Experts Stress Need For Decarbonizing Energy Sector In Pakistan

In order to assist the Pakistani stakeholders and government in achieving the SDG-7 targets, the ESCAP developed the SDG-7 roadmap.

Experts Stress Need For Decarbonizing Energy Sector In Pakistan

The experts emphasised the need for decarbonizing the energy sector in Pakistan on Sunday by lowering emissions, increasing energy efficiency, and increasing the proportion of renewable energy. According to the experts, this can be done through active national advocacy and awareness campaigns.

The Sustainable Development Policy Institute, the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) jointly launched the Sustainable Development Goal-7 (SDG-7) Roadmap for Pakistan (SDPI).

“We are falling short of managing global warming within 1.50C compared to 1990 levels, which reiterates the need to cut emissions significantly by improving energy access, energy efficiency, and cooking fuels,” said Matthew Wittenstein, Section Chief, Energy Division, UNESCAP. In order to assist the Pakistani stakeholders and government in achieving the SDG-7 targets, the ESCAP developed the SDG-7 roadmap.

Anis Zaman, an expert on energy at UNESCAP, stated that the goal of ESCAP was to create a national roadmap after consulting with all stakeholders. More than 93% of Pakistanis had access to electricity in 2021, but fewer than 50% could use eco-friendly cooking appliances like electric stoves.

He emphasised the importance of using better cooking stoves in both urban and rural areas, noting that the roadmap calls for renewable energy to account for 23.5% of all final energy consumption by 2030.

He claimed that the roadmap will assist Pakistan in achieving the unconditional decarbonization goal of the power sector by the year 2030, but that further investment of $13.5 billion is necessary to completely decarbonize the energy sector.

In order to lower tariff prices, Muhammad Ayub, a former managing director of the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC), emphasised the importance of using local resources.

He claimed that NTDC is placing a strong emphasis on solar and bioenergy, and that in the coming years, 3000 MW of solar energy will be added to the national grid. He urged the participating private sector to encourage the use of renewable energy in the country.

According to Sabieh Haider Bukhari, a representative of the National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (NEECA), Rs 279 million in annual energy savings are possible if the market closure policy is strictly adhered to.

He emphasised the necessity of behavioural modifications for energy conservation and said that energy efficiency must be institutionalised, for which NEECA has contacted industry to stop the production of inefficient appliances.

Zulfiqar Ali, Director-General (Reforms), Board of Investment, reiterated the commitment to invest in introducing cost-effective technologies in the country to facilitate the government in meeting its energy commitments and strengthen the market for renewable energy technologies and products.

Masroor Khan, National Project Manager, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), emphasised behavioural changes through advocacy campaigns to increase energy efficiency and conservation while highlighting the initiatives implemented in Chitral and the relationship between energy access and poverty.

He claimed that if people practise conservation, the demand for electricity can be significantly reduced. He also used Chitral as an illustration, where a prepaid metre system resulted in the best possible use of electricity.

The chairman of Pakistan’s Renewable and Alternative Energy Association (REAP), Nasir A. Latif, stressed the importance of raising the share of renewable energy while also enhancing energy efficiency. He advocated for the creation of a national electricity security council, which would have the authority to make binding recommendations to support the growth of the energy industry.