Pakistan is set to raise feed-in tariffs (FITs) requiring electric supply companies to purchase electricity that guarantee up to 18% return to private producers of wind and solar power. This latest effort is to improve incentives over an earlier 2006 policy for individual consumers installing solar panels in their homes and for larger investors.
Ms. Rukhsana Zuberi, a fellow NEDUET alumnus and PPP senator, is pushing the required legislation through Pakistan's parliament for the new FIT policy.
In addition to her legislative efforts, Zuberi is also taking the lead in installing solar panels in several public buildings across the country. Some of high-profile locations where solar panels have so far been installed include the tombs of Pakistan's founder Quaid-e-Azam M.A. Jinnah and PPP leader Benazir Bhutto, University of Engineering Technology in Lahore, Abdullah Shah Ghazi's shrine, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Karachi, Prime Minister's Office and Secretariat, Pakistan Supreme Court in Islamabad, and other important sites.
As the head of Pakistan Engineering Council, Zuberi first started with a program at the PEC facilities to install solar panels and reduce consumption by using more efficient LED light bulbs. Just changing light fixtures in the PEC auditorium reduced electricity consumption dramatically from 7860W to 336W with 20% more lumens.
I believe that the planned improvement in feed-in-tariff is a good start, but it needs to be followed up by other incentives such as tax rebates, subsidized solar panels and energy-efficient bulbs and appliances, and by ensuring that the aging power grid is sufficiently updated to handle multiple small sources of renewable power without breaking down.
Here's a video clip aired on GeoTV on this subject:
Pakistan Building 1000 MW Wind Farms
Pakistan Launches Wind Farm Projects
Renewable Energy to Solve Pakistan's Electricity Crisis
Electrification Rates By Country
Wind Turbine Manufacturing in Pakistan
Pakistan Pursues Hydroelectric Power Projects
Solar Energy for Sunny Pakistan
Wind Power Tariffs in Pakistan
Pakistan's Twin Energy Shortages
Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technology
Renewable Energy for Pakistan
Abundant Cheap Electricity From Pakistani Coal
Pakistan Policy on Renewable Technology
Sugarcane Ethanol Project in Pakistan
Community Based Renewable Energy Project in Pakistan
It is a f---- dumb idea to start destroying to solar installations such beautiful structures as the ones your blog post lists --- tombs of Pakistan's founder Quaid-e-Azam M.A. Jinnah and PPP leader Benazir Bhutto, University of Engineering Technology in Lahore, Abdullah Shah Ghazi's shrine, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Karachi, Prime Minister's Office and Secretariat in Islamabad, and other important sites.
I am working with Contra Costa County, some mayors and council members to do away with all rooftop solar installations. Instead, homeowners will be encouraged to invest in "Solar Shares", which will collectively install solar panels / power systems at a remote location where (1) sunlight is more abundant and angulation is more usable, (2) there is no issue with trees' shades or nearby homes or structures, (3) no issues of the structures of old buildings or rigging thereto, (4) no issues as to destruction of aesthetics value, (5) no one complains of glare and other issues to neighboring homes, or (6) the installation cost per watt installed is lower than the high installation cost of the smaller size systems of individual installation.
With this model, currently in use at SMUD, Oregon, and Seattle, the power from such remote-located solar plants goes into the PG&E grid, which gives a credit on one's electricity bill according to the number of Solar Shares one owns, and the amount of electrical power that goes back to the PG&E grid.
Pakistan will be well-advised to not blindly follow what the Americans have experimented before and are now moving away from. One may claim that there are German and Dutch examples too, but be sure to advise them that Germany does not have abundant land mass, and they have no option but to install a solar panel on all rooftops and behind everyone's ass.
Shams: "It is a f---- dumb idea to start destroying to solar installations such beautiful structures as the ones your blog post lists --- "
Symbols are not a substitute for substance in policy, such as incentivizing with FIT and tax rebates etc. However, I do think that symbolic actions like installation of solar panels on high profile buildings can help promote the use of solar energy in Pakistan.
Such panels are not permanent; they can be removed at a future date if so desired. In the meanwhile, I hope they will have served their purpose of making people aware of the option.
