This photo shows one of the solar-powered lamp-posts that are springing up
around Burkina Faso, especially in small towns which otherwise have no
electricity. This one is at the colourful market in Markoye, about 40km
north-east of Gorom-Gorom.
Solar power of course has considerable potential in places like Burkina, where
there is more than enough sun. But the purchase and replacement costs for the
equipment are still prohibitive for people’s personal use.

We’ve been having a number of “lights out” at my home due to power shortages. Ghana has just made an agreement with Nigeria to help supply electrical power.

Nigeria has agreed to supply 80 megawatts of electricity to Ghana as part of a deal to help the country to address its current energy crisis.

Additionally, it has accepted to take over the supply of power to Benin and Togo, to take off the burden on Ghana and bring some relief to the country.
. . .
President Kufuor said Ghana again was exploring other alternative sources including solar and bio-diesel.

All Ghana’s power comes from the Volta dam. If water is low, we have both water and electricity shortages. It would provide Ghana with a great deal more security, as well as flexibility, if we establish other sources of power. I would love to see Ghana develop its use of solar power. That is the only power source we can count on for sure, and we have plenty of it. Ghana needs to develop both electrical resources, and water conservation and resources. Taxes and tax breaks could be used to encourage the use of solar power. Ghana should apply the following principles:

non-damage to economic growth, non-damage to the level of energy services provided to the energy consumers, and also reduce the damage to the environment. The order of priority should be:

1. Becoming more efficient and preventing waste;

2. Exploitation of residual energy;

3. Production and exploitation of renewable and alternative energies (exploitation of non-fossil sources). For Ghana, the obvious area to look at is solar power.

Solar power installation

Our Government may need to pass a legislation that all new houses built need to consider the inclusion of solar power provision. This could be encouraged by a small tax on new buildings, which is waived if adequate solar power facilities are installed. The tax incentive offsets the considerable cost of solar power, making it more attractive. This is a way to fund solar power at no cost to government. Would it not be wonderful if Ghana became the leading developer of solar power in Africa? It must surely have a future, and those countries who embrace it will get the opportunity to have the industry based in their country.