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Pakistan becomes member of the club having nations producing over 1,000 MWs of clean energy: AEDB chief

KARACHI: Pakistan has become member of the exclusive club having countries, which have been producing over 1,000 Megawatts of electricity on basis of renewable energy sources as our country has been exploiting well potential of its wind, power, and bio-mass resources of clean power, said Chief Executive Officer of Alternative Energy Development Board Amjad Ali Awan.

Speaking at a press briefing here on Wednesday, the chief of AEDB informed newsmen that Pakistan had achieved 1135 MWs of installed capacity of electricity on basis of renewable sources of energy. This capacity would be increased to 1185 MWs by next month when first project of renewable energy under China Pakistan Economic Corridor using wind power would be installed at Gharo, he said.  M.Naeem Qureshi  Chairman organizing committee  Int’l Wind energy  Summit  was also present on the occasion

Out of these 1135 MWs the country has been producing on basis of renewable sources, the country has been producing 590 MWs on basis of wind power, 400 MWs on basis of solar energy, 145 MWs power produced through bagasse available with sugar mills in Northern Sindh and Southern Punjab, said the CEO of AEDB.

He said the AEDB had been doing planning that electricity produced through solar power would be increased to 1756 MWs by the end of year 2018 while wind power projects in the country would be producing well over 1,000 MWs after two years. He said the Letters of Interest (LoIs) had been issued to four more projects to increase bagasse-based electricity to 375 MWs while by year 2019, different sugar mills in the country would be contributing up to 500 MWs electricity to the national grid.

Mr. Awan expressed optimism that by the beginning of year 2019, the country would be producing 3,000 MWs electricity through renewable energy as its onward supply to the end consumers would be made on basis of subsidized tariff causing not much financial burden on users of clean electricity in their households and businesses.

He said that up to 91 per cent of 1135 MWs electricity the country had been producing through renewable sources of energy, had been achieved since year 2013 while 57 per cent of this installed capacity had been secured in just one last year showing sincerity of the present government to utilize potential of the country to produce clean energy.

He said that Gharo-Jhimpir wind corridor in Sindh had alone the potential of generating 32,000 MWs to 35,000 MWs electricity. He said that under its future strategy the AEDB would encourage operators of wind power projects in Sindh to install at their site solar panels to generate additional megawatts of clean power on more stable and reliable pattern.

He said that AEDB had also been facilitating the process of arranging finances from international donor agencies for capacity building in national grid for evacuation and onward transmission till power distribution companies of the area, electricity produced through new projects of wind power.

Mr. Awan informed newsmen that AEDB for last around one-and-half years had not been issuing LoIs for new wind power projects in Sindh as already a number of such projects using the renewable source of energy had been in the pipeline.

He said the AEDB had also started doing mapping of renewable energy sources available in the country through assistance of World Bank. For the purpose 12 wind masts have already been installed for wind energy and 10 solar data stations had been established in different parts of the country to scientifically know about potential of the country to produce electricity on basis of these two main alternative sources of energy.

He said that although it was not included in mandate of AEDB, it had drafted and got approved from federal govt standards for safety and quality of solar cells being used on domestic basis for various appliances for preventing further import of substandard products being recharged through solar power.

He said till the time the country would develop its own testing labs to check quality of solar cells, it would be binding upon the pre-shipment inspection companies to ensure due observance of safety and quality standards recently enforced for solar cells being imported into the country.

He said the AEDB had been doing all the work to develop guidelines and regulations for system of “Net-metering” to be adopted by power distribution companies so to encourage individual consumers to install solar panels or wind mill to generate renewable electricity on domestic basis that would be lucrative for such household customers of electricity.

To a question, Mr. Awan said that AEDB had been ensuring that operators of wind power projects at Gharo-Jhimpir wind corridor in Sindh would develop a number of welfare projects under the concept of corporate social responsibility so to fulfil health, educational, employment, and livelihood needs of the area people whose socio-economic standards of living should be improved along with progression on these projects.

It was also informed to newsmen on the occasion that different concerned stakeholders in government, public, and private related to energy issue including AEDB had combined their efforts to organize the country’s first international summit on wind energy here at a local hotel on Thursday (today), that would be addressed by a number of panellists being expert on power sector especially renewable energy.