Is Pakistan Ready For Clean Energy Revolution?

Rising worries about climate change have recently made me join the Clean Energy Revolution by installing rooftop solar and leasing an electric car. What is the Clean Energy Revolution? It is the growing use of solar panels, battery storage and electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions. Is Pakistan ready to join the Clean Energy Revolution?

Tesla Surpasses China's BYD in EV Sales. Courtesy Electrek

Tesla Electric Cars:

Silicon Valley is at the forefront of this clean energy revolution led by Tesla. Tesla is more than an electric car company; the company also supplies solar panels and batteries. Other automakers are also taking their cues from Tesla.  China's BYD Auto has only recently been surpassed by Tesla in production volumes. Auto giants General Motors and BMW are both building electric cars and planning to build "gigafactories" like Tesla's to manufacture battery packs for vehicles and homes. Pakistan is building up renewable power generation capacity. The country has also recently announced its National Electric Vehicle Policy that offers incentives to transition to clean energy.

Bloomberg estimates that Batteries and electric transmission account for about 40% of passenger cars’ costs. European demand is met by mainly Japanese and South Korean battery makers like Panasonic, LG Chem Ltd. and Samsung SDI Co. In the U.S., Tesla has built its own battery cells at its Gigafactory to manage costs and satisfy demand for the cars it produces. Chinese demand for battery packs is met by BYD.

Battery Backed Renewable Energy Costs:

High-capacity battery pack costs have dropped nearly 40% since 2015, according to Wood Mackenzie data as reported by Wall Street Journal. The prices of lithium and vanadium—two of several key raw materials that are used in such batteries—also have declined over the past year or so.

Battery storage costs have fallen nearly 90% in the past decade, according to NextEra Energy.  Cost reductions are expected to continue to only $8 to $14 per MW-hour by 2020, or about a penny per kW-hour. For perspective, the average kW-hour of electricity costs about 13 cents for retail users.

NextEra Energy forecasts that post-2023, wind plus energy storage costs will be $20 to $30 per MW-hour, and solar plus energy storage will be $30 to $40 per MW-hour. Natural gas is expected to match the solar-plus-storage costs.

Pakistan Electric Vehicle Policy:

Pakistan has a low level of motorization with just 9% of the households owning a car. Nearly half of all households own a motorcycle. Motorization rates in the country have tripled over the last decade and a half, resulting in nearly 40% of all emissions coming from vehicles. Concerns about climate change and environmental pollution have forced the government to to take a number of actions ranging from adoption of Euro6 emission standards for new vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE) since 2015 and announcement of a national electric vehicle (EV) policy this year.

Private vehicle ownership in Pakistan has risen sharply over the last 4 years. More than 9% of households now own cars, up from 6% in 2015. Motorcycle ownership has jumped from 41% of households in 2015 to 53% now, according to data released by Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) recently. There are 32.2 million households in Pakistan, according to 2017 Census.

Vehicle Ownership in Pakistan. Source: PBS

Pakistan's National EV Policy is a forward looking step needed to deal with climate concerns from growing transport sector emissions with rapidly rising vehicle ownership. It offers tax incentives for buyers and sellers. It also focuses on development of nationwide charging infrastructure to ease adoption of electric vehicles.

Low Carbon Energy Growth:


In recent years,  Pakistan government has introduced a number of supportive policies, including feed-in tariffs and a net metering program to incentivize renewables. These have been fairly successful, and renewables capacity in the country surged substantially over 2018 when 1245 MW was added, of which 826MW was contributed by the solar sector, according to Fitch Solutions.

Non-Hydro Renewables in Pakistan. Source: Fitch Solutions

Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) recently signed deals for projects that will see the country expand its wind power capacity by 560 MW.  Fitch Solutions forecasts Pakistan's solar capacity to grow by an annual average of 9.4% between 2019-2028, taking total capacity over 3.8GW by the end of our forecast period.

Sindh government has recently signed a deal for 400MW solar park at Manjhand, 20MW rooftop solar systems on public sector buildings in Karachi and Hyderabad, and 200,000 solar home systems for remote areas in 10 districts of the province. The project is estimated to cost USD105million, with the World Bank funding USD100 million.

