Government has advised the Volta River Authority (VRA) to increase its exportation of electricity to neighbouring countries in the West African sub-region to save the state over $500 million.

Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo said the state has to incur additional expenditure of over $500 million in catering for unused electricity in the country.

According to the former Finance Minister, the excess provision of power has compelled government to undertake unnecessary spending annually.

“Government has had to pay over $500 million annually for power generation capacity it does not need,” he stated.

Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo called on the VRA to resume and also increase exportation of electricity to neighbouring countries as a means to relieve the government of unsolicited expenditure.

“I am calling on VRA, with their rich experience will explore the export market to reduce government’s burden.

“Please increase your export capacity of yours to make sure that our take and pay burden is reduced,” he said.

He accused the previous government of signing power purchasing agreements that have resulted in having access to more power than is needed.

“The ‘dumsor’ brought in its wake panic reaction from the then government which went into signing a lot of power purchasing agreements with independent power producers.

“This resulted in a storage capacity of 5083MW (megawatt) according to the Energy Commission when Ghana’s peak demand is about 2700MW.

“The net effect of that is, the government has had to pay over $500 million for power generation capacity it does not need,” he noted.

He stated that the government has implemented the Energy Sector Recovery Program, aimed at bringing the energy sector to a balanced sheet come 2023.