Here's an interesting excerpt from a report about Pakistan's power sector published in Miami Herald:
There is no place where the country's energy shortage isn't profound. Rural areas are without electricity for up to 16 hours a day while towns often go without for as many as 12 hours daily, forcing factories to close and plunging homes into darkness.
Natural gas supplies are rationed, with factories in the country's most populous province, Punjab, going without two days a week.
Pakistan's economic output is cut by at least 4 percent because of the shortages, the government estimates, something that hampers the country's hopes to battle extremism by creating more economic opportunities. The outages also feed political discontent, triggering frequent, if local, street protests.
Solving the energy problems is a top priority for the United States' aid program, with a State Department delegation here this week, led by Ambassador Carlos Pascual, the Obama administration's special envoy on international energy affairs.
But Pakistan's plans for a 1,700-mile natural gas pipeline from Iran, which would provide Pakistan with a cheaper source of fuel for electricity generation, is a stumbling block.
Despite Pakistan's huge hydroelectric potential, it hasn't built a big dam project since the 1970s. Since the U.S.-backed government of President Asif Zardari was elected in 2008, a mushrooming chain of "circular" debt has enveloped the power sector.
The government has assumed $3.6 billion of the power industry's debt. The government-owned power grid owes another $2.5 billion to private-sector generators, even as the government, according to Finance Ministry figures, spent at least $7.4 billion on electricity subsidies during the 2008-2010 period.
Washington and international lenders such as the International Monetary Fund have repeatedly urged Pakistan to cut subsidies, which anemic government finances cannot afford.
Critics say that the government hasn't added to the electricity infrastructure in its three-and-a-half year term, while sinking billions of dollars into unproductive subsidies and taking on debt.
Of the $3.6 billion debt the government assumed, half were bills the government itself hadn't paid, said Ejaz Rafiq Qureshi, the spokesman of the Pakistan Electric Power Co., the state-owed national electricity grid. The rest is owed by private consumers.
At the end of August, a group of nine private power plants demanded that the government pay them within 30 days $540 million it owed for power generation.
Roughly half of Pakistan's current electricity output of 13,000 megawatts comes from the private generators. But there is more capacity that the government doesn't use. Government-owned equipment that could generate another 2,000 megawatts has been sidelined because of poor maintenance. Private equipment that could generate another 2,500 megawatts has been taken out of service because the government hasn't paid its bills, said Abdullah Yusuf, who represents the private producers. Combined, that amounts roughly to the entire immediate shortfall.
"If you had this capacity available, straight away your problem would be solved," said Yusuf.
A longer-term energy project is Pakistan's proposed $12 billion Diamer Basha dam, which would add 4,500 megawatts to Pakistan's electricity generating capacity. Washington is considering providing significant funding to the project. Separately, the U.S. Agency for International Development is currently working on projects that will add 900 megawatts to the Pakistani grid next year.
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/16/2410787_p2/pakistan-search-for-energy-could.html#ixzz1YBKY4KxS
Here's a report on wind power tariffs in Pakistan:
ISLAMABAD, Oct. 08 -- In order to attract investment in the energy sector, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has set upfront tariff for wind power projects along with cutting down paper work.
Upfront tariff of Rs12.61 per unit has been determined for wind power plants that will be set up with a loan from Pakistani banks in rupee and Rs17.28 per unit for plants that will use loans in dollar from foreign banks.
Upfront tariff is the price Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) will pay to purchase electricity from wind power plants.
This upfront tariff will be applicable to those wind power projects of 1,500MW that would be commissioned first.
This incentive will also be given to those investors who will be able to meet all conditions of setting up wind power plants till December 2012 and remain effective for 20 years.
The decision will stop the time consuming process of wind power companies going to Nepra for tariff determination, an official said.
The government plans to generate 1,500MW through wind power by the end of next year.
Independent power producers have also asked for an upfront tariff as currently each power producer is given a different rate.
Under upfront tariff mechanism, the role of Nepra has been minimised. The period of setting up a wind power plant will also be reduced from existing three to two years.
Wind power projects of at least 1,000MW are expected to be commissioned in Sindh with projected investment of $2.5 billion.
