Pakistan is all set to produce over 1000MW of clean electricity through wind energy alone in the current year as this is going to be a major milestone achieved towards the ultimate goal of the country to secure self-reliance in the energy sector.
This was stated by the Chief Executive Officer of Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Amjad Ali Awan while addressing a meeting of Standing Committee of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry on “Energy Development & Utilization” here on Saturday. Awan was a special invitee to the meeting held at the Federation House, Karachi.
He said that efforts were underway to promote renewable and natural resources of energy so that they would cumulatively account for up to 65 percent power generation in the country. “The present installed generation capacity of wind power projects is 938.5 MWs and with six new projects in the pipeline of 50MWs each, this capacity will be increased to 1240 MWs by the end of current year,” said Awan informed the meeting.
The total current installed capacity of all renewable energy projects in the country is 1568 MWs and that will be increased to 1870 MWs by the end of this year. That includes 430 MWs of solar energy and 200 MWs of power produced through sugarcane bagasse, he said.
“When I took over AEDB some three years back, installed capacity of wind power projects was 250 MWs and 100 MWs that each of solar and bagasse energy projects,” he said. He said that AEDB had identified five new corridors in the country as their zoning would be done as each one was capable of producing thousands of megawatts of renewable electricity.
Awan said energy security of the country would remain risky as far as there was greater reliance on expensive option of consuming imported fossil fuels for power production. The only viable way to safeguard energy security is greater reliance on indigenously available natural and renewable resources for energy generation including hydro power, he said.
He said that strategic planning should be done to develop the power sector on a long term basis so that all issues related to power generation, transmission, and distribution systems could be resolved simultaneously to stabilize the energy situation.
The chief of AEDB said that all the concerned government and state agencies and concerned stakeholders should be present on one page to fully own and promote renewable energy resources in the country.
“It is high time that the government should determine due share of renewable power in the national energy mix as without such policy guidelines, clean energy resources could not be properly utilized in the country,” he said.
He said that AEDB had been working on a comprehensive policy to promote “Net metering” system so to promote renewable energy at the individual household level as this policy would be ready by next two months. Besides this the AEDB was also promoting cost-effective renewable energy solutions for communities in far-flung rural areas that are off-grid, he said. Awan said that AEDB was also promoting the option of hybrid power generation by wind power plants as land allotted to them should also be utilized for producing solar energy for the gird.
One participant of the meeting Zaigham Mahmood Rizvi, former head of HBFC, said on the occasion that approximately 64 million population in the country was off-grid as small and independent renewable energy projects would easily fulfil such energy needs of communities living in the remote areas.
Other participants of the meeting raised questions regarding tariff and other procedural issues owing to which government could not give the go-ahead to do work on new renewable energy projects in the country.
They said that there should be standardization and quality control management of equipment and systems being used for renewable energy projects for greater reliance and sustainability of such projects both for household and industrial energy consumption.
Other concerned participants said that renewable energy projects should utilize to the maximum possible extent the equipment being produced in the country on the indigenous basis so to support local vendor industry as what was being done by India and other neighbouring countries.
They also gave recommendations to the government as to how best the Thar coal reserves could be utilized in a sustainable manner for maximum energy output and with minimal damage to the environment.
The Chairman of Standing Committee on Energy, Malik Khuda Baksh said that upcoming meeting of the committee would have greater representation of people from industry, academia, regulator, government, and private sector to hold a thorough debate on energy issues of the country.
He said that future meetings of the committee would also discuss energy issues and requirements of households, businesses, and industries in Karachi so to fulfil them while considering the metropolitan city as a financial hub of the country.
He said that upcoming sessions of the standing committee would also take into account the lingering controversy between K-Electric and Sui Southern Gas Company causing serious miseries to people of the city.