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10,800 South Punjab schools to get solar energy: CM

LAHORE: Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar presided over a meeting at his office here Tuesday in which it was decided to shift 10,800 Southern Punjab schools to solar energy. The chief minister ordered for completing the target by December this year, adding that solar-based electricity would be provided to remote areas where transmission lines were not available.

People living in the remote areas of Rajanpur, Cholistan, Thal and DG Khan would be provided the facility of solar energy and the government would adopt the off-grid solution to provide electricity to remote villages. He directed the Energy Department to provide a feasibility report in this regard. The meeting decided to shift universities to solar energy in phases.

In the first phase, the University of Engineering & Technology (UET), Lahore would be shifted to solar energy and other universities would also be shifted gradually. The chief minister said that BHUs would be gradually shifted to solar energy and water supply schemes would be run through solar energy as well.

He ordered for expediting the ongoing campaign against electricity thieves and directed the CM task force to continue action for curbing the electricity theft. Action would also be initiated against the government officials involved in the electricity theft, he added.

The installation of solar panels will help to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity to schools,. The chief minister was told that 3,000 schools had been shifted to solar energy. Thousands of people have also been arrested for stealing electricity in a campaign.


Sindh to provide solar power supply to 0.2m houses, says Imtiaz Shaikh

KARACHI: A meeting chaired by the provincial minister of energy Imtiaz Shaikh has decided that Government of Sindh will provide solar power supply to 0.2 million households in the province.

The meeting was told that the expected estimation for this project is $30m.

Provincial minister Imtiaz Shaikh told the participants of the meetings that World Bank will extend help for completion of this project. He further said that each household will be provided a package comprising a small solar power setup which would be sufficient to supply electricity to a fan and two bulbs.

The initial phase of this project will extend to 10 cities of Sindh, including Sujawal, Badin, Tharparkar, Umarkot, Khairpur, Sanghar, Ghotki, Kashmore, Jacobabad and Qambar-Shahdadkot.

Minister said that to accommodate the families availing this facility a procedure has been devised by the government according to which they would be able to pay the whole amount of this setup in small affordable installments.

Imtiaz said that only priority of Sindh government is to make life easy for the residents.

He said that very soon this project will be extended to the whole province.


15,000 govt schools in Punjab to shift to solar power

Punjab Energy Minister Dr Akhtar Malik said that the provincial government will install solar energy systems in over 15,000 schools. He expressed these views on Tuesday while speaking at a seminar on net metering, which allows excess energy generated to be added to the national grid and vice versa.

The seminar was organised by the Punjab Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency (PEECA) and the Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO).

Initially, the government was focusing on schools which were running without electricity, the minister said, adding that net metering was the need of the hour. Sunlight, which is available in the country throughout the year, is a huge source of energy. “We can overcome our energy crisis by launching net metering systems,” he said.

The minister also criticised the previous government for ignoring natural resources. Development projects, which could have been launched with local resources, were accomplished through foreign imports for the sake of kickbacks, he maintained. Coal for the Sahiwal energy project was imported from abroad, but the plant could’ve been operated using local coal by making minor technical changes, Malik said.

Further, the power plant in Jhang was launched without prior approval, causing a loss of Rs140 billion per annum to the national exchequer. Similarly, the government will have to give a subsidy to operate the Orange Line Metro Train in Lahore, he said.

He claimed that the Punjab government has introduced measures for energy conservation. A lab has been established to gauge the efficiency of fans and lights. Further, the ministry has envisaged an energy policy over the past month-and-a-half and it will prove to be a milestone in addressing the energy crisis, he expressed.

If 5 million housing units can be shifted to solar energy, it can serve as a role model for the entire country. He stated that the government was collaborating with two private banks which would bear 75% of the expenses for the net metering system. The remaining 25% will be paid by the consumer, he added.

He elaborated that Germany generates about 80,000 kW through net metering systems. He added that the government was also building an eight-storey building in Lahore which will solely depend on solar energy. Multan Chamber of Commerce Vice President Khwaja Baddar Munir and others were also present at the occasion.


