in abundance which could be used for biogas production.

“Now look at our secondary schools and universities, the average school has an average of between 1,000 and 1,500 students. If we can make use of the faeces that they produce, every school should be able to produce enough biogas to power the laboratories, cook and generate energy for other activities,” he noted.

He said in the production of hydropower, mini-dams could be built on rivers, including the Pra, Ankobrah and Offin, from which some 100 megawatts of power could be generated, and that “if we are able to do that for example on the Ankobrah and Pra we can isolate the Central and the Western regions from the national grid”.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the country could do better when it came to hydropower.

He expressed the belief that the country could be in charge of the technology, since there were technical schools and universities training young men and women to drive the development of the country.

“The point is that in saying all these things we should be in charge of the technology. That is why we have technical schools and universities,’’ he said.

So when I am talking about these things I am saying Ghanaians should prepare themselves to acquire the technology, develop themselves so that we can utilise all the things (resources) that we have at our disposal.”

He said once there was proper utilisation of all the resources the country had, the energy challenges would be addressed.

On the issue of availability of money to provide the technology to realise the objective of providing energy generating facilities, he said, some of the provisions of technology could be project work for students in technical schools.

“Some of the things can be project work for students in technical schools -like how do we produce biogas, how do we produce bio-diesel, how do we produce beehive brickers with charcoal mixed with clay or even the sawdust from the wood waste that we have,” he said, saying that “this is not beyond us, that is how we acquire technology”.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said if the country could have a way of harvesting raw materials from the open defecation (free range) for instance, Ghana should be producing a lot of biogas.

The country, he said, needed to set targets as to where it wanted to be over a particular period in terms of the provision of certain social amenities.

“We have to set targets…as I stand here now I don’t know what we want to achieve in two years, five years, 10 years’ time in terms of energy, in terms of transportation, in terms of education and in terms of health.

“So if we can have national guidelines, with signposts…, then we can all bring our ideals towards them,” he said.

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