Mr. Grant Shapps said it is not acceptable that two out of three people in Africa simply do not have access to electricity.
The United Kingdom Minister of State for International Development, Mr Grant Shapps has called for the need kick-start a solar revolution across Ghana.
Mr. Shapps said this upon his arrival in the country to spearhead the next phase of the UK’s new Energy Africa campaign.
A statement issued by the Communications Officer, Political and Public Affairs Section, British High Commission, Abigail Foaty quoted Mr. Shapps as saying, “The time is right to kick-start a solar revolution in Ghana and across Africa. It is not acceptable that two out of three people in Africa simply do not have access to electricity.”
“Without a reliable energy supply at home people simply cannot go about their daily lives. Children cannot do their homework after dark, men and women are unable to charge their mobile phones, and families are forced to inhale the toxic fumes of kerosene lamps.
He was optimistic in working with Ghanaians to spread solar energy across the country and expressed the hope that “the rest of Africa will follow their lead in supporting the life-changing Energy Africa campaign.”
The statement said at the current rate, Africa would not achieve universal energy access until 2080; which is 200 years after Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.
“And the time to act is now: the cost of solar photovoltaic panels has dramatically decreased, battery technology has improved thanks to the development of Lithium batteries, the efficiency of appliances has also improved, and the spread of mobile payment systems has enabled payment through micro pay-as-you-go and for solar companies to therefore deliver much needed power,” it said.
Minister Grant Shapps will also join the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstove biennial meetings and meet other senior members of Ghana’s Government.
“While electricity access in Ghana is better than much of Sub-Saharan Africa, the country still suffers regular power cuts and outages that affect households and industry. Solar technology and mobile payment systems exist in Ghana, yet less than one per cent of households use solar energy,” it stated
During his visit, the Minister would discuss Ghana’s involvement in the initiative with Dr Kwabena Donkor, Minister of Power and highlight opportunities for solar and other off-grid solutions, such as clean cookstoves, to provide energy to many more people across Ghana and wider Africa.