Saudi Arabia keen to invest in renewable energy in Pakistan

KARACHI: Saudi Arabia is interested in undertaking renewable energy projects in Pakistan, announced Saudi Adviser for Energy and Mineral Resources Ahmad Al-Ghamdi.

During his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), he said representatives of a Saudi company, Aqua Power, would soon be visiting Pakistan to introduce renewable energy technologies including solar, wind and other technologies.

“We have also discussed investment opportunities in Pakistan’s mining sector and in this regard, a memorandum of understanding is at final stages, which will soon be signed between both the countries, signifying commencement of new relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” the adviser said.

If someone from the Pakistani government came and gave guarantees about safety and security, besides extending full support of the Pakistani government, Saudi investors would certainly get a strong signal that they could come here and make investment in a very pleasant environment, the adviser added. He said the Saudi private sector was unaware of the opportunities and it was scared of making investment in Pakistan due to security concerns.

The Saudi adviser suggested that business communities of both countries would have to meet more frequently and participate in the trade-promotion events being held in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, which would result in further strengthening of relations.

Referring to a recent meeting held by Prime Minister Imran Khan with Saudi officials during his visit to Saudi Arabia, he said the prime minister was particularly focused on visa issues and it had also been raised by other top leaders of Pakistan.

“Saudi Arabia is now going through a transformation phase as many new things and rules have been introduced, which will hopefully be beneficial for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The easing of visa procedures is also being discussed, particularly the tourism visa, so that people could be encouraged to explore tourism in Saudi Arabia,” Ghamdi remarked.

Referring to his meeting with Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood around two months ago, Ghamdi said, “During this meeting, we asked about some import and export issues, which were resulting in trade below the expected level. We are trying to resolve these issues and have already formed a committee comprising Saudi and Pakistani representatives to identify the obstacles and devise strategies on how to resolve the same.”

Speaking on the occasion, KCCI President Junaid Esmail Makda said a delegation from the Karachi Chamber, led by him, would leave for Saudi Arabia on January 12 to explore opportunities of enhancing trade. He said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had healthy bilateral relations based on cooperation in different economic spheres, particularly in trade and investment He mentioned that during 2017, goods worth $400.8 million were exported to Saudi Arabia while imports stood at $2.73 billion, indicating that the trade balance was in favour of Saudi Arabia with a surplus of $2.32 billion.

Highlighting the huge potential of enhancing trade and investment ties, Makda told Saudi delegates that Pakistan’s investment policy provided a comprehensive framework for creating an environment conducive to business. It entails reducing cost of doing business, processes of doing business and emphasises on creation of industrial clusters and special economic zones.

He pointed out that Karachi and Sindh could offer a host of opportunities in many potential sectors including food processing, dairy production and processing, coal mining and mineral extraction, seafood processing, urban rapid transport, date and mango farming and processing, wind and solar energy.


Pakistan, World Bank sign $100 million agreement for ‘Sindh Solar Energy Project’

Islamabad: The government of Pakistan and World Bank here on Wednesday signed a Financing Agreement worth $ 100.0 million for “Sindh Solar Energy Project” with the objective to increase solar power generation and access to electricity in Sindh Province.

The project will support the deployment of solar power in Sindh spanning three market segments: utility scale, distributed generation, and at the household level.

Utility-Scale Solar includes development of solar parks to support private sector investment and launching of Pakistan’s first competitive bidding for solar power production, starting with an initial 50 MW pilot solar auction.

Distributed Solar includes at least 20 MW of distributed solar PV on the rooftops and other available space on and around public sector buildings in Karachi, Hyderabad and other districts of Sindh Province.

Provision of Solar Home Systems to 200,000 households in areas with low or no electricity access.

The total cost of the project is $105.0 million. The International Development Association (IDA) will extend financing of $ 100.0 million for the project and Government of Sindh will contribute $ 5.0 million.

