The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) has stepped up efforts to promote energy efficiency as the least cost energy resource through support and collaboration with various stakeholders.
Energy efficiency (EE), broadly defined, means using less energy to provide the same, or often superior, energy services.
It is widely recognized as the lowest cost resource for meeting electricity needs. Strong EE polices and enforcement help keep electricity bills low by reducing the need for new and expensive energy investments.
To achieve this goal MiDA has signed an agreement with one of its main stakeholders the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), the national body responsible for developing, publishing and promoting standards in the country.
Under the Implementing Entity Agreement (IEA) the two institutions would undertake a number of activities in connection with the Energy Efficiency and Demand Side and Management (EEDSM) Project.
As part of the Agreement, MiDA is funding GSA with approximately US$5.5 million, under the MCC Compact II.
The funds are part of a second five-year US$498 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact, signed by the Government of Ghana and the US Government to improve the country’s power sector.
Mr Eson-Benjamin, CEO of MiDA in an interaction with the GSA said: “We are committed to work with stakeholders to deliver the Compact for Ghanaians. We have been collaborating closely with you to upgrade and adopt standards for 20 energy consuming products and appliances in Ghana. The EE standards and labelling are being developed to provide information on the performance of the selected appliances and products on the market.”
He said the existing standards for “Refrigerators” and “Air conditioners” in Lot 1 have been upgraded or revised, and new standards for “Ceiling Fans & Regulators”, “Television Sets”, “Satellite Decoders/TV Signal Boxes” and “Lighting – (Domestic/Commercial Lighting/Street Lighting)” have been adopted by the GSA Technical Committee.
In addition, the existing standards and labelling are benefitting greatly from technical updates and enforcement support.
“We wish to assure you that we are fully committed to this partnership and look forward to continually enjoy this collaboration as we work on the remaining activities which are: Developing standards for other energy consuming products, and the Installation of Electronic Testing Labs.”
GSA is in the process of gazetting the upgraded and adopted standards, after which a Legislative Instrument would be drafted for Parliament’s promulgation.
As in many developing countries, the demand for electricity in Ghana has been growing over the years due to higher levels of economic growth, increased population size and development of new settlements.
A further increase in demand for electricity is expected to drive the Government’s industrial transformation agenda ‘One District One Factory’ policy and other initiatives.
There is currently sufficient power generation capacity to meet existing energy demand.
Recent data put the country’s generation capacity at 5,000 megawatts while peak demand is forecast at a little over 2,500 megawatts for 2018.
However, there is the need for planning for associated investments into new technology and other infrastructure, which will sustain the developments in the energy sector to keep pace with expectations of consumers and players in the industry.
Meeting the country’s long-term energy goals will require significant and well timed investments into energy efficiency systems, renewable energy and cogeneration.
While all these are critical to ensuring adequate, reliable and affordable power supply, the role of EE interventions, as a least-cost energy resource, is the key to overcoming the energy challenge.
Standards and labelling/ Expected Outcomes
Under the IEA, MiDA will procure international standards for adoption by the GSA directly from International Standards Organisations (ISOs).
Collectively, the activities will significantly reduce peak demand, ensure adequate supply for all and reduce investments in expensive additional generation facilities.
Increase in customer knowledge and use of energy efficiency products will result in savings for households and businesses.
According to a USAID Report, titled – Examining Energy Efficiency Issues in Sub-Saharan Africa – “One example of energy efficiency activities that is making a difference in overall energy demand, is Ghana’s Appliance Labelling Programme, (Labelling Appliances to show consumers the energy consumption and efficiency levels of the product) and the associated Regulations. These efforts, according to Reports, have resulted in an estimated peak energy savings of over 120 megawatts (MW)”.
The Report further states: “thus, as a result, this programme has displaced the need for $105 million (USD) in generation investment and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by over 110,000 tonnes annually.” It is these gains, which MiDA’s support would assist in increasing and sustaining.
GSA Director-General, Prof. Alex Dodoo lauded the support from MiDA and assured them of quality services at all times.
“We aim to become a customer-focused world-class standards organisation, with a mission to contribute towards the growth of industry, protect consumers, and facilitate trade through standards, metrology and conformity assessment.”
To get the full benefit of the interventions, there is the need for the strict enforcement of standards by the GSA, alongside sustained public education and training.
The first EE regulations in Ghana were passed in 2005 for air conditioners and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Air conditioners were the first target of the regulations because of their contribution to peak electricity demand.
MiDA was established by an Act of Parliament (Act 702, 709 & 897 as amended) with the objectives of overseeing, managing and implementing the programmes under the Millennium Challenge Account for poverty reduction through economic growth.