Gharo wind corridor in Hyderabad has the potential to generate 50,000MW, according to Alternative Energy Development Board data. Around 30,000 acres of land has been allocated for wind power plants in the area.
At present, nine companies are working on setting up 50MW wind power plant each to generate 450MW with financial close expected by the end of 2011.
The government also hopes that Norwegian company NBT will set up plants to generate 250MW to 500MW in Sindh after upfront tariff has been announced. The company has also signed an agreement with Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) for a 50MW wind power plan
Here's an Arab News report on Islamic Dev Bank funding a hydroelectric project in Pakistan:
JEDDAH: The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has signed a $60 million lease finance deal with Pakistan for the development of the Patrind Hydropower Project.
The agreement was signed by Ahmed Al-Hariri, manager, country operations division, Southeast Asia and Farouk Javed, CEO, Star Hydropower Limited in Islamabad.
The power plant is expected to be completed by 2016 and add 147 MW of power to the country’s national grid, helping the Asian country increase utilization of its renewable resources and generate power in an economically sustainable manner to reduce dependency on imported fuel.
“The project represents 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country. After 30 years concession period the project will be handed over to the government of Pakistan,” a statement on the South Asian News Agency (SANA) said.
According to data from the IDB, Pakistan is the second-largest beneficiary of IDB financing.
Since the bank’s inception in the mid-1970’s the multi-lender has committed $7.6 billion including 85 projects worth $2.2 billion mainly in the transportation and power-generation sectors to the country.
In addition to the financing being committed by the IDB, funding is also being provided by the Export-Import Bank of Korea, the Asian Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation for a total injection of nearly $400 million for the project.
The project, according to a study carried out by its sponsors, Star Hydropower Limited, will call for the resettlement of 28 residences in the small village of Patrind on the Kumhar River.
“In Pakistan the increasing demand for electric power is now outstripping the supply. The gap between supply and demand has resulted in load shedding, causing serious setback to national economy. To close this gap, different possibilities for electrical power generation have been identified including a series of hydropower projects,” the report stated.
Stored solar? Here's NY Times on storing solar energy for the hours when the sun is not shining:
..That would be solar thermal power, which harnesses heat from the sun and converts it to steam to make electricity as the need arises, especially when the sun has disappeared behind a cloud or dropped below the horizon.
Electricity is unique among major commodities in that it must be produced and consumed simultaneously. It can be stored in a battery, of course, but for now, that technology’s costs are so high that batteries are used mostly to smooth out production from renewable sources, not to save it for later.
The economics of a plant that can store bulk amounts of energy are a bit arcane. At the simplest level, the idea is to gather the sun’s heat when it is available and save it until prices for electricity reach a peak. At the moment, though, prices peak when the sun is high in the sky, because that is when the demand for power, mostly for air-conditioning, is highest. Some experts think it will be years before the power system is so saturated with solar photovoltaics that thermal storage becomes worthwhile.
“As the world exists now, what you’re doing with storage is taking high-priced peak potential generation and moving it to off-peak,” said George Sterzinger, director of the Renewable Energy Policy Project, a nonprofit group in Washington.
But one solar thermal plant with storage is already in service, near Seville, Spain. Built by Torresol Energy, the plant is small, just under 20 megawatts. And four are in construction or on the drawing boards in the American Southwest, as I explained in my article.
Their backers are betting that photovoltaics will get cheap and will drive down the price of electricity in daylight hours. But there are other reasons that energy storage might be a good deal from a financial point of view.
One is that the two biggest forms of renewable energy, wind and solar, have a tendency to gear up and then fall off very quickly, at least by the standards of conventional generators. If the rest of the system has to respond, then a lot of plants running on coal or natural gas would have to increase their output or cut it very quickly.
If the fraction of energy derived from renewable sources is small, that’s not a big problem; if solar makes up, say, 2 percent of production, and if it falls by half in a few minutes, the rest of the system can compensate. But if solar makes up 20 percent, the potential problem gets bigger.
