The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), in collaboration with the Energy Commission, has inaugurated three Sustainable Energy Service Centres (SESCs) in three tertiary institutions to assist organisations to adopt and implement cost-effective energy-saving measures in their operations.
The beneficiary institutions are the Accra Technical University (ATU), the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR).
The Centres were funded by the United States government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) at the cost of $284,928.
During the handing-over ceremony at ATU on Tuesday, the Chief Executive Officer of MiDA, Martin Eson-Benjamin, said the establishment of the SESCs formed part of the Ghana Power Compact Programme’s Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management (EEDSM) Project.
The Centres, he said, were the first of the kind in the country and would train and certify professionals who would assist Organisations and homes to adopt and implement cost-effective energy-saving measures in their operations.
Mr Eson-Benjamin disclosed that the SESCs were part of the innovative approaches to ensure the efficient use and conservation of power, and have the potential to reach out and serve entities across the country and the West African sub-region.
He said the EEDSM Project sought to plug any gaps in the efficient use of electrical power resources.
“Therefore, MiDA felt it necessary to support the Energy Commission’s overtures to provide resources to some selected tertiary Institutions and equip them with the two key requirements for carrying out energy audits,” he added.
To this end, the beneficiary institutions trained staff with relevant knowledge/skills; and access to equipment to undertake measurements of power utilisation in businesses and homes, he explained.
Mr Eson-Benjamin noted that the staff in each Centre had been given the requisite technical training on various aspects of energy management and audit through three Certification Programmes, namely, the Sustainable Energy Management Professional (SEMP), the Sustainable Energy Audit Professional (SEAP) and the Energy Audit Practicals (EAP).
He observed that energy was critical for poverty reduction and sustainable development as well as for economic growth and combating climate change.
“Adopting best practices in energy efficiency will create energy savings at the consumer and national level, and deliver these climate change benefits through avoided Climate Hazard Group (CHG) emissions in avoided electricity consumption,” Mr Eson-Benjamin emphasised.
“We have put on the energy market, three willing Institutions who will collaborate with the Energy Commission to put Ghana on the pedestal; as far as ensuring the efficient use of power is concerned. It is MiDA’s prayer that these Centres will be well-patronised by all and that the Institutions will soon become household names among our small, medium and large industries in Ghana. A successful collaboration with the Association of Ghana Industries will ensure the realisation of this goal,” he further said.
In a speech read for him, the Minister of Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, said the US government had been a strategic partner to Ghana in promoting efficient energy utilisation.
He said that cost-efficient use of energy would be a catalyst for industrial development and save up to 4,000 gigawatts of power annually.
The Minister believes that the three centres would soon become centres of excellence for energy efficiency and pledged the government’s commitment to roll out policy frameworks to enhance energy efficiency nationwide.
The SESCs have facilities such as energy audit instruments, office, and information technology equipment, and three vehicles for all three centres.
Through the SESCs, the Energy Commission could build the capacity of persons in auditing, ensuring that there are core qualified and certified professionals to help undertake market assessments and to advise the government on appropriate policies to adopt in the sector.
The Supervising Consultant for the Project, Development Environment Services Limited (DESL) and its Partners, worked with MiDA, the Energy Commission, and the beneficiary Institutions to design, equip and operationalise those Centres.
The management of the three institutions received keys to the vehicles purchased to support the Centres’ activities.