ISLAMABAD – Several fiscal and financial incentives introduced under policy to encourage private investors have resulted in completion of 35 renewable energy projects with an investment of more than US $ 3.5 billion.
Several wind, solar and bagasse power projects, having a cumulative capacity of approximately 2100 MW are in different stages of development which are expected to be completed by 2022 subject to timely availability of grid network and tariff.
The government is pursuing development of renewable energy based power projects through private sector on IPP mode under Renewable Energy Policy.
Sources at Energy Division on Sunday said the incentives included: no duties on import of equipment, no sales tax/income tax/withholding tax and turnover tax,repatriation of equity along with dividends freely allowed, non-residents allowed purchase of securities issued by Pakistani companies without State Bank of Pakistan’s permission, convertibility of Pak rupee into US Dollar and also protection against political risk & change in law.
Giving details of projects, the sources said 23 wind power projects of 1185.07 MW cumulative capacity are operational and providing electricity to grid.
Six (06) solar projects of 430 MW cumulative capacity are operational while Six (06) sugar mill based bagasse co-generation projects of 201.1 MW capacity are also operational.
The sources said several other steps are also being taken by the government to attract foreign investors which include: preparation and approval of bankable standard security agreements (Energy Purchase Agreement and Implementation Agreement) for wind, solar and bagasse co-generation power projects and conducting resource assessment of renewable energy resources in Pakistan.
The detailed ground data based resource assessment of wind, solar and biomass being carried out through support of Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).
The other initiatives include: issues related to financing of projects have been resolved and now leading financing agencies like International Finance Corporation (IFC), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Trade Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) etc. are offering financing to renewable energy power projects in Pakistan while several studies have been initiated with support for donor agencies with objective of increasing share of wind and solar energy in energy mix of the country. The share of RE is envisaged to be increased up to 15-20 per cent.
The sources said a study on identifying and developing renewable energy zones in the country is also underway, RE based Net-Metering is actively being promoted, deployment of solar off-grid solutions especially in unelectrified villages is being carried out while plan is being devised to electrify energy starved and un-electrified villages in Balochistan through solar and other RE solutions.
Moreover, the sources said all tubewells operating on electricity provided by national grid are being planned to be shifted to solar power.