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Ghana has potential to generate power from biomass – Dr Ortsin

Dr. George Ortsin, the Country Program Manager at Global Environment Facility, Small Grants Programme says the potential to invest in tree planting to generate power from biomass in Ghana is very high.

He called on the government to invest in technologies to utilize biomass resources into useful energy through Combined Heat and Power (CHP) intervention based on Biomass Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (BIGCC).

Dr Ortsin was speaking at the Stakeholder Engagement on Energy Transition and Sustainability delivery Architecture and Report Launch on Environmental and Climate Governance in Accra.

The engagement organised by the Institute of Climate and Environmental Governance (ICEG) was on the topic: “Energy Transition and Sustainability Delivery Architecture in Ghana: The Impact of Environmental Degradation on Livelihoods, Welfare and Climate Change in Northern Ghana.”

The event facilitates insightful discussions, knowledge sharing, and collaborative efforts to address the challenges and opportunities within the extractive industry.

He said Ghana needed a sustainable energy transition to move towards greener energy and the current plan in the energy sector had overlooked biomass energy alternatives, although it occupied a 37 per cent proportion of the energy needs.

He said the CHP plants were attractive technologies for generating power because up to 85-90 per cent of the energy in the fuel could be utilized.

“The plants also provide several environmental benefits by making use of waste heat and waste products,” he added.

He said BIGCC plants had efficiencies above 45 per cent for electricity generation and carbon dioxide emission from the combustion of wood was considered biogenic and consequently neutral.

Dr Ortsin said there was, however, an enormous amount of nitrogen oxides emitted due to the presence of nitrogen compounds in biomass chemistry.

He said charcoal production could be made sustainable through prudent planning and investment and the energy transition based on biomass energy generation would address the youth unemployment challenges while creating wealth for the people.

He said there was, however, overwhelming evidence to the fact that the energy transition was shifted from fossil-based systems of energy production and consumption (including oil, natural gas, and coal) to renewable energy resources like wind and solar.

The transition focuses on change in large socio-technical systems incorporating new renewable sources to meet the increasing demand for energy additions.

Mr. Alhassan Suhuyini, Deputy Ranking Member for Lands and Natural Resources Committee of Parliament, said by engaging with their constituents, members of Parliament could foster public support for ambitious energy and environmental policies.

He said, moreover, Parliament held the power to enact legislation that could set the course for their energy transition.

“Robust laws and regulations are the bedrock of any successful sustainability agenda and as legislators, we have the duty to critically review and pass bills that promote renewable energy sources, incentivize energy efficiency, and ensure environmental protection,” she added.

He said through their legislative authority, they could create the legal framework necessary to attract investments in clean energy and enforce environmental standards.

He said Parliament could foster collaboration among various stakeholders, including the government, private sector, civil society, and international partners to champion clean energy transition.

Mr. Hamza Suhuyini, the Executive Director of ICEG, said the discussions revealed that tackling climate and environmental issues was not only an environmental protection agenda but a sustainable economic development opportunity aimed at lifting millions out of poverty.

The report shows that poverty largely declined in the four wealthiest regions (Greater Accra, Eastern, Central and Ashanti) while it increased in the poorest four regions (Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Volta).

He said stakeholders must take advantage of the transition agenda to propel economic development in these regions.



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