The biggest and most important source of low-carbon energy in Pakistan is its hydroelectric power plants. Pakistan ranked third in the world by adding nearly 2,500 MW of hydropower in 2018, according to Hydropower Status Report 2019.  China added the most capacity with the installation of 8,540 megawatts, followed by Brazil (3,866 MW), Pakistan (2,487 MW), Turkey (1,085 MW), Angola (668 MW), Tajikistan (605 MW), Ecuador (556 MW), India (535 MW), Norway (419 MW) and Canada (401 MW).

New Installed Hydroelectric Power Capacity in 2018. Source: Hydrowo...

Hydropower now makes up about 28% of the total installed capacity of 33,836 MW as of February, 2019.   WAPDA reports contributing 25.63 billion units of hydroelectricity to the national grid during the year, “despite the fact that water flows in 2018 remained historically low.” This contribution “greatly helped the country in meeting electricity needs and lowering the electricity tariff for the consumers.”

Chinese BYD in Pakistan:

Multiple media reports suggest that China's BYD is about to enter Pakistan market following the announcement of Pakistan National EV Policy.   These reports indicate that Toyota, one of the largest automakers in Pakistan, has signed a deal with BYD to manufacture electric vehicles.

Other reports indicate that Pakistan's Rahmat Group is in talks with BYD to set up an electric vehicle plant at Nooriabad in Sindh province.

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has claimed that in three years Pakistan will become the first country to manufacture electric buses, which will be driven by an electric motor and obtains energy from on-board batteries.

Summary: 

It appears that Pakistan is starting to get serious about joining the Clean Energy Revolution to deal with rising climate change concerns. The country has set targets for renewable energy growth and announced National Electric Vehicle Policy.  In recent years, Pakistan government has introduced a number of supportive policies, including feed-in tariffs and a net metering program to incentivize renewables. These have been fairly successful, and renewables capacity in the country surged substantially over 2018 when 1245 MW was added, of which 826MW was contributed by the solar sector, according to Fitch Solutions.  High-capacity battery pack costs have dropped nearly 40% since 2015, according to Wood Mackenzie data as reported by Wall Street Journal.  Cost reductions are expected to continue to only $8 to $14 per MW-hour by 2020, or about a penny per kW-hour. While production and use of renewable energy are growing, the electric vehicles in Pakistan have yet to find traction. Hopefully, the National EV policy will encourage production and adoption of electric vehicles in the country.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistan Electric Vehicle Policy

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Recurring Cycles of Drought and Floods in Pakistan

Pakistan's Response to Climate Change

Massive Oil and Gas Discovery in Pakistan: Hype vs Reality

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Views: 196

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 20, 2019 at 5:10pm

IFC invests $450m in #Pakistan’s 6 #windfarms in Jhimpir wind corridor in #Sindh to generate more than 1,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually, enough to power 450,000 homes. Expected emission reductions of 650,000 tons of CO2 per year. #renewables https://www.esi-africa.com/industry-sectors/finance-and-policy/ifc-...

All Super Six projects are being developed by domestic companies: ACT Group, Artistic Milliners (Private) Limited, Din Group, Gul Ahmed Group and Younus Brothers Group.

“The government is aiming to increase the non-hydro renewable energy share in the overall generation mix from 4 to 20% by 2025 and it is welcoming to see Pakistan’s local private sector behind these Super Six wind projects, supporting the government’s long-term objective to see more wind and solar in the country’s energy mix,” said Ayub.

“This additional clean power will help meet growing demand, reduce the average cost of electricity, and improve both reliability and security of supply,” IFC’s Vice President for Asia and Pacific, Nena Stoiljkovic said. “We hope this will send a strong signal to the private sector that the renewable energy market in Pakistan is viable and sustainable, as well as beneficial to the Pakistani people.”

As part of the programme, IFC is providing a financing package of $320 million, comprising $86 million from its own account and $234 million mobilised from other lenders, which include Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG, part of KfW Group of Germany), and local banks Bank Alfalah, Bank Al Habib and Meezan Bank.

The programme is in line with the joint energy strategy of the World Bank Group, which includes IFC, the World Bank and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), to help address Pakistan’s structural issues in the energy sector, through policy reforms and increases in private investments to expand clean energy generation and bring down the cost of power.

The cost of power from the Super Six projects is expected to be more than 40% lower than the current average cost of generation, a move that is expected to spur more investments in renewable energy in the country.

IFC, one of the largest investors in Pakistan’s power sector, financed the first wind power project in the country in 2011 and helped created the framework for financing hydro and wind Independent Power Producers. With this programme, IFC will have made investments in 11 wind power projects in Pakistan.

