The energy sector is the lifeline in the development of any nation. This informed the decision to undertake the construction of the first hydroelectric (Akosombo) dam in 1965, which continues to be an important investment in Ghana’s economic history. Over the years, and with the increased demand by power users for greater security and reliability, other sources of power – thermal, solar, and lately windmills, as well as imports – have been added to the generation mix.
The aim of Government policy in the energy sector and Ghana’s oil find in commercial quantities is to push for a significant increase in its energy resources to become a net exporter of both power and fuel.
Ghana’s energy sector has evolved over the last two decades owing to continuous reforms and stability that allowed for increased investment by private players especially in the electricity sub-sector. The discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities in 2007 and subsequent production also placed the country’s energy sector on the path of growth. The country started oil production in 2010 with only one field, but now can boast of a total of three oil producing fields namely, Jubilee, Tweneboa Enyera Ntomme (TEN) and OCTP Sankofa Gye Nyame.
Ghana is signatory to several international conventions, treaties, and regional programmes such as UN Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Initiative, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Paris Agreement on the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), AU Agenda 2063, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) White Paper on Energy Access, ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policies, among others aimed at promoting sustainable energy development.
The government’s energy policy is embodied in the Strategic National Energy Plan (SNEP 2030). The policy aims to develop a sound energy market that would provide sufficient, viable and efficient energy services for Ghana’s economic development through the formulation of a comprehensive plan that will identify the optimal path for the development, utilization, and efficient management of energy resources available to the country.
The energy sector has been a vital component of Ghana’s industrial and socio-economic development. In this regard, the sector has been undergoing several developmental initiatives to improve overall operational efficiency and supply security such as the Renewable Energy Master Plan. Ghana has relied mainly on hydro-power plants for electricity generation. A few thermal plants are used to regulate the peak load. However, recently the net demand for electrical power has been considerably greater than the supply.