Public funding will be used to leverage private sector investment and/or expertise in the three segments, with an emphasis on long-term sustainability, developing domestic solar PV experience, and the emergence of self-sustaining markets.

The Project will introduce and showcase international best practice with renewable energy auctions, reduce the headline cost of solar deployment, create sustainable business models for potential replication, build institutional and private sector capacity, and identify opportunities for future renewable energy deployment that address issues of grid integration.

The Project is designed to help steer Pakistan toward a lower-carbon path to development.

Noor Ahmed, Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) signed the Financing Agreement on behalf of the Government of Pakistan while Musadiq Ahmed Khan, Secretary Energy Department, Government of Sindh, signed the Project Agreement on behalf of Government of Sindh.

Patchamuthu Ilangovan, Country Director, World Bank signed the Financing and the Project Agreements on behalf of International Development Association.

The Secretary, Economic Affairs Division (EAD), thanked the World Bank for extending its continuous support to Government of Pakistan in its efforts to achieve sustainable economic development in the country.


Power producers plan $200mln investment in renewable energy projects

KARACHI: At least four new companies have planned more than $200 million worth of investment to cumulatively set up 154 megawatts of renewable energy projects in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, The News learnt on Friday.

The investors sought generation licences from the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, a document showed.

Sino Well (Private) Limited planned to set up a 50 megawatts of wind power plant in the wind corridor of Jhimpir in Sindh with an estimated investment of $85.4 million. The proposed project is expected to achieve commercial operation by June 2020.

Shafi Energy (Private) Limited planned to set up a 50MW wind power plant in Thatta, Sindh with an estimated investment of $75.07 million. The proposed project is expected to achieve commercial operation by June 2021.

Javed Solar Park (Private) Limited also intended to set up a 49.5MW solar power plant in Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with an estimated investment of $49.27 million. The proposed project is expected to achieve commercial operation by December 2019.

Similarly, Grid Edge (Private) Limited sought licence to set up a two megawatt of solar power facility in Port Qasim with an estimated investment of Rs168.12 million, while the company also intended to develop a 2.67MW solar generation plant in Lahore with an investment of Rs250 million.

Demand for electricity continues to outpace growth rate of the economy. Power shortfall at times crosses 6,000MW.

The shortfall in supply could be the major cause of a stunted growth in the industrial sector in the country.

The industry, having capacity of self- generation on gas, has a suspended supply of gas for two to three days a week during winters.

Major electricity sources at present are thermal and hydro generation, meeting approximately 97 percent of the country’s annual electricity demand.

The primary thermal generation fuels are furnace oil and gas. While gas is produced domestically, its demand has outstripped supply by a considerable amount.

Oil imports are exerting a significant burden on national exchequer and the increasing import bill continues to weigh down foreign exchange reserves. Securing alternative fuels and the technical management should be strengthened to solve problems and wind power can play a very important role in overcoming the growing energy crisis.

Power sector’s inefficiencies cost the Pakistan’s economy $17.7 billion (6.5 percent of GDP) during the fiscal year of 2014/15, a latest World Bank’s report said, underscoring need to focus on reforms, eliminating waste, promoting the shift towards cleaner energy and attracting private investments.


Fossil Fuels and Renewables: Partners in a new era of energy security

Complementary, not competitive – this ethos must be etched into the global energy playbook, as well as in Pakistan. Fossil fuels and renewables are two sides of the same coin and global energy security relies on both flourishing. Even aggressive scenarios do not envision the global generation share of traditional sources falling below two-thirds by 2030.

However, the future is undoubtedly a diversified one. The transition to this new era is well underway. Among the many factors that have contributed to this are the political momentum behind the Paris Agreement, falling prices of technology, and the need for energy independence. More than half of new power plant orders in 2016 were for renewable energy technologies and 750,000 electric vehicles were sold in the world in 2016, for example.