The World Bank is supporting the government on policy reforms to enhance the energy sector’s sustainability and the implementation of the upcoming new renewable energy policy framework.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 24, 2020 at 8:08am

Rickshaw maker Sazgar Unveils #Pakistan’s First Locally Manufactured #ElectricVehicle. It will be powered by a 48V, 160Ah, 7.7kwh battery paired with a 3kw motor that will give it a range of 170KM with the weight included.
https://propakistani.pk/2020/01/24/sazgar-unveils-pakistans-first-l...

Yesterday, Sazgar Engineering Works Limited announced that they would be unveiling their indigenously manufactured Electric Powered Three-Wheeler.

In a glitzy ceremony attended by government officials, members of the social and business community, the company has launched the much-awaited three-wheeler.

The company has vowed to make the vehicle commercially available after the National Electric Vehicle Policy is implemented by the government. The company, during the launch, said that the vehicle would create employment opportunities in the auto sector and help in its development.

The three-wheeler is being manufactured locally and this will help in saving foreign exchange, help curb the oil import bill and reduce environmental pollution.

Apart from the electric kit, the rest of the three-wheeler is set to be produced locally which will help boost the economy. While some of the details are still scarce, the company has said that it will be powered by a 48V, 160Ah, 7.7kwh battery paired with a 3kw motor that will give it a range of 170KM with the weight included.

It will take almost 5 hours to charge and, according to some estimates, it will save Rs. 250,000 in terms of fuel and Rs. 30,000 in terms of maintenance each year.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 2, 2020 at 4:21pm

#China's Goldwind books 50-MW #WindEnergy turbines order in Jhimpir, #Sindh, #Pakistan in an area identified as a “wind corridor” with 1000 MW of wind power capacity installed. Golwind expects to install 150 MW of turbines in Pak in coming years #renewable https://www.renewablesnow.com/news/goldwind-books-50-mw-turbine-ord...

China’s Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co Ltd (HKG:2208) said it has recently received an order to supply 50 MW of turbines for the ACTII wind project in Pakistan.

Goldwind is set to deliver 20 units of GW 121-2.5MW high temperature model turbines to local wind project developer ACT Wind (Pvt) Ltd, the Chinese manufacturer said.

The ACTII project is sited in Jhimpir, Sindh province, in the area identified as a “wind corridor” and with around 1 GW of wind power capacity installed, according to Goldwind.

ACT Wind is the Chinese company's repeat customer, after previously purchasing Goldwind turbines for the first ACT wind project. The 30-MW ACT wind farm has been operating for about four years.

Goldwind expects to install 150 MW of turbines in Pakistan over the coming years and bring its total installed capacity in the country to 477 MW.

In November 2019, Goldwind signed a contract with Power Construction Corporation of China Ltd (SHA:601669), also known as PowerChina, to equip the 50-MW Gul Ahmed wind project in Pakistan. It has also secured the contract for the Artistic II wind farm project in the country, the company said.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 28, 2020 at 10:37am

#Pakistan aims to generate 30% of its #electricity from #RenewableEnergy sources by 2030, including #wind, #solar, #biomass and small-scale #hydro https://tribune.com.pk/story/2250399/1-pakistan-aims-generate-30-cl...

Pakistan aims to generate 30% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030 such as wind, solar, biomass and small-scale hydro.

This will complement the 27% of current electricity supply coming from large-scale hydro.

To this effect the 271 GE Renewable Energy wind turbines spreading over nine plants have a combined generating capacity of 450 megawatts (MW) – representing more than 36% of the current 1,235-MW total installed wind capacity in the country.
“Renewable energy is the future. With global warming happening, it’s good to say you’re working in the renewables business,” said GE Renewable Energy Services Manager Fawwad Haq.

“We are producing clean energy but not CO2 at these plants, so we’re giving people a better, cleaner type of energy,” he added.

Fawwad manages more than 50 wind turbine technicians who perform maintenance on hundreds of turbines at nine wind farms in the country.

A total of 233 direct and indirect employees help manage operations at eight of these plants.



Most of the wind farms that GE maintains and operates in Pakistan are located in desert regions where temperatures in early June were already in the 40s.

It takes nearly 15 minutes, with necessary water breaks along the way, to climb the 80-meter tall metal towers to reach the top of the wind turbines.

