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Monday, 18 November 2019

T The Industry

Meeting Ghana's energy needs sustainably

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Ghana is gradually becoming an energy hub and this can be attributed to the increasing oil and gas activities in the country. Having attained the status as an oil producing country, there is a high expectation on Ghana to maximize the benefits associated with the “Black gold”. As the days pass it is becoming evidently true that Ghana has a contributive role to play in meeting her domestic energy needs and that of the global community.

Oil revenue constitute a substantial amount of Ghana’s GDP and this is a major motivation for the country to do everything possible to earn more revenues from oil and it related activities. In the year 2018, Ghana saw a lot of multinationals and oil giants expressing interest in doing business in Ghana. Some of these companies have already secured and acquired oil blocks whiles others are still fostering joint-venture arrangement, a fundamental requirement to engage in secured and legal oil and gas activities in Ghana. The purpose for these joint-venture arrangement is to ensure the benefits of local content participation are achieved.

In the early days of 2018, The New York Times published an article, which projected Ghana to be the world’s fastest growing economy in 2018. The fundamental driver for this projection among many was the recent offshore natural gas discoveries and the potential for more oil and gas field development. Can it be said that Ghana achieved the status “world’s fastest growing economy in 2018”? What has happened to offshore natural gas discoveries? Has more oil and gas field been developed? These questions can best help assess the year 2018 and also make projections for coming years all in the quest of meeting Ghana’s energy needs.

For the energy sector in Ghana to develop and stay relevant, there are some key variables that cannot be underestimated. Below are some highlights.

Technological Advancement

Technological advancement is what the global oil and gas industry is experiencing and enjoying. Innovation and creativity is what is characterizing the energy industry now. The Ghanaian environment should be well prepared to accommodate these trends. There will be the need for Ghana to identify and appreciate the technological trends in the industry. This will contribute greatly to the discovery of more oil and gas, energy resources and also enhance the recovery from already existing resources. The adoption and application of modern technologies and best practices should be done in a cost effective and environmentally friendly way, giving value for money.

Renewable and Energy Efficiency

Renewable and energy efficiency have become a core part of human life with respect energy production and consumption, hence the need to carefully and consciously integrate them in our pursuit of energy. Appreciating renewables and energy efficiency as compliments rather than replacement for oil and gas will help us understand the global energy mix in totality. This will inform our evaluations, criticisms and choices. From various energy statistical reports, world energy demand is on the rise and, oil and gas can meet this demand for now. Oil and gas constitutes more than 50% of the global energy mix. The BP statistical report for 2018 gives a much detail analysis of the global energy mix.

Climate Change and Environmental Protection

As public concerns about climate change continually exposes the dangers energy providers and their operation pose to humanity and the environment, deliberate efforts are being made by industry players to address these concerns. It will be reasonable for Ghana to ensure that energy operations in the country do not deepen global wounds but rather alleviate or better still bring relief to the world. This can be achieved by ensuring that significant and sufficient investment are made into methane emissions and flaring, and also ensuring that the environment within which business is conducted is duly protected. Most often decisions are taken from the investment perspective that is using the cost benefit analysis (CBA), but it is about time these decisions are complimented by the results from net environmental benefit analysis (NEBA).

Conclusion

There is no doubt that Ghana will become a major energy hub looking at the commitment of the government and people of Ghana coupled with the high interest and engagement from energy giants in doing energy business in Ghana. As Ghana is being recognized as a place to do energy business, we must understand that our global rating will not only be determined by production volumes but also the manner within which we undertake our operations.

Ghana as a country owes herself and posterity the duty of care and commitment: ensuring that we don’t only provide energy but we provide energy in a sustainable manner.

Sustainability is defined by United Nations and World Commission on Environmental Development: “Development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.




Authored By:

Sheldon Kobina Ambaah,
Global Energy Analyst/ Petroleum Economist

Photo: http://www.e2bnews.com/en/2017/03/energy-cities-guidebook/

Global Energy Insight, established in 2017, as an independent online journal focused on offering Global coverage of up-to-date news and technological advances