Paul Denholm, a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Boulder, Colo., recently estimated that 5 percent of annual photovoltaic production might have to be shut off because it came at the wrong time or introduced too much instability into the system. Adding storage, he said, could be worth 0.3 cents per kilowatt-hour. (That sounds small, but it’s an appreciable fraction of the national average retail price of a kilowatt-hour, which is around 11 cents.)
Worth even more is the value of a source that can be counted on to produce when needed, as opposed to when the sun is shining; that’s worth 0.7 cents to 2 cents, he calculated.
There are other ways to store electricity, but all of them incur costs, both for equipment and the energy. The “round-trip efficiency” of a solar thermal system – that is, the ratio of energy recovered compared with the energy invested – is in the range of 95 percent. That’s far higher than the ratio for the biggest conventional form of storage, pumped hydro, which involves pumping water up a hill and letting it turn a turbine to make electricity on the way down later.
Another technique is storing energy by compressing air. But with either of these, the energy being stored might have come from a coal-fired plant, which will not help the environment or help a utility meet its quota for renewable energy.
Solar energy lights up rural schools in Pakistan, according to Earth Techling:
Pakistan starts 2012 on a slightly brighter note after a year of recovering from the worst floods in the country’s history in 2010 (while continuing to endure high levels of terrorism-related violence). As part of the effort to rebuild, sunny days and solar panels and multipurpose lights are providing reliable and much needed electricity for schools and rural areas of Pakistan that have been without electricity since the floods.
Plan International Pakistan and the Punjab education department have rehabilitated nearly 400 schools destroyed by floods, and implemented solar power in 250 schools that did not have electricity. Funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the project piloted the first use of solar technology in the UK’s disaster response. In addition to the solar panel installation, the project also provided water and sanitation, school furniture, school paper, schoolbags and uniforms, sports equipment and health education for 54,000 primary school children.
In addition to powering up the schools, aid from the U.K.’s DFID also provided multipurpose solar light units to people across rural southern Pakistan who have been without power since the floods and were relying on candles, kerosene oil and rechargeable flashlights for light. The solar unites provide free and sustainable light for up to 10 hours after charged and last up to five years. But beyond providing light, the units can also be used to recharge mobile phones, which play a critical role in helping displaced families and communities stay connected in areas where landline phones are rare.
Marvi, a woman living in southern Pakistan with her seven children, explained to aid officials how the solar units were benefiting her family: “I use the solar light for cooking at night,” she explains. “We save money because we had to buy candles and kerosene before. We also use it to charge our mobile phones.”
Here's a Daily Times report on Korean investment in 300 MW solar farm in Pakistan:
Global R&BD Division of CX Korea has informed after completion of formalities of NEPRA, Ministry of Water and Power etc their company would initiate project of establishment of 10 mw solar energy plant, which would later be extended upto 300 mw power generation through solar energy.
A four-member delegation of CX Korea Inc related to solar energy project, led by its Executive Director, Ko Young Sun informed CM Sindh Qaim Ali Shah the 10 mw plant would be ready by December this year and firstly the plant would be extended upto 100 mw while later it would be extended upto 300 mw by 2015. Sun said Germany and Korea have made good achievements in solar energy and Korean Global construction would fulfill the requirements and initiate and complete the project as per commitment. He informed KAPCO-Daewoo Engineering would provide project financing and for the purpose. They required 1200-acre land for 300 mw project as the project need four acre land per one mw power through solar energy. Qaim Ali Shah said the provincial government has made arrangements for provision of infrastructure and facilities to the investors.
Conergy will plan and supply Pakistan’s biggest solar-power plant as the country seeks to increase access to electricity, reports Bloomberg:
The 50-megawatt project at Bahawalpur in the Cholistan region is owned by DACC Power Generation Co. and the Pakistani government and will supply 30,500 households with electricity, Conergy said today in an e-mailed statement.
Total investment will probably be about $170 million to $190 million, with Conergy’s share at about 60 million euros ($75 million) to 70 million euros, said Antje Stephan, a Conergy spokeswoman.
The government is seeking to spur investment, create jobs and expand access to power in a country where some areas can be without energy for as long as 18 hours a day, Conergy said. The company, working with developer Ensunt Inc., will supply 210,000 modules and 140 inverters, the Hamburg-based manufacturer said.
