Pakistan government has launched a new regulation for the solar power net metering system to encourage solar energy use in worsening energy crisis.

Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) has approved certification regulation to boost uptake of clean energy and to encourage consumers to produce solar electricity and sell it to the national grid.

AEDB board of directors gave permission in the 41st meeting. Federal Minister for Power Division Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari has chaired the meeting.

“This will bring green energy and the biggest renewable electricity source of around 5,000 to 7,000 megawatts can be oppressed,” he said.

The idea of compensated for excess energy generated is attractive to many property holders. The minister highlighted that consumers willing to install net meters up to 25 kilovolts would be helped within days compared to the current process that takes months.

Energy experts stressed upon starting a public awareness campaign so that greatest number of people could take benefit of the scheme.

The board discussed government’s initiatives and AEDB to promote renewable energy technologies. It also approved the AEDB (Certification) Regulations 2017 for the certification of installers.

Experts noted that net metering-based applications lessen the burden on the national grid, but also reduce the fuel import bill, check the emission of greenhouse gases, and increase the use of solar energy.

A scheme for converting all electricity-run tube wells in Balochistan to solar power was also approved in the meeting. At least 10,000 solar water pumps will be installed in the first phase to replace the existing electricity-run tube wells.

More than 30,000 electricity-powered tube wells with a certified load of 480 megawatts are operational, being subsidized by the government with the cost of Rs21 billion (Dh73.2 million) annually.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) first approved the Net Metering policy in 2015 in a move to spur use of solar energy. The net-metering allows solar panel purchasers to sell power they produce to the national grid, helping Pakistan’s government cut power shortages.

Pakistan is blessed with multiple renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, hydro, and biomass to bridge the gap between the demand and production of electricity which is 5000—8000MW with an increase of 6—8 % per annum, according to a paper, ‘Renewable energy deployment to combat energy crisis in Pakistan’, published in 2016.

Pakistan’s energy generation capacities stand at 120,000MW for wind, 2,900,000MW for solar, 5500MW for biomass, and 42,000MW for hydropower, according to the study.