Akosombo had an initial capacity of 900 megawatts with a total consumption of 400 megawatts, including VALCO, leaving a redundancy of about 500 megawatts.
A lot of factors have contributed to current situation, including, but not limited to :
– Climatic changes resulting in the decline of rainfall causing comparatively lower levels of water at the Akosombo dam. Right now only about a third of Akosombo dam’s capacity is being utilised in the face of dramatic levels of energy demand- over 20 million mobile phones that need recharge every few hours, increasing usage of fridges, deep freezers and other electronic gadgets, television and video sets.
These created a huge gap between demand and supply. Supply had remained the same while demand was skyrocketing. This happened over several decades but escaped past governments, even those who know best and have the nation at heart could not recognise this development.
In an attempt to resolve DUMSOR (which was due to excessive demand over supply), the government took steps to add other sources of energy supply including the use of light crude oil and gas to power other plants to supply energy.
PLEASE NOTE :
The current situation is not DUMSOR that visited us sometime ago. Again DUMSOR was due to excessive demand over supply, which is fixed.
The root cause of current situation is a sabotage in the supply of gas from Nigeria to feed our additional sources of power generation- AMERI, TIPCO, all plants at Aboadze.
One may ask, what is FPSO doing. FPSO has its technical challenges with its compressor that needs important decisions to be made.
Again we are not out of the woods yet but the need to expand more on thermal plants due to decline in water levels at Akosombo reducing Akosombo’s capacity has led to very important strategic decisions including but not limited to the need to invest more in gas supplies to fuel AMERI, TIPCO and all plants at Aboadze enclave.
In an ideal situation, FPSO produces gas offshore from the jubilee field to Atuabo gas plant, Atuabo processes it and supply to our thermal generation plants. So once FPSO works most thermal plants will work, producing enough energy.
Technical issues with FPSO plus sabotage with gas supplies from Nigeria has resulted in our current situation.
What strategic steps are being taken by the government for a long term solution?
Gas is currently being explored to feed our thermal sources of energy supply to ensure sustainable energy supply. Gas discovered at EMF field which will be ready in 2017 will be able to produce gas that will help generate about 1000 megawatts of energy for 20 years. Other gas discovered will feed the thermal plants for another 10 years, providing energy security for 30 years from 2017 giving us ample time to strategize on additional sources of energy supply.
Again, we’re not out of the woods yet, however excellent strategic steps are being taken to ensure seamless transition from our current situation to a 100% power supply to the entire country.
Our power supply from Akosombo came with a cost of 6 cents per kilowatt per hour. Of course hydro electricity is the cheapest. Gas fired power costs 10 cents per kilowatt hour. Light crude oil *(our situation right now due to issues with gas supply)* is 15-16 cents per kilowatt hour.
Collective efforts is more than necessary. Let’s understand the situation and work together.
Amofa Baffoe/ GhanaPoliticsOnline.Com