That being said, the low-carbon transformation will not happen overnight and renewable power alone cannot offer the continuous, stable electricity supplies required to power growing modern societies. With energy storage solutions still at a relatively nascent stage, renewable power remains intermittent, varying with fluctuations in weather patterns. This makes efficient, flexible power from traditional sources critical in order to maintain grid stability.

In a country such as Pakistan, power producers’ vital efforts to meet energy demand must extend across gas, coal, as well as renewable sources for good reason. Energy diversification will ensure energy security, enabling the country to reduce its dependence on a single source of power generation, while paving the way for affordable, sustainable and reliable access to energy.

Pakistan’s investments in the Bhikki, Haveli Bahadur Shah and Balloki RLNG power plants, and the upcoming Thar coal plants that will be fuelled by domestic supplies of lignite, as well as wind farms and solar parks, are prime examples of the diversified investments necessary to meet the energy deficit in the country. Take the RLNG power plants – they are now delivering up to 3,600 megawatts of power, the equivalent power needed to supply up to 7.3 million Pakistani homes, over a 30+ year life cycle, making a meaningful difference in the everyday lives of the people of Pakistan.

GE’s HA gas turbine technology that powers the facilities has now set two world records, one for powering the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plant, based on achieving 63.08% gross efficiency at Chubu Electric Nishi-Nagoya Power Plant Block-1 in Japan and another for helping EDF’s Bouchain Power Plant achieve 62.22% net combined cycle efficiency in France.

Furthermore, the HA technology offers an excellent flexible complement to intermittent renewable sources as it can ramp power supplies up or down quickly, as renewable energy supplies fluctuate. Pakistan’s coal projects also offer a means to bring affordable, reliable and flexible power online using the country’s own fuel resources, thus enhancing its energy security.

As we enter this new era of power generation, energy producers must collaborate to cultivate new technologies and revitalise traditional ones and carve out a diversified and innovative 21st century global energy system. The world is ever-changing and so must our thinking. It is not a question of ‘either- or’ – meeting Pakistan and the world’s energy needs will require drawing on a mix of fuel sources.


CPEC: Wind, solar energy production to double by 2022

The priority projects in energy sector under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would help Pakistan optimizing the energy structure by reducing dependence on expensive sources of energy such as Gas and Residual Fuel Oil (RFO) and contribution of wind and solar energy in the country’s total production would increase from 5 percent in 2013 to 10 percent in 2022.

According to sources in embassy of China here, the country’s energy production in 2013 was heavily dependent on Gas and RFO as 57 percent of total electricity production was based on Gas and RFO which would be significantly reduced to 25 percent in 2022 after completion of all priority energy projects under CPEC.

By optimizing the energy structure, Pakistan’s energy supply will be more stable and safe and the significant reduction of Gas, RFO imports would help the country saving foreign exchange reserves.

According to details, the energy production through domestic coal is also expected to increase from 0.14 percent of total energy production in 2013 to 9.08 percent in 2022.

The nuclear energy production would also increased from 4 percent in 2013 to 7 percent in 2022, whereas in 2022, 12 percent of total demand of country’s energy would be met through use of imported coal while energy production through bagasse would also increase from 1 percent in 2013 to 2 percent in 2022. Hydel production however, is projected to decrease from 33 percent in 2013 to 25 percent in 2022.

The seven projects have been installed with capacity of 3240 MW in only three years, since the first energy project groundbreaking ceremony in 2015. These projects accounted for 11 percent of total electricity generation in Pakistan.

The sources further added so far 7 energy projects had been completed under CPEC including 50 MW Dawood Wind Power Plant, 100 MW Pakistan Jhimpir UEP Wind power phase-I, Sachal 50 MW wind power project, Zonergy 900 MW solar project, Port Qasim 1320 MW coal fired power project, ahiwal 1320 MW coal-fired power plant, and three gorges second wind power porject (100 MW).

