Pakistan’s renewable energy sector attracts $ 3 billion in one year
The Renewable Energy (RE) sector has attracted foreign investment of over $ 3 billion during the last one year, clearly indicating investment potential in this particular sector and the outcome of initiatives taken so far to exploit such resources for betterment of the country.
"Due to the potential, robust policy framework, lucrative tariff structures and bankable security documents, Pakistan has become a choicer investment destination for private investors," Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Amjad Ali Awan told APP here. He said, the government was taking pragmatic steps to harness the available renewable energy potential, diversify its energy mix and ensure energy security and sustainable development in the country. He observed that owing to the promotion and development of RE technology in the country, a record investment has been witnessed in just one year, revealing the interest of investors in this sector. The CEO said that detailed resource assessment of wind, solar and biomass was carried out in the country through ESMAP's (World Bank) assistance.
Ground installations for measuring of solar irradiation have also been made in several parts of the country, he added. Amjad said that the AEDB has issued over 25 Letter of Interest (LoI) to various solar projects having 663 MW accumulative capacity so far adding that all these projects would attain commercial operations date (COD) by 2018.
The Punjab government has also issued LOI for 600 MW projects so far while the financing for 300 MW solar power project has already been done. The CEO said Quaid-i-Azam solar park was already operational and has been supplying 100 MW electricity to the national grid system while 300 MW more would be added to the system by 2016.
The park would generate total 1000 MW by 2017, he said. He said AEDB was also pursuing 35 solar PV power projects of cumulative capacity of approximately 1111.44 MW On-Grid Solar PV power plants. Three solar power projects of cumulative capacity of "300 MW" have signed EPA and IA and were under construction, he said. These projects included M/s Appolo Solar Pakistan Ltd (100 MW), M/s Crest Energy Pakistan Ltd (100 MW) and M/s Best Green Energy Pakistan Ltd (100 MW) located all at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, Bahawalpur.
Amjad Awan said that some six IPPs, with a cumulative capacity of " 47.84 MW," have also obtained Letter of Support (LOS) from AEDB and were expected to achieve Financial Closing by December 31. The projects included M/s Access Electric Pvt (10 MW), Pind Dadan Khan, M/s Bukhsh Solar Pvt (10 MW) Bahawalpur, M/s Sanjwal Solar Power (5.04 MW) Sanjwal, M/s Safe Solar Power Pvt (10.28 MW) Bahawalpur, M/s Access Solar Pvt (11.52 MW), Pind Dadan Khan and M/s Blue Star Hydel Pvt (1 MW) Pind Dadan Khan. To a question, he said that some 250 MW solar projects were also included in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Quality standards have been developed for restricting import of sub-standard solar equipment (PV panels and ancillary equipment), he said and added that the Economic Coordination Committee has also approved standard for import of solar PV panels. "In next two-three months, implementation on the standard would be enforced," he said.
To a question, Amjad Awan said presently, there was no laboratory for testing the standard of solar PV panels. However, PC 1 had been prepared in collaboration with ministry of science and technology for setting up three testing laboratories in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore, he said.