Here's an FT piece on the negative impact of power sector in Pakistan:
...Munir, born and educated in Lahore, makes his case in the latest issue of the Economic & Political Weekly of India, to be published on Saturday.
“The 1994 privatisation of the energy sector offered investors generous returns and created pricey overcapacity,” he told beyondbrics. “This created an expensive legacy which is the real problem of today’s energy crisis.”
Unless that problem is dealt with, he sees no light at the end of the energy tunnel.
He says Pakistan’s government, helped by the World Bank, “sweetened” its energy privatisation with attractive conditions, fearing it wouldn’t be able to attract investors otherwise. It guaranteed a 12 to 15 per cent annual return (indexed in dollars, not rupees), gave tax breaks and paid interest on private funding – more expensive for the government than providing the funding itself. ”The deal was too good to be true for investors,” Munir says.
The government gave those guarantees during an economic boom it assumed would continue. That turned out not to be the case.
Munir says the model turned out to be badly constructed in terms of creating value for the government and people of Pakistan. Even in an environment of economic growth and efficient energy generation, it would have been hard for the government to finance the plan. But since both have been absent, it became nearly impossible to pay for privatised energy.
What else went wrong?
Most private investors chose to build oil-powered plants because of their low construction costs and short lead times. This backfired as the oil price has trebled since the 1990s. Variable costs, and therefore prices to consumers, are at unsustainable levels. “No wonder many consumers can’t afford to pay their bills,” Munir says.
To make things worse, the government neglected to step on the brakes when its generous conditions attracked too many investors. Assuming economic growth would continue, it allowed too much capacity to be built and guaranteed the same return on that extra capacity, whether it was used or not.
But as growth stalled, the government could no longer meet its commitments. So operators have begun shutting down power plants, killing the lights across Pakistan – which is now enduring daily power outages in spite of having excess generating capacity of almost 35 per cent.
Munir says the government should develop new power plants using cheaper fuels, and that this shouldn’t be a problem in a country with an abundance of coal, waterways and sun.
But Pakistan must first escape its vicious payment cycle. The Economist magazine reports that Pakistan’s so-called circular debt to energy producers stands at $880m. It is only getting worse because of rising interest costs and dollar-rupee appreciation.
“We need to get out of the the current deals,” says Munir. But at what cost, and does this imply default? “Your guess is as good as mine,” the academic admits.
Still, he felt it was time to make his point. “I’m not defending people who don’t pay bills and I’m not promoting government subsidies to keep prices low,” Munir says. “But why isn’t anyone talking about the policy that led to this situation to begin with?”
Here's PakTribune report on "huge incentives" for energy investors in Pakistan:
There is great investment opportunity for local as well as foreign investors to invest in the energy sector, especially in renewable energy components, said President Asif Ali Zardari.
During a meeting with the Chinese delegation of China Electric Equipment Group (CEEG) headed by its president Jia Yangang, Zardari said, “Government has committed to provide all possible facilitation to the local and foreign investors with great incentives.”
The delegation of CEEG comprised of Awan Arshad, Ms Violet Rong, Sun Yumingm, Steven Chen, Lu Tinghua and others.
Highlighting Pak-China historical friendship Zardari said Pakistan welcomes Chinese investors, in particular, to invest in the energy sector and help the government meeting its energy requirements.
He said the prevailing energy shortage was a great challenge for the government and was hampering our growth and economy.
However, he emphasised Pakistan possesses huge resources of different kinds of energy including wind and solar that could be harnessed.
He said having abundant sunshine and sufficient wind speed offered great opportunity for harnessing this clean and efficient source of energy.
Pakistan greatly appreciated Chinese experience of growth and looks towards Chinese expertise in overcoming the challenges facing its economy. While appreciating Chinese assistance and interest of the Chinese businessmen in various projects in the country, he reiterated Chinese investors would be provided all facilitation in their business ventures by the government of Pakistan.
He called upon the company to assist in solar water pumping system, especially in the rural areas, and in stand-alone small house solar system for rural electrification. He said the existing water pumps could be converted from electricity to the solar energy.
