Energy Commission’s 2023 advisory highlighted risk of power outages

Energy Commission’s 2023 advisory highlighted risk of power outages

The Energy Commission has warned of a potential power outages in December, citing inadequate gas supplies and financing shortfalls.

The advisory came before recent power outages across the country, prompting renewed calls for a blackout timetable.

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) faces criticism from businesses and citizens after the sector was stabilized following years of struggles. However, the Energy Commission’s 2024 Energy Outlook for Ghana, published in December 2023, highlighted the risks of insufficient fuel supply and financing.

The Commission noted that “security and adequacy of fuel supply to thermal plants remain the single most important risk to power supply reliability in the country.” It recommended that the government invest in improved gas supply reliability and expedite the construction of a gas pipeline connecting Tema and Takoradi power enclaves.

Recent power outages have been attributed to insufficient financing for fuel procurement, with a financing shortfall of approximately $1.9 billion in the energy sector.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) reported that ECG collects an average of GHS850 million monthly, short of the required GHS1.9 billion.

The Energy Commission’s report forecasted a grid-connected power generation capacity of 5,194 MW in 2024, with a total dependable capacity of 4,756 MW for electricity generation.

However, due to scheduled maintenance and fuel supply issues, only 4,400 MW of total dependable capacity is expected to be consumed, meeting the projected system peak demand of 3,788 MW with a reserve margin of 16%, lower than the minimum requirement of 18%.

Natural gas, both domestic and imported, is projected to be the primary fuel for thermal power plants, with a total consumption of 137.5 TBtu forecast for the year.

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