Solar Net Metering Connections Are Increasing In Pakistan

The Solar Net Metering Allows Any Of Domestic, Commercial Or Industrial Consumers Having A Three-Phase Meter Connection

Solar Net Metering Connections Are Increasing In Pakistan

The number of applicants seeking solar power net metering connections continues rising in the country as the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) issued a total of 8,417 net-metering licences with the accumulated capacity of 146MW during the fiscal year 2020-21. The solar net metering allows any of domestic, commercial or industrial consumers having a three-phase meter connection to be part of the power generation system by installing it on his/her premises (house, shop, factory, open spaces, etc). Under the arrangements, such a consumer may sell the additional energy to the respective power distribution company and make stocktaking (calculations) with it at the end of the month.

According to a Nepra report, to induct the new capacity to displace the costlier electricity, during 2020-21, it granted generation licences to 27 companies for accumulated capacity of around 1,591MW. These licences include, four hydropower plants for accumulated capacity of around 294MW; 18 solar power plants with the accumulated capacity of around 49MW; two licences to bagasse/biomass power plants with the accumulated capacity of around 47MW; one to nuclear power plant with the capacity of 1,145MW; one licence to the coal-based power plant with the installed capacity of 55MW and one licence was granted to a 350kW hybrid (solar+biogas) power plant.

The growth of distributed generation in Pakistan reveals a very steep positive trend line; from 1MW in 2016 to 3MW in 2017, 10MW in 2018 and then a sudden big jump in 2019 with the addition of 32MW, registering a growth of 220 percent from 2018-19. “There has been a growing trend for net-metering, as well as distributed generation through solar plants for [the] sale to bulk power consumers given high electricity prices by the distribution companies,” the authority noted in its latest report.

The total installed capacity of net-metering consumers as of June 30, 2021 reached around 232MW. “[The] induction of distributed generation, either through net-metering or in isolated mode, is good for the power sector on several accounts,” Nepra noted. The distribution companies; however, view the growing trend for net-metering and other distributed generation as a threat for their consumer base. “DISCOs [distribution companies] need to realise that the power sector is gradually opening up for competition where retention of consumers will depend on improved quality of service and reduced cost for [the] end consumer.”

This news was originally published at Daily Times