Pakistan aims to use renewable energy to generate 50% of its electricity - Energy

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  • Pakistan plans to generate 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
  • Pakistan aims to acquire 13 gigawatts of solar and wind energy.
  • The World Bank calls on Pakistan to expedite the issuance of renewable energy bids.
  • Construction of large renewable energy parks in wind-rich provinces.

Pakistan plans to increase its production of renewable energy to solve the crisis of frequent power cuts in the country, which mainly depends on imported liquefied natural gas to meet one-fifth of the needs of its electricity network.

Pakistan intends to generate half of its electricity needs from green sources of energy by 2025, rising to 60% by the end of 2030, relying on wind, solar and hydropower.

To achieve this goal, Pakistan should expedite the issuance of renewable energy tenders, which were approved by the country’s Energy Regulatory Authority in 2017, without further delay, if it is to realize its ambitions to generate electricity from clean sources, according to a recent report by the World Bank. .

13 gigawatts of renewable energy

The country’s National Electricity Regulatory Authority “Nebra” had agreed to switch from paying fixed tariffs for clean electricity 5 years ago, but the proposed auction system has not yet been formed.

Pakistan had 1.7 GW of solar and wind energy capacity in September 2021, and the South Asian country plans to increase production capacity from renewable energy sources to 12.9 GW within the current decade.

Tariffs have been set for 482 megawatts of solar energy projects, but they have not yet been constructed.

Pakistan aims to obtain 1 gigawatt of solar energy annually through annual auctions from 2024 to 2030, with a goal of producing 20% ​​of its electricity from non-hydro renewables by 2025, and 30% by the end of this decade.

Renewable energy
A worker at a solar power plant in Pakistan

During 2021, the total installed electricity generation capacity in Pakistan amounted to 39.77 thousand megawatts; Of this, 24.9 thousand megawatts are from fossil fuels, according to Nebra data.

The World Bank is proposing the government of Pakistan to take a dual-track approach, which includes constructing large renewable energy parks in the wind-rich provinces of Balochistan and Sindh, and tendering small solar and wind electricity generation, according to PV Magazine.

World Bank proposals

The World Bank is likely to have the state-owned Alternative Energy Development Board responsible for overseeing the clean energy pool bids, with regional electricity distribution companies buying substation capacity, with a federal agency to take charge of future renewable energy auctions.

According to the World Bank report, the generation capacity offered in Pakistani bids should not be less than 50 MW, with panels with a capacity of 300 to 600 MW in large parks, and the tariff should be determined no later than 33 weeks, after the start of each auction.

Each auction must feature a maximum bid price, and PPAs must last from 20 to 25 years.

Given the difficulty of Pakistan’s reliance on local components in solar energy development, the report suggests setting strict technical criteria for bidding; To avoid flooding the domestic market with cheap, poor-quality foreign products.

Renewable energy
Engineers working at a power plant in Karachi, Pakistan – Photo courtesy of Agence France-Presse

For an interim period, 4.34 GW of tariff-certified solar projects can participate in the auctions, and the bid cap has been set at 6 Pakistani rupees ($0.032) per kilowatt-hour, with an increase of 2.5% annually over the contract term of up to 25 years.

Renewable energy provides only 4% of Pakistan’s electricity supply, with another 27% from hydropower, while fossil fuels make up 64%, and nuclear energy accounts for 5%.

Pakistan has huge potential for solar and wind power generation, and using just 0.071% of the country’s area for solar power generation is enough to meet the current electricity demand in the Asian country, according to the World Bank.

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