Pakistan’s membership to exclusive club of nations producing clean energy

Pakistan has become a member of the exclusive club of nations that are producing over 1,000 megawatts of electricity through renewable energy sources as it has been consistently exploiting wind, power and biomass resources for producing clean power, announced Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) CEO Amjad Ali Awan.

Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, Awan told the media that Pakistan would be producing 3,000 megawatts from renewable energy sources by the beginning of 2019. So far, the electricity production from these resources has reached 1,135MW.

“This will be increased to 1,185MW by next month when wind mills for the first clean energy project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will be installed at Gharo, Sindh,” he said.

Of the 1,135MW, Pakistan is producing 590MW with the help of wind mills, 400MW is solar energy and 145MW is based on bagasse produced by sugar mills in northern Sindh and southern Punjab.

Awan revealed that the AEDB was planning to step up solar power generation to 1,756MW by the end of 2018 whereas wind power projects would be producing well over 1,000MW after two years.

He said Letters of Interest (LoIs) had been issued for four more projects to take bagasse-based electricity production to 375MW and by 2019, different sugar mills would be contributing up to 500MW.

He insisted that the Gharo-Jhimpir wind corridor in Sindh had the potential to generate 32,000 to 35,000MW of electricity.

As part of its future strategy, the AEDB will encourage sponsors of wind power projects in Sindh to install solar panels at their sites in order to produce more clean power on a sustainable and reliable pattern.

According to Awan, the AEDB has also been facilitating the process of arranging finances from international donor agencies for building capacity of the national grid to transmit the electricity produced through new wind projects to distribution companies of the area.

For one and a half years, the AEDB is not issuing LoIs for new wind projects in Sindh as there are already a number of such schemes in the pipeline.

It has started conducting the mapping of renewable energy sources available in the country with the assistance of the World Bank.

For the purpose, 12 wind masts have been installed for wind energy and 10 solar data stations have been established in different parts of the country to scientifically assess the potential of electricity production from the two main alternative energy sources.

Although it was not part of the AEDB mandate, it had drafted and got approved from the federal government the standards of safety and quality of solar cells being used by domestic consumers for various appliances, Awan said, adding the standards would prevent import of substandard products being recharged through solar power.

By the time the country develops its own testing labs to ascertain the quality of solar cells, it will be binding upon the pre-shipment inspection companies to ensure compliance with the safety and quality standards enforced for the solar cells being imported into the country.

Awan claimed that the AEDB had been doing all the work needed to develop the guidelines and regulations for the “net-metering” system, which would be adopted by the power distribution companies.

This will encourage individual consumers to install solar panels or wind mills to generate renewable electricity as it will be beneficial and lucrative for the household consumers.

The Express Tribune

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