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Ghana Power Struggle: VRA Rejects Blames for Energy Shortages

VRA Defends Export Practices

by Victor Adetimilehin

The Volta River Authority (VRA), Ghana’s state-owned power company, has fired back at accusations from the Independent Power Generators Association of Ghana (IPGG) that its energy exports are contributing to domestic power cuts.

In a press release, the VRA called the IPGG’s claims “erroneous and misleading.” The company emphasized its long history of supplying power to both Ghana and neighboring countries while fulfilling its domestic obligations.

VRA Defends Export Practices, Prioritizes Domestic Needs

The VRA highlighted its commitment to Ghana’s energy security, stating it has consistently delivered “reliable and affordable power” to the country since 1972. It further clarified that the allocation of electricity generated from its Akosombo and Kpong hydropower plants is overseen by the independent Electricity Market Oversight Panel (EMOP), not the VRA itself.

“By this arrangement,” the VRA explained, “the allocation always prioritizes the Ghana market, by government policies to ensure long-term optimization of the nation’s hydro resources.” This independent oversight aims to ensure a balanced approach that meets Ghana’s domestic needs while potentially generating revenue through exports.

The VRA press release also addressed the issue of pricing, pointing out that it offers the most affordable electricity to Ghana’s main power distributor, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), at a rate of 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. This stands in contrast to the average price of 10 cents per kilowatt-hour charged by Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

The VRA’s statement suggests that the IPGG’s concerns may be driven, in part, by competition in the electricity market. While the IPPs offer a potentially more flexible power generation solution, the VRA remains a crucial source of reliable and competitively priced electricity for Ghana.

Balancing Needs and Opportunities

The dispute between the VRA and IPGG underscores the complexities of Ghana’s energy sector. Balancing the need for affordable and reliable domestic power with the potential economic benefits of exporting surplus electricity requires a carefully managed approach.

The involvement of the EMOP as an independent regulator is a positive step towards ensuring transparency and fairness in the allocation of resources. Continued dialogue between all stakeholders, including the VRA, IPPs, and the government, will be crucial in finding a sustainable solution that benefits both Ghana’s energy security and its economic development.

Source: Graphic Online

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