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Sustainable development is the kind of development that improves socio-economic well-being without compromising on environmental integrity. Energy is arguably the fifth factor of production after land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship because of the strong influence it has on socio-economic development. Access to and per capita consumption of modern forms of energy have actually differentiated developed countries from developing ones. Energy drives business and industry, thereby promoting economic development and employment generation, which in turn accelerates improvement in standards of living and general economic well-being.
The institutionalization of prudent policies and regulations has succeeded in transforming the market. Between 2012 and 2015 when conscious effort was made to transform the refrigerating appliance market, the results have been amazing. With an investment of USD3 million, the market has been transformed resulting in 400GWh savings annually, a third of the total generation of a newly constructed 600 million dollar hydro dam. A nascent refrige-rating assembling plant established in 2014 is giving impetus to the new and eflicient refrigerating appliances market. Scores of people; both professionals and non-professionals have been employed.The new refrigerating appliances have now taken over the old appliances in the market. Although the used refrigerating appliances market served provided employment, because of the effect on the environment and the economy, that kind of socio-economic development could not be described sustainable. The institutionalization of prudent policies and regulations has succeeded in transforming the market. Between 2012 and 2015 when conscious effort was made to transform the refrigerating appliance market, the results have been amazing. With an investment of USD3 million, the market has been transformed resulting in 400GWh savings annually, a third of the total generation of a newly constructed 600 million dollar hydro dam. A nascent refrigerating assembling plant established in 2014 is giving impetus to the new and eflicient refrigerating appliances market. Scores of people; both professionals and non-professionals have been employed.The new refrigerating appliances have now taken over the old appliances in the market. Although the used refrigerating appliances market served provided employment, because of the effect on the environment and the economy, that kind of socio-economic development could not be described sustainable.
The traders who used to deal in the used refrigerating appliances were assisted by the Energy Commission of Ghana, the institution vested with the mandate to design and implement energy efliciency projects and programs, to switch to new and eflicient refrigerating appliances. The dealers came together to form an association which eventually became a company. In June 2014, the company launched two brands of new refrigerating appliances which perform creditably well on the market. The hitherto group whose means of livelihood was inimical to the economy and the environment are now plying a trade that promotes sustainable development.
In 2005, a regulation was passed to ban both the importation and manufacturing of incandescent lamps. The legal action was followed by an incentive package involving free distribution of six million compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) in 2008. Besides the peak energy savings of 124MW per year that resulted from the program, two assembly plants were set up by private entrepreneurs to locally produce CFLs. This development offered jobs to people in the value chain; from production to distribution.
Sales outlets for CFLs began to spring up in cities and communities. Between 2009 and 2011, electricity access rate increased from 67% to 72%partly attributed to the savings made from the CFL exchange program.
As nations begin to think about sustainable development, a closer look must be taken at energy efliciency because it provides value for money, socio-economic development without compromising on environmental integrity and saves nations the needed hard currency to import fossil fuels for power generation with its attendant global warming consequences. Energy efliciency is the new way of sustainable power generation to fuel sustainable economies.
                           Kofi Agyarko, Ag. Director, Energy Efficiency and Climate Change. Energy Commission, Ghana

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