With an installed capacity of around 6,000 megawatts of electricity, Pakistan is in process of launching a Large-scale solar PV project through competitive bidding, very soon.

Large-scale solar PV project to be launched soon

In the initial phase of this ‘medium term’ plan, three Large-scale solar PV project with a cumulative capacity of 2,400MW (600mw, 600mw and 1200mw) are being set up, and sites have already been identified by the government to be given to the private companies for the investment. The competitive bidding process will kick-off by next month. This was informed by Shah Jahan Mirza, CEO, Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) through a video link address at the first ‘Annual State of Renewable Energy Conference 2022 (ASREC-22)’ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with the Unilever here on Thursday. Mirza said AEDB is proactively working to improve investment climate in the country by providing concessions like 60 to 70 percent tariff indexation to attract foreign investment in the country’s energy sector. He informed that by 2030, AEDB aims to increase renewable energy share to 60 percent with 90 percent of it being indigenous to reduce pressure on foreign exchange reserves. Elaborating various projects and policies being deliberated he said solarization of diesel-based tube wells, waiving off import duty and sales tax on solar technology, introducing single line tariffs for competitive bidding to increase renewable energy generation.

Government of Pakistan is fully committed on the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially the SDG No-7 to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. Former finance minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar criticized insufficient financial cooperation extended by leading greenhouse gas emitters to climate change vulnerable countries and said ‘climate change mitigation and adaptation annually requires $7-14 billion which is well beyond Pakistan’s financial constraints.’ She stressed on need to decarbonise energy generation and reforming policies to address high import dependence, removing low tariff and subsidies on energy supply to Large-scale solar PV project and industries to reduce financial and environmental implications. SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri called public and private sector and civil society organizations to collaborate for concerted actions for climate change mitigation. He stressed on pacing up transition to renewable energy in Pakistan to address energy crisis and expensive import-based energy generation. He further said that devastating floods due to unprecedented monsoon in Pakistan are manifestation of climate change and renewable energy mix can play crucial role in emission reduction to mitigate these disastrous impacts.

Large-scale solar PV project, Sindh Secretary Energy Department Abu Bakar Ahmed briefed the audience about various initiatives being taken including solarization of public buildings including schools, hospital and 225 basic health clinic, project to provide 200,000 solar home systems in 10 low energy access districts, and capacity building activities for domestic production of technology. He also said that waste to energy project is under deliberation for Karachi which will be later expanded to rest of Sindh. Naz Khan, Chief Strategic Officer, K-Electric said 50 percent increase in electricity price due to fuel mix dominated by thermal energy and import intensive generation which is much higher than much of the world. She said 257GW renewable energy was added globally in 2021 and US $55 billion is projected for 2022 as saving due to this addition and Pakistan can increase its foreign exchange reserve status by exploiting this. She informed that K- Electric plans to add 1200MW in next 7-8 years from renewable energy though equity with private sector and invest its own finances which will save Forex $8-10 billion. In June 2022, 637MW generated and 519 MW has been commissioned on net metering of domestic consumers. She suggested incentivizing through cost-reflective tariffs, competitive bidding, to attract investment especially green financing through products and scaling up net metering of solar households. Yusuf Siddiqui, CEO, Engro Energy Pvt. Ltd. informed that Engro Energy plans to add 500MW renewable energy through Jhimpir power project by 2024 which will be scaled up to 1GW.

He advocated liberalization of Large-scale solar PV project and said that private power companies should be allowed to work outside government’s ambit, take responsibility of risks and sell directly to consumers. He informed that this is a successful and cost-effective international model and can potentially bridge investment and power demand. Ehsan Malik, CEO, Pakistan Business Council (PBC) highlighted that PBC adopted make in Pakistan policy to address high import crisis. Criticizing low tariffs on fossil fuel-based energy will slow transition to renewable especially solarization by domestic consumers. He suggested that government must reform energy policies and improve distributions system, address issues on transmission losses and rumours on net metering of domestic consumers and run awareness campaigns through media platforms. Explaining Pakistan’s renewable energy generation potential, Dr Hina Aslam Research Fellow, SDPI informed that 0.07% solar potential is enough to meet Pakistan’s energy demand. She informed that Sindh and Balochistan can produce 340GW wind and suggested recycling 30M mt municipal solid waste annually should be exploited to produce energy from waste. She said that like rest of the world, Pakistan experience 3.25% increase in renewable energy in 2021 and net FDI in power sector in 2021 was US$911.7 million, with much room for more and US$101 Billion target has been set by 2030. She suggested improving coordination between national and sub-national entities, indigenous production to lower costs and smoothing out regulatory procedures to catalyze this transition.

Source: This news is originally published by brecorder

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