Mr Speaker, the essence of this agency would be to oversee the assets and interests of the exploitation of renewable potential of this country that would be converted into energy. It is a dedicated agency basically to manage the assets, to enter into strategic arrange- ments with any investor, any interest person or body that is coming in to execute any project that would convert our biomass, our solar, our windmills into energy. So in a way, you could liken it to VRA that is doing that with hydro and with thermal.
Otherwise, Mr Speaker, we just leave it open and anybody or agency or investor who is coming into this country, who is looking to do any business in converting our potential into renewable energy would not know where to go. A directory in the Ministry of Energy is supposed to be dealing with policy. When you go in there and you find them attempting to do any implementation of any project, it becomes difficult for them to perform their role in a manner that we think they should be performing as a policy arm of the State. If they are to go to Energy Commission, they should be doing regulations, to tell you, this is how we are regulating the renewable sector.
201 l Consideration Stage 3046 But this Authority, Mr Speaker, is simply the equivalent of, for lack of a better way of putting it, VRA iI1 handling the renewable energy potential and running the assets - managing the assets, negotiating on behalf of the Government and they would get into strategic partnerships that would be necessary.
If you wish to, Mr Speaker, we could stretch it a little further to what Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is doing for us in oil. But as it is now, we do not have any real agency or authority that is handling our potential and assets that we would be exploiting into energy and I think this is what would help us to speed up exploitation of this potential that would help us to create substantial levels of energy as we are targeting 10 per cent of our capacity in the country from that.
Otherwise, today, VRA goes into any part of this country and starts operating solar plants and then another agency like Energy Commission is trying to do now, goes on to deal with windmills, and who knows, somebody else might come, maybe, another agency going into tidal waves. But if we have one stop-shop where all those things are dealt with, from an implementing angle, from management side, they would still need Energy Commission for the permits and, for the licences.
Mr Speaker, as I said before, if you go to some countries like Germany, Philippines, Egypt and India, in some of those countries, they refer them as national renewable energy boards. But Mr Speaker, I chose not to call it "Board" because from the advice from the Attorney-General's Department, most of the Boards have been converted into Authorities and that is why I am introducing this amendment as a renewable energy authority.