ISLAMABAD: Even though the government appears to be slowing down upcoming power projects, it would have to increase generation capacity by at least 182 per cent in about 25 years to reach 75,550 megawatts by the year 2047.
Until September last year, the government had estimated increasing the generation capacity to a maximum of 111,000MW by 2040 with anticipated economic growth rate of 7pc. The maximum capacity for the same year has now been scaled down to 95,700MW with GDP growth rate of 6.5pc and resultant lower demand.
According to the Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP) 2047 prepared by the National Transmission & Dispatch Company (NTDC), the GDP growth forecasts have been taken as 4.5pc (low), 5.5pc (medium) and 6.5pc (high) for 2047.
The estimates cover the whole of Pakistan except K-Electric whose power import from national grid has been taken at 650MW until 2022 and 1,150MW until 2047. About 11,500 of existing plants are estimated to be retired by year 2047 in all cases.
The base case result shows that to meet a demand of 43,820MW by the year 2030, a generation capacity of 76,391MW is required. For this, the share from variable renewable energy (VRE) resources has been taken as 10,327MW of wind and 12,793MW of solar, respectively. Some private sector hydropower projects have been indicated to be put on the backburner.
In order to mitigate the intermittency of VRE and ensure substantial reserve provisioning, 4,868MW of Open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs) on Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) along with 6,055MW of Steam Turbine (STs) on Thar coal and 20,737MW of hydropower plants (mostly in public sector) would be pursued.
Capacity to reach 75,550MW
The plan seeks to focus on renewables, reduce reliance on imported fuel including coal and increase share of hydropower. Yet, the IGCEP estimates that the overall share of hydropower at 30pc at present would gradually go down to 20pc in total power capacity by 2040 and slightly recover to 33pc by 2047.
The plan envisages that in order to meet the demand of 103,065MW by the year 2047, a total of 168,246MW of nominal generation capacity was required. Amongst this, 32,948MW capacity on Thar coal, 4,749MW of combined cycle gas turbines and 25,828MW of open cycle gas turbines on RLNG, 55,836MW of hydro, 1,000MW of import through CASA (Central Asia), 913MW of bagasse, 4,407MW of nuclear, 5,297MW of imported coal, 26,921MW of solar and 10,327MW of wind-based generation would be required.
A total of 97,080MW of nominal generation capacity has been estimated during the period 2031-47, showing a shift in the energy mix (GWh) from imported fuel to indigenous coal, renewables and a dominating share of hydropower. The year 2047 shows a major contribution from indigenous coal and hydropower plants i.e. 36pc of local coal and almost 42pc share of hydropower in the energy mix.
By the end of 2047, renewable accounts for the 15pc of the overall energy mix. In FY2019-20, the self-sufficient ratio of primary energy i.e. the contribution of energy generation by indigenous power sources is 51.6pc, whereas per base case scenario, indigenisation of energy generation reaches to 98.4pc by 2047 which indicates higher energy security in the country.
The RLNG-based plants, though installed and available are envisaged to have a decreasing share in the energy mix from 2020 to 2047 i.e. from 26pc to 11pc in 2025 and then eventually falling to merely 1pc beyond 2034.
Similar trend will be there for imported coal-based plants whose contribution in the overall generation mix falls from 18pc in 2020 to only 1pc by the year 2047.
Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2020