He asked CEEG to give advice on captive power plants and invited it to establish offices in Pakistan for which the government would extend necessary support. He advised the Sindh government, in particular should consider exploiting solar energy in meeting the energy requirements of the far-flung areas.
President said the availability of loan facility from the Chinese banks would further facilitate company's business in Pakistan.
Jia Yangang briefed the President about his company and their future investment plans in Pakistan in the energy sector on public private partnership basis.
He said CEEG wished to cooperate in the fields of technology, manufacturing, training and research in solar energy and its applications. He assured his Company's continuous support to the country in the energy sector.
Here's a News report on South Korean proposal to build 300 MW solar plant:
Board of Investment (BOI), Government of Pakistan and Concentrix Solar Company of Korea Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to construct a 300 MW Solar Energy Plant near Quetta, Balochistan.
The MoU was signed by M. Saleem Mandviwala, Chairman Board of Investment from Pakistan side and Dr. Choi Moon-Sok, Chief Executive Officer Concentrix Solar Company. The signing ceremony was held at the PM’s Secretariat which was witnessed by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ahsraf, Federal Ministers and Chief Ministers of Balochistan and Sindh.
Concentrix is a subsidiary of German Company and is keen to make investment in the energy sector in Pakistan. Dr. Choi Moon-Sok met the PM yesterday and apprised him of his company’s plans.
Here's Businessweek story on South Korean company building 300 MW solar plant in Pakistan:
CX Solar Korea is leading a group that signed an agreement with the government of Pakistan to build a 300-megawatt solar farm that will require an investment of as much as $900 million.
The group plans to start a 50-megawatt installation near Quetta in southwestern Balochistan province that will use a combination of crystalline silicon and thin-film panels to see which perform best, said Moon-sok Choi, chief executive of CX Solar, a Seoul-based project developer.
The group expects to build 300 megawatts by 2016, Choi said. The power will be sold under a 25-year contract, with details still being negotiated, Choi said in an e-mailed response to questions.
CX Solar is in talks with panel suppliers, including Bernin, France-based Soitec SA (SOI), which makes Concentrix photovoltaic panels, Choi said.
Here's a BR report on training workers to boost renewable energy sector:
Technology Upgradation and Skill Development Company (TUSDEC) has joined hands with GIZ, Pakistan to foster the renewable energy sector in the country by developing skilled force in various disciplines of solar technologies. The programme is being implemented under the implications of FIT (Funds for Innovative Training), Green Skills initiative.
A company spokesman said on Wednesday that TUSDEC will enroll 125 candidates in 5 batches to be trained in various areas of Photovoltaic and Solar Water Heating Systems. The overall programme duration is stretched over one year where each course will be for a span of three months.
The spokesman further shared that state-of-the-art facilities of NIDA Lahore centre will be utilised to administer the theoretical as well as practical trainings sessions, while on-site demonstrations will be organised specifically in the disciplines of Water Pumping and Solar Dryer where proficient master trainers will deliver the lectures, employing the originally deployed infrastructure.
According to him, TUSDEC has conducted an acute baseline analysis comprised of rigorous focus groups with major enterprises (Suppliers, Manufacturers and Assemblers) of solar power equipment and solar heating systems that has divulged huge dearth of trained manpower in the industry.
TUSDEC experts' panel has contrived market-oriented and internationally accredited training curricula, which will enable the trainees to serve productively in the approaching industry. TUSDEC further aims to nurture the diverse areas of renewable energy sector in Pakistan with the provision of immensely adroit and skilled manpower. Pakistan is experiencing approx 12 percent increase in its energy consumption with each passing year. The prevalent situation suggests a dire need of infrastructure investment as well as manpower cultivation in various alternate energy sources to effectively impede the resultant economic revolt, he said.
Here's an ELP report on Pakistan joining International Renewable Energy Agency:
President Asif Ali Zardari, Tuesday, signed the Instrument of Ratification for Pakistan to become a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the International Renewable Energy Agency that was founded on 26th Jan 2009 in Bonn, Germany, aims to promote widespread and increased adoption and the sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy.
