The Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM) has switched to solar in a bid to join the worldwide campaign of just energy transition. The main minerals industry association of the country has inaugurated an 84 kWp smart grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) system at its secretariat in Accra.
The ultra-modern solar PV system is designed to meet the electricity requirement of the GCM. At peak conditions, the system has the capacity to generate 111,000 kWh of clean energy and its use has reduced GCM’s electricity consumption from the national grid by 75%.
The recent investment exhibits the Chamber’s efforts to reduce its dependency on the national grid and lessen its carbon footprints as embodied in the Sustainable Development Goal 7. The solar PV system is constructed by renewable power developer Stella Futura at a total cost of around $122,316.
Sulemanu Koney, CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, said the solar PV project encourages the transition of Ghanaian mining industry from reliance on fuel-based energy to renewable energy. The project will also inspire other firms to follow GCM’s footprints, promoting environmentally and socially responsible mining.
Koney added that high statutory payments were disincentives to the clean energy transition. Nearly 11% of the solar project’s contract cost represents statutory taxes and levies. Although the government has exempted imported solar panels from the value added tax, the payment for the whole project are still subjected to these statutory taxes and levies.
The CEO appealed the government to implement more incentives on clean energy projects and waive the taxes and levies at the service provision end. He also urged the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) to accelerate its work on net-metering system.
According to George Nutor, the First Vice President of the GCM, the climate change effects has shown the need for us to move to cleaner energy and pay critical attention to the issues green project deployment in the mining sector. Renewables can provide a chuck of Ghana’s total electricity need, decarbonizing the power sector and helping to mitigate climate change.
Nutor also added that the mining industry is in the era of era of implementing Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles in their business operations, and transition to clean energy falls under the ESG. It is imperative for GCM to take the lead to just energy transition as most investors favours renewable energy.