The Volta River Authority (VRA) has said it is pursuing a number of measures to enhance the nation’s power stability and energy security, which will enable it to reap full benefits from the energy sector in a post-COVID-19 transformation agenda.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, in a speech read on his behalf at the Ghana Economic Forum 2020 organised by the B&FT in Accra, themed ‘Resetting the economy beyond COVID-19: building economic resilience and self-sufficiency’, said VRA’s long-term recovery plans seek to repair economic damage, minimise job losses, and help create new jobs to mitigate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instructively, he said: “The decisions made now will inevitably shape infrastructure and industries for decades”.
He said experts have advised that “recovery plans need to be aligned with long-term national and global objectives on energy resilience and sustainable development, and it is essential that the focus be on clean and renewable energy transitions”.
Against this backdrop, he revealed that technological innovations, digitisation and human capital development represent the power industry’s future. It also includes energy diversification and moving away from traditional energy sources, and investment in energy resources and modernised infrastructure.
Additionally, he said there has been some investment in energy-efficiency to ensure current energy resources are not quickly depleted, while market and institutional reforms to cater for the developments in the energy market have also been introduced.
Mr. Antwi-Darkwa, who was speaking on the second day of the Ghana Economic Forum (GEF) in Accra, acknowledged that the VRA, as a premier power-generating company, has taken in all the above-enumerated factors and the impact of COVID-19 within the energy sector.
He disclosed that there has been some investment in grid-connected renewable energy – solar, wind and hydro power projects; and rooftop solar at the VRA’s Head Office, which will soon be rolled out to demonstrate standalone solutions.
The VRA, he further noted, has deployed the use of technology to improve thermal plant operations and reduce operational cost; and as a result, the cost of energy to customers – and also the use of predominantly natural gas in our thermal plants to reduce the impact of plant operations on climate and environment.
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