KARACHI: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) intends to enhance the renewable energy footprint to 30 per cent over the next 10 years from the current 3pc of Pakistan’s overall generation capacity of over 35,000MW, Nepra Chairman Tauseef H. Farooqi said on Friday.

Addressing a live webinar on “Pakistan’s Energy Transition and the Road Ahead” hosted by K-Electric and Nepra, he said the current share of hydropower at 30pc should be included in the renewable energy mix which would enable Pakistan’s total progress in the renewable energy space to exceed 60pc in next ten years. This should result in an environmentally friendly and affordable energy mix in the country, he added.

“For renewable industry to innovate and thrive, Pakistan needs a transition in its generation, transmission and distribution system. Nepra has been constantly working to bring that very change and its actions are louder than words,” Mr Farooqi highlighted.

In her opening remarks, KE Chief Strategy Officer Naz Khan revealed that currently renewables have around 250MW of share in the utility’s total energy mix including almost 150MW from wind and 100MW from solar energy. She added that additional projects are in pipeline to increase the share of renewables to 350MW.

While moving accordingly as per guidelines and policies set by the federal government, KE looks forward to continuously increasing the share of renewables in its energy mix in the buildup to 2030, she said, adding that KE has stepped into the renewable energy space with the launch of its first ever subsidiary – K-Solar – which is another step to a greener and more sustainable future for our future generations.

Alternate Energy Development Board CEO Shah Jahan Mirza said that allowing purchase of power from solar and wind energy projects through competitive bidding remained one of the strong features of their new policy. This had never been done in Pakistan before, he claimed.

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Director of IH&SMEFD Dr Mian Farooq Haq said the central bank had introduced a financing scheme in 2016 to lend support in addressing climate change issues and to promote renewable energy.

The scheme is continuing to offer varied financing options ranging from Rs400 million to Rs6 billion for a broad category of entities and individuals. As of February 2021, financing of around Rs36bn has been extended to over 500 projects,” he added.

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2021

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