As many as five energy projects under CPEC are under construction including 720 MW Karot hydro-power project, 660 MW HUBCO coal power plant, Suki Kinari hydro-power project, 660 MW mine mouth coal fired power plant at Thar block-II, Sindh, and 3.8 Mta open cast lignite mine at Thar block-II, Sindh.

It may be mentioned here that all CPEC energy projects are funded by commercial loans which are borrowed and repaid by the Chinese companies. There is no foreign debt on Pakistan government.


NEPRA approves tariff for 11.52MW Solar Power Project

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has determined and approved Rs7.7863 per unit tariff for the first ten years, while Rs2.9824 per unit for the remaining 15 years with regard to the 11.52MW solar power project.

NEPRA, in its recent order, has determined the tariff component for Access Solar Private Limited’s (ASPL) 11.52MW solar power project regarding the delivery of electricity to the power purchaser.

Operation and maintenance cost for 25 years has been set at Rs0.8981kWh, while insurance during the operation has been fixed at Rs0.2081 per unit, and return on equity at Rs1.8762 per unit. Also, debt servicing has been set at Rs4.8039/unit.

According to NEPRA, levellised tariff has been worked out at US Cents 5.9374 per kWh, energy performance certificate (EPC) cost of $0.7035 million per megawatt has been considered, PDC including land cost of $619,880 has been set, while annual plant capacity factor of 20.26 per cent has been used.

Similarly, annual degradation factor of 0.5 per cent has been used and capitalized in the approved project cost, while operation and management cost of $15,180/MW per year has been approved, and the tariff is applicable for 25 years from the commercial date of operation (COD).

Likewise, debt service shall be paid in the first 10 years of commercial operation of the plant. Debt servicing has been worked out at a fixed rate of 6pc. Debt of equity of 75:25 has been used. Return on equity during construction and operation of 15pc has been allowed.

Construction period of eight months has been allowed for the workings of ROEDC and IDC. Insurance during operation has been calculated as 0.50pc of the allowed EPC cost.



Target solar, wind and hydro for future power generation: report

ISLAMABAD: The Internat­ional Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) sees plenty of scope for renewable energy in Pakistan while increasing energy security and improving energy access, but the country has no clear renewable energy target.

The political ambition to spur growth of renewable energy needs to be translated into a language understandable to investors, the Abu Dhabi based agency said, calling for a clear target to be set. The call comes in a comprehensive analysis of Pakistan’s energy sector, identifying key actions to accelerate renewable energy development.

According to the ‘Renewables Readiness Assessment’, a clear target needs to be set with specific obligations such as renewable portfolio standards, which tend to be more effective because they ensure measurability and are mandated by law.

This will assure investors that they are less vulnerable to changes in the political climate. For Pakistan, such targets imply the introduction of an act duly approved by the parliament, and this would require either a consolidated target or the assignment of renewable portfolio standards to distribution utilities, IRENA assessment says.

While hydropower has traditionally been the largest source of renewable energy in Pakistan — making up almost a third of electricity generation with 7.1 gigawatts of installed grid-connected capacity — IRENA’s assessment finds that the country has up to 60GW of economic and technical hydropower potential.

The assessment also identifies 50GW of theoretical wind potential in Sindh and Balochistan provinces and estimates that 25 million tonnes of biomass feed stocks from industrial and agricultural residue can be made available for use every year.

Pakistan’s demand for energy is increasing, said IRENA Director-General, Adnan Amin. “To meet this demand Pakistan has a tremendous opportunity to cost-effectively tap its abundant solar, wind and hydropower resource potential. Doing so would support national prosperity and job creation, while enhancing security of supply, improving access and moving Pakistan towards greater energy independence,” he said.

Minister for Power, Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari said in the report that the installed capacity of alternative and renewable energy sources in the power sector has already risen from 0.2 per cent in 2013 to 5.2pc of total installed capacity in 2018. Ongoing policy reforms, regulatory transformations, infrastructure development and investment incentives aim to ensure clean, cheap and continuous supply that includes a steadily growing share of renewable energy.


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