Accra, Oct. 3, GNA - The Ghana Technology University College (GTUC) has held a distinct graduation ceremony for about 1000 local electrical contractors trained by the college.
The GTUC in collaboration with Tradeworks Company Limited and the Ghana Electrical Contractors Association trained the electrical contractors from the 10 regions.
The nine months specialised training focused on solar PV installation and maintenance to ensure safe fixing of electrical systems at homes and in industrial establishments.
Minister of Power, Dr Kwabena Donkor, noted that Ghana has been endowed with abundant renewable energy that ought to be exploited.
He said government is set to shore up renewable energy in the national mix by 10 per cent by 2020 to augment other energy sources.
Dr Donkor also said 1,000 megawatts of power would be added to the national grid by the end of the year, while efforts are equally being made to add another 1,500MW by June, 2016, re-echoing government pledge to end the power crisis by the close of the year.
President of the GTUC, Dr Kwesi Darkwa noted that the sun as a source of energy out-powers anything that human technology could produce.
He noted that worldwide solar electricity generation is growing industry as a long term sustainable energy source.
He said the current energy crisis of inadequate and unreliable energy supply at high utility costs to consumers called for a committed and a focus look at alternative sources.
'The impending energy shortage coupled with environmental problems associated with the use of fossil fuel (oil and gas) underpinned the critical need for Ghana to invest in a much expanded clean energy supply such as solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems,' he said.
The application of PV technologies, he however, noted required highly-qualified technicians for installation, repair and maintenance.
'Up till now national markets have been growing at a faster rate than the qualified PV installation force can satisfy,' he added.
He noted that the installation is a complex task and choosing the right PV installer played significant role to the quality and the performance of the system.
GTUC was established to be the centre of academic excellence providing training in technology-oriented education to meet the needs of Ghana and the sub region.
Dr Darkwa said it is therefore the mission of the university to improve the technology backbone of the country in very possible way, hence the need to provide a means of training indigenous Ghanaians contractors to take up the mantle of leading the country to achieve its energy target.
Mr Joseph Walker, President of Ghana Electrical Contractors Association said although the benefits of the training programme are fully acknowledge the industry is till saddled with lack of technical support for solar PV systems.
'There is a growing demand for solar PV systems as an alternative to the unreliable hydro power, however consumers are hesitant to make the investment because of concerns of inadequate professionals who would offer technical support for installation and maintenance,' he said.
Funding of the project was by the Council for Technical and Vocation Education and training under the skills development fund.
The training which started in August 2014 and ended in June 2015 aims to develop competencies based education materials for educating and training technical engineers from key identifiable groups who desired to upgrade their knowledge and skill in solar PV systems.
Participants received printed training manual of solar PV systems installation as part of the training package.