To-date 149 countries have signed the statute of IRENA while 76 have ratified it. The Spokesperson said that recognizing the advantages of this international forum, Pakistan took active part in the formative phase of IRENA and participated actively in the preparatory meetings that were held before this forum was formally established.
He said that Pakistan signed the Statute of IRENA in June 2009 and became the 87th country to sign the statute.
The IRENA facilitates its member's access to all relevant renewable energy information, including technical data, economic data and resource potential data. It shares lessons learnt on international best practices, policy frameworks, capacity building, financial mechanism, technology transfer and related energy efficiency measures.
In view of the current energy shortage, the growing demands of an increasing population, the financial constraints and environmental concerns, the President has continuously been urging for adoption of alternative means of energy generation at the earliest possible, the Spokesperson said.
By becoming a member of IRENA, Pakistan stands to gain significantly, he said
Here's an Express Tribune report on 300 MW solar power project in Pakistan:
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Balochistan government and CK Solar Korea for installing a 300 MW solar power plant near Quetta, Provincial Secretary Energy Fuad Hashim Rabbani said on Saturday.
The project will cost around $900 million and will be completed by 2016, he said, while addressing the media.
Rabbani said the government has procured 1,500 acres of land in Khuchlak and Pishin on lease. “This project will help overcome the shortfall of electricity in Balochistan,” he added.
The project will provide green energy particularly in areas where is no conventional electricity option, the energy secretary said.
“Currently, the local population of targeted areas are using kerosene lanterns, which is hazardous to the health and non-economical due to the intermittent price hike,” he remarked.
He said that electricity to medical facilities such as hospitals, Basic Health Units and installation of solar street lights were amongst major benefits of the project.
“The government is planning to install 20 solar powered water pumps in 10 districts of Balochistan for water supply schemes,” Rabbani said.
Responding to a question, he conceded that farmers were suffering due to long hours of load-shedding and assured that steps would be taken to provide electricity to the farmers.
He said that work on Loralai-DG Khan 220 KV and Dadu-Khuzdar 220 KV power supply lines would be completed next year.
ISLAMABAD (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Amid a worsening energy crisis, Pakistan has approved the use of grid-connected solar energy, rooftop solar installations and mortgage financing for home solar panels to boost uptake of clean energy in the country.
The government has also reversed course and eliminated a 32.5 percent tax imposed on imported solar equipment in the country's 2014-2015 budget. The reversal aims to bring down the cost of installing solar panels.
The approval of net-metering – which allows solar panel purchasers to sell power they produce to the national grid - is a major breakthrough that could spur use of solar energy and help Pakistan's government cut power shortages in the long run, said Asjad Imtiaz Ali, chief executive officer of the Alternative Energy Development Board, a public organization.
"The initiative will help scale up demand for solar energy across Pakistan,” he said, “and we hope the increased demand will also result in sufficient decreases in the price of solar equipment.”
Ali said the government decided to cut newly imposed taxes on the import of solar panels following pressure from business owners, the public and media.
And the decision to allow solar generators to sell their excess generating capacity means “consumers can now install rooftop solar systems and sell the extra energy to the national grid,” he said.
Currently, Pakistan's rural areas face blackouts of over 11 hours a day while urban areas suffer up to eight hours of daily power cuts. The total power shortfall stands around 6,000 megawatts.
Safeer Hussain, a registrar at the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, said consumers who intend to sell solar-generated electric power to a distribution company would need to register with his authority.
“Net-metering is a sophisticated system and the applicant would be responsible for the installation of the equipment used for interconnection,” he said.
The 1.25 MW installation in the Punjab province connects to the grid and becomes the largest single utility-scale installation in the country.
Chinese solar firm Phono Solar – a subsidiary of the SUMEC Group – has connected Pakistan’s first large-scale PV plant to the grid.
The 1.25 MW installation was completed this week in the hot and humid Punjab province under the “Go Global” policy backed by the Chinese central government.
Spread across 16,000 square meters, the plant is expected to maximize the high levels of solar insolation in the region to produce an estimated 1,745,000 kWh of solar power annually, and will meet the power demands of 110 local villages.
