Experts discuss proposal for an Energy Transition Authority

EXECUTIVE Director of the Institute of Climate and Environmental Governance (ICEG), Mr Hamza Suhuyini Sayibu, has called for an Energy Transition Authority to help Ghana navigate the transition smoothly and ensure a prosperous and sustainable future for its people.

He pointed out that in an era where the world was grappling with the urgent need to transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, a dedicated and centralized body, “is not just desirable; it is imperative for our collective future.”

Speaking at a stakeholder engagement in Accra on theme ‘Transitioning Ghana: Stakeholder Engagement on Energy Transition and Sustainability Delivery Architecture,’ the ICEG CEO argued that an energy transition authority would provide the necessary focus and expertise to oversee the complex process of transitioning from conventional, carbon-intensive energy sources to cleaner, renewable alternatives.

According to him, “this is not a task that can be handled piecemeal by multiple government agencies with different priorities. We need a centralized authority with a singular mission: to drive and manage the energy transition.”

He explained that an authority would have the capacity to develop and implement comprehensive energy transition plans and could conduct research and analysis to identify the most suitable and cost-effective renewable energy sources for our nation.

“It could coordinate with relevant stakeholders, including government agencies, private sector actors, and local communities, to ensure a smooth and equitable transition,” he added.

He stressed that an energy transition authority would have the power to mobilize the necessary resources.

“It could access funding, both domestic and international, to finance large-scale renewable energy projects and infrastructure development which would reduce the burden on the national budget and attract private sector investments, creating a win-win scenario for economic growth and environmental sustainability,” Mr Sayibu explained.

This long-term perspective is essential to attract investments and give businesses the confidence to invest in renewable energy projects that have longer payback periods.

Furthermore, an energy transition authority could serve as a knowledge hub, fostering innovation and research in the renewable energy sector. It could facilitate partnerships with universities, research institutions, and international organizations, enabling us to tap into the latest technological advancements and best practices in clean energy.

NRGI speaks on proposal

When Business Finder sought the reaction and input of the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) over the proposal, its Senior Africa Programme Officer, Mr Dennis Gyeyir, welcomed the establishment of an energy transition authority for Ghana but cautioned it had to be well implemented.

He maintained that “considering that different institutions are doing different things, it might make sense to have a committee that had its representatives from the different institutions to facilitate dialogue and exchange rather than an authority.

On the other hand, to ensure stability and continuity, an authority might be a better option, but the downside to that is if the authority would have the needed resources (financial, human resources and even the data) required to function.”

Mr Gyeyir  disclosed that “Nigeria has a National Council on Climate Change (NCCC) but also an Energy Transition Office (ETO) at the office of the President dedicated to the implementation of energy transition policy. In South Africa, they have the Presidential Climate Commission that is an independent, statutory, multi-stakeholder body to oversee and facilitate a just and equitable transition. Ghana may want to consider converting its energy transition committee into such a multi-sectoral commission with some level of independence to facilitate energy transition planning and implementation.

He pointed out that the challenge with setting up an authority could mean setting up an entirely new entity which may not draw from the experiences and consultations that the existing committee members went through.

According to Mr Gyeyir, “the value in having an Energy Transition Authority is that we avoid the risk of a new government coming in and shaking up the system and doing away with what may have been started.”

CEDA on the proposal

Executive Director of the Centre for Extractives and Development Africa (CEDA), Mr Samuel Bekoe saw no issues with discussing the proposal and interrogating its advantages but felt an energy transition authority was not a necessary tool or decision or magic wand to see Ghana through a just, smooth transition.

In his view, the existing entities were capable of delivering what was needed.

Gh News Hub

Gh News Hub

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *