Saturday, 6 June 2020

Universal access to electricity by 2020 agenda fails as coverage stands at 85%

25 persons arrested for illegal electricity connection



Adnan Adams Mohammed


Ghana’s electricity access for all by 2020 has been marked as a failure as the current electrification rate is pegged around 85 percent.


This shows a 15% off the target, leaving no hope of achieving the agenda soon as the annual growth rate slows for the past four years, an energy expert has said.


Some 31 years after the establishment of a 30-year National Electrification Scheme (NES), there still exists a substantial deficit in electricity access in Ghana. The 30-year National Electrification Scheme (NES) was instituted in 1989 to achieve universal access to reliable electricity supply by 2020. The baseline at the time the policy was rolled out, showed national electricity access of about 25 percent, with only 5 percent rural penetration.


“It is evidently clear that with the current growth rate, it is practically impossible to achieve universal access by end 2020”, Paa Kwasi Anamua Sakyi (Nana Amoasi VII), Executive Director of the Institute of Energy Security recounted in a write-up on the need for Ghana to deploy renewables to achieve universal electricity access by 2025.


“And the admission of this fact is what has led to the government of Ghana revising its target, and seeking to develop new strategies to push the boundaries to achieve the goal of universal access by year 2025.


“Thirty-one years after the policy was instituted, there still exists a substantial deficit in electricity access in Ghana. The current electrification rate is about 85 percent, a bit far off the target, with no improvement in sight”, Mr Sakyi has said.


Data from the Energy Commission of Ghana also showed that at the end of 2000, electricity access rate stood at 45 percent, suggesting an annual growth rate of approximately 2 percent.


By the end of 2010, the country had achieved an access rate of 67 percent; indicating an annual growth rate of 2.2 percent.


Also, the annual growth rate between the next six years that followed (2010 and 2016) as recorded by the Energy Commission, was 2.7 percent.


The trajectory shows an incremental annual growth in electricity access.


However, over the last three years (between 2016 and 2019) the annual electricity access growth rate has seen substantial decline from 2.7 percent to a paltry 0.6 percent.


As of the end of 2019, the country had obtained a national electricity access rate of 85 percent.


If the country had maintained just the annual rate of roughly 2.7 percent, electricity access rate would have been somewhere around 92 percent today; comparable to other countries outside the sub-Saharan African and Asian band.