Industry calls for improving investment conditions for Chinese renewable energy investors


Islamabad: Industry experts call for improving investment conditions to attract interest from Chinese renewable energy investors. They were speaking at a webinar organized by Renewables First, a think tank for energy and the environment, on Monday. With the theme “Accelerating Chinese Renewable Energy Investment in Pakistan” the discussion highlighted discourse on redirecting Chinese investment in Pakistan’s energy sector from coal to clean energy.

Speaking at the occasion CEO of the Alternative Energy Development Board Shah Jahan Mirza emphasized that Pakistan had immense potential for renewable energy generation, and Chinese investors could play a significant role in its development. He also highlighted Pakistan’s ambitious goals of Renewable Energy (RE) additions (14000 MW of wind and solar to be added in the next 10 years to the grid) and encouraged Chinese investors to invest in the RE market of the country.

Xiaohui Ma of Golwind which is the leading wind turbines supplier globally contended that while the regulatory framework and incentive structure was favourable for RE investment, the wind power industry had been facing a number of challenges in Pakistan ranging from curtailment from the off-taker to unannounced moratorium on the import of renewable energy equipment hampering the operations of wind power projects. Ma urged the government to refocus on both wind and solar PV as complementary technologies and develop ambitious plans and frameworks for both technologies in tandem, to maximize their benefits for Pakistan.

In order to attract more foreign investment in the RE sector, NA Zuberi stressed the need for a streamlined project development process and the removal of barriers through close collaboration and effective engagement with stakeholders. He also urged private sector investment in transmission and distribution as a solution to a bottleneck of greater RE integration.

“There remains a greater need for inclusivity and gender diversity in the RE market” pointed out Tara Dawood, Chairperson, Ladies Fund. She also encouraged women’s participation within the RE sector and urged developers to ensure that their voices were heard within decision-making processes. She further highlighted her experience of working with Chinese counterparts in both wind and solar projects, she urged policymakers to provide consistency in policy and regulatory outlooks as well as ease the speed of entry for RE projects.

In his concluding remarks, Chairman NEPRA, Tauseef Farooqi underscored the enormous potential for Pakistan to scale up its RE share within the power sector. “We are very upbeat about the potential of Chinese investment in the renewable energy sector. Our Chinese friends have a lot to benefit from the potential of RE in Pakistan”, he remarked. He also reiterated that Chinese investors had a pivotal role to play and a range of potential benefits in supporting Pakistan in its journey to privatize distribution and modernize transmission, along with adding the cheapest solar and wind to the electricity mix of Pakistan.

The webinar was attended by over 100 local and Chinese audiences and brought together industry experts, stakeholders and government representatives to discuss the opportunities within the RE market in Pakistan. During the webinar, the speakers shared their experiences and insights on the topic, providing policymakers with a better understanding of the regulatory and policy environment needed to attract greater Chinese investment in the renewable energy sector.

Renewables First is a Pakistan-based think tank for energy and the environment. It is striving for a just and inclusive energy transition in Pakistan by forging collaborations between the market and the government through multi-stakeholder engagements. Renewables First has recently published the “On-Grid Renewable Energy Guidebook” which provides comprehensive information on regulatory frameworks, project development processes, and investment opportunities in Pakistan’s renewable energy landscape.

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