AEDB aims for 61pc clean energy share in national mix

We have been well on track to achieve the targets given in Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan 2021-2030 [3,000MWs of wind and 7,000MWs of solar power on-grid plants till 2030],” said, Shah Jahan Mirza, Chief Executive Officer of Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) at a roundtable.

The moot titled 2nd International Solar Clean Energy Conference-2022 was organised by Energy Update, a magazine that caters to the energy and environment sector of Pakistan.

He said the current share of renewable power generation in the national energy mix stood at five to six percent as around 2,100MWs of clean electricity was being added to the national grid with majority share (1,400 MWs) coming from wind energy projects.

He said the Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP) 2021-2030 target of 61 percent renewable power generation included hydropower as per international practices as all over the world it was considered as a form of clean energy.

The launching of the competitive bidding regime got delayed but the AEDB had completed all the homework and studies to launch the new auction system for upcoming wind and solar energy projects, Mirza conceded.

He said net-metering was another system being used by the AEDB to promote the usage of renewable energy projects by individual consumers, adding the board had already introduced certifications/ regulations for vendors involved in installing grid-connected solar systems under the net-metering regime.

He said the AEDB had the willingness to launch the system of third-party inspection for ensuring that quality solar equipment was only available to the prospective consumers willing to adopt the net-metering system.

According to AEDB chief, they had also planned to conduct training and certification of 500 solar technicians in the major cities.

The AEBD had the resolve to do its work in collaboration with international partners including the USAID, World Bank, and the German government to promote the usage of clean electricity in Pakistan, he added.

Abu Bakar Madni, Sindh Energy Secretary, said the provincial government would approach relevant federal authorities for minimising taxes/duties on renewable energy equipment to promote the installation of new wind and solar plants.

The provincial government in collaboration with World Bank was implementing $00 million Sindh Solar Energy Project to build a solar park having 400MW generation capacity and provide 200,000 solar home systems to off-grid houses in ten districts.

Jeena Diallo, USAID Energy Director, said 70 million people in Pakistan were not connected to the national grid and renewable energy was the most effective method of energising their homes.

She emphasised the system of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company should be expanded for accommodating more renewable energy projects.

The hybrid clean energy systems involving both wind and solar power options were the way forward to tackle issues like climate change, Diallo added.

Zaigam Mahmood Rizvi, Chairman of PM’s Housing Task Force, said India had already met its target of generating over 100GWs of clean electricity through solar energy systems whereas Pakistan’s solar energy production was less than one GW despite having ideal conditions.

Noted industrialist, Zubair Motiwala, said increase in solar-based energy production would reduce the cost of electricity production by 40 percent as there would be a massive reduction in the oil import bill of the cash-strapped country.

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