Target solar, wind and hydro for future power generation: report

Published April 13, 2018
Villagers relax on a farm outside Sheikhupura next to their panels. Solar power is becoming increasingly common in rural areas of Pakistan that are not served by the national grid.—APP /File photo
Villagers relax on a farm outside Sheikhupura next to their panels. Solar power is becoming increasingly common in rural areas of Pakistan that are not served by the national grid.—APP /File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Internat­ional Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) sees plenty of scope for renewable energy in Pakistan while increasing energy security and improving energy access, but the country has no clear renewable energy target.

The political ambition to spur growth of renewable energy needs to be translated into a language understandable to investors, the Abu Dhabi based agency said, calling for a clear target to be set. The call comes in a comprehensive analysis of Pakistan’s energy sector, identifying key actions to accelerate renewable energy development.

According to the ‘Renewables Readiness Assessment’, a clear target needs to be set with specific obligations such as renewable portfolio standards, which tend to be more effective because they ensure measurability and are mandated by law.

This will assure investors that they are less vulnerable to changes in the political climate. For Pakistan, such targets imply the introduction of an act duly approved by the parliament, and this would require either a consolidated target or the assignment of renewable portfolio standards to distribution utilities, IRENA assessment says.

While hydropower has traditionally been the largest source of renewable energy in Pakistan — making up almost a third of electricity generation with 7.1 gigawatts of installed grid-connected capacity — IRENA’s assessment finds that the country has up to 60GW of economic and technical hydropower potential.

The assessment also identifies 50GW of theoretical wind potential in Sindh and Balochistan provinces and estimates that 25 million tonnes of biomass feed stocks from industrial and agricultural residue can be made available for use every year.

Pakistan’s demand for energy is increasing, said IRENA Director-General, Adnan Amin. “To meet this demand Pakistan has a tremendous opportunity to cost-effectively tap its abundant solar, wind and hydropower resource potential. Doing so would support national prosperity and job creation, while enhancing security of supply, improving access and moving Pakistan towards greater energy independence,” he said.

Minister for Power, Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari said in the report that the installed capacity of alternative and renewable energy sources in the power sector has already risen from 0.2 per cent in 2013 to 5.2pc of total installed capacity in 2018. Ongoing policy reforms, regulatory transformations, infrastructure development and investment incentives aim to ensure clean, cheap and continuous supply that includes a steadily growing share of renewable energy.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2018

Follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

Course correction
Updated 24 Feb, 2024

Course correction

PTI should not abandon its power and responsibility while expecting an external stakeholder to set things right.
The plot thickens
24 Feb, 2024

The plot thickens

THE recent explosive allegations by Liaquat Ali Chattha, the former commissioner of Rawalpindi, have thrust the...
Trigger-happy police
24 Feb, 2024

Trigger-happy police

ARE the citizens of Karachi becoming fair game again? There were some grisly signs of a rapid return to living...
What next for PTI?
Updated 23 Feb, 2024

What next for PTI?

THE incoming government has been carved up. With the major offices apportioned between the PML-N and PPP, the...
Tackling debt
23 Feb, 2024

Tackling debt

MANY would tend to describe a new report warning that the country is headed for “inevitable default”, which will...
Imprisoned abroad
23 Feb, 2024

Imprisoned abroad

THE issue of Pakistani prisoners imprisoned in foreign jails crops up regularly, particularly during parliamentary...