Phono Solar won the bid for the installation nine months ago, and over the course of the installation formed a team with local partner Green Volts Technologies, which brought a cost-effective approach to the operation as well as much-needed local knowledge.
The plant will take advantage of Pakistan’s recently introduced Upfront Generation Tariff, which was created to support the country’s fledgling solar PV sector. China’s “Go Global” policy intends to encourage greater investment in the solar sector via working with local engineers and technicians and training them on manufacturing and engineering procedures.
"The successful grid connection of the first MW-level PV power plant in Pakistan has brought full recognition of overseas markets for engineering and general contracting capabilities of SUMEC; especially in renewable energy fields," said SUMEC president CaiJibo. "Most of the equipment used in this project is made in China, and I am proud that our equipment has successfully supported the ‘Go Global’ policy and obtained affirmation of new overseas markets."
Last month the Pakistan government approved the country’s first net metering program as it attempted to ease the power burden on the power grid, while in December Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Opens external link in current windowscrapped the 5% customs duty on imported solar panels in an attempt to bolster foreign investment in the country.
Read more: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/phono-solar-completes-pakistans-first-mw-scale-pv-plant_100018206/
Net metering law comes into effect in #Pakistan for #solarpanels up to 1MW | PV-Tech. #renewables http://www.pv-tech.org/news/net_metering_law_comes_into_effect_in_pakistan_for_solar_up_to_1mw
Pakistan’s energy regulator, NEPRA (National Electric Power Regulatory Authority), has approved and put into effect net metering schemes for solar and wind generation of up to 1MW.
The plans were drafted in October 2014 and approved at government level as far back as January of this year. NEPRA made its announcement last week that it was “pleased” to announce what it called a “framework for the regulation of Distributed Generation by using alternative and renewable energy net metering”. The issue of the notification on 1 September put the new scheme into force immediately.
NEPRA will grant generation licences to solar and wind system owners, who will need to register the critical equipment used - the maker and model of inverter and generator being the key components in this regard. Among other technical considerations, the generator must also install a manual disconnect device to take the system off the network if necessary.
Distributed generators that sign up to the scheme must pay a one-off fee to NEPRA. The charges range from PKR500 (US$4.80) for systems between 20kW and 50kW, and up to PKR5,000 for systems of 100kW to 1,000kW, although those of 20kW capacity or below will be exempted.
The scheme also outlines the process under which both would-be generators and distribution companies must operate, including the timeline for approvals. Applicants should receive acknowledgement of receipt from distribution companies within five days of sending in their forms, unless the application form has been filled inadequately, in which case applicants will hear back within seven days. Following that, the distribution company will carry out a technical review – the only part of the process for which an indeterminate time frame is allowed – before replying within three days if connection is not feasible, or within seven working days if approval has been met.
International law firm Eversheds has described Pakistan as “one of the most exciting renewables markets globally, with an abundance of potential”. Last week Eversheds held an event in London with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, where Pakistani government officials and experts discussed the country's renewable energy programmes,
"Pakistan’s renewable market is relatively new but it provides an attractive investment opportunity with compelling structures which make it bankable as well as marketable," Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) of Pakistan's CEO, Amjad Ali Awansaid said at the event.
"The government has a shared vision and a commitment to developing a clean energy regime. It is supporting investors and developers through various incentives and has removed certain challenges such as making land accessible and aligning project development with grid capacity."
The country has introduced feed-in tariffs (FiTs) for larger systems, leading to companies such as Switzerland’s Meeco to carry out a number of commercial rooftop installations under power purchase agreements (PPAs). Meanwhile aleo Solar, headquartered in Germany but owned by Taiwanese company Sunrise Global Energy, kicked off its involvement in Pakistan in March by providing PV modules to 18 solar systems of 100kWp capacity each in rural areas where diesel is still one of the main sources of fuel. The aleo Solar systems will be linked to energy storage to maximise the use of solar. Similarly, last month meteocontrol China, a subsidiary of Shunfeng International Clean Energy said it would add integrated remote control systems to 100MW of a larger 900MW project in Punjab. The move to add net metering is hoped to add momentum to the residential and smaller scale markets.
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