While GE provides wind turbine maintenance across all nine wind farms in Pakistan using GE turbine technology, at eight of them, the company also provides balance of plant services, including power generation and electricity dispatch to the grid.

“After I did my first climb [a couple years ago], I thought, ‘Oh, this is difficult!’ But after a few times, I adjusted to it and now it’s fine,” recalls Fawwad, adding, “The way things are going, renewables will capture a larger share of energy generation in the years to come, not only Pakistan, but in the rest of the world as well.”

He said during his working experience at conventional power generation was quite different as there were separate specialist technicians for mechanical, electrical and instrumentation work. “That’s not the case with wind turbines.”

“Only one team goes up and must be an electrical and mechanical all in one. You need to perform the preventative maintenance and troubleshooting.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 29, 2020 at 4:19pm

#Pakistan Pursues Big Action On #ClimateChange. Along with #trees planting, #PTI govt announced a new #ElectricVehicle policy this summer, and plans to get two-thirds of its #electricity from #renewable sources like #wind, #solar and #hydropower by 2030. https://www.npr.org/2020/09/29/916878679/with-glaciers-melting-and-...

On her first foray into tree planting, Laiba Atika forgot a key item — a shovel, which her mom later fetched.

But the 17-year-old is clear about why she is leading volunteers in the northern Pakistani city of Mardan to plant dozens of pine trees in a scrubby park.

"It's our duty as citizens," she says in formal English, "to implement actions that can make planet a better place to live in."

Atika's tree-planting drive is being replicated all over Pakistan, where the government aims to plant ten billion trees over five years with the help of local communities. The reforestation initiative is central to a wide-ranging plan the Pakistani government recently adopted to change practices and cut emissions that drive climate change.

Like most developing nations, Pakistan is not a big emitter of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But developing countries suffer harm disproportionate to their historically low emissions. Climate-fueled extreme weather events, from floods to droughts, could displace or kill tens of thousands of people, straining government resources and threatening political stability.

That urgency has prompted some nations, such as Pakistan, to craft ambitious plans to reduce emissions, even as the world's second largest emitter, the United States, shrugs off serious climate action.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan "knows the implications of climate change and is willing to take the lead in putting Pakistan on a green trajectory," says Malik Amin Aslam, a senior climate change advisor to Khan and the leading proponent of the new policies.

Alongside tree planting, the government announced a new electric vehicle policy this summer, and plans to get two-thirds of its electricity from wind, solar and hydropower by 2030. "That is a genuine step up in ambition for renewable energy," said Simon Nicholas, an energy finance analyst who follows Pakistan at the U.S.-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

But the problems that have long hobbled Pakistan threaten its new climate goals, too, environmental activists say. Plans are undermined by corruption and lax implementation, according to Afia Salam, an activist in Karachi. Environmentalists point to other ambitious policies the government announced since it took power, like a ban on plastic bags in Islamabad, which has gone widely ignored.

Khan's own broad-tent party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, includes powerful business interests that have carved out loopholes for themselves from the climate policies.

"What Pakistan has done, despite resource constraint, is aspirational for many countries," Salam says. But, she adds, "there's so many conflicting interests within the party itself."

The world's fifth most populous country, Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable to global warming. Already, summer temperatures in its southern cities often surpass 120 degrees. Rainfall has grown more erratic, and in August, unprecedented monsoon rains drowned parts of Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, turning roads into rivers and killing dozens of people across the country.

Northern glaciers nestled in mountains are the country's main water source, and they are melting faster than ever. Highland communities now face occasional water shortages and flash flooding that sweeps away their lands. If the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions continues on its present trajectory, the water supply for Pakistan's 220 million people will be imperiled within 50 years, scientists say.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 30, 2020 at 4:24pm

My solar output went down 25% from 842 KWh in August to 635 in September.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=45336&fbclid=Iw...


In the first two weeks of September 2020, average solar-powered electricity generation in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which covers 90% of utility-scale solar capacity in California, declined nearly 30% from the July 2020 average as wildfires burned across the state. Wildfire smoke contains small, airborne particulate matter particles that are generally 2.5 micrometers or smaller (referred to as PM2.5). This matter reduces the amount of sunlight that reaches solar panels, decreasing solar-powered electricity generation. As of September 28, California wildfires have burned an estimated 3.6 million acres in 2020, an area about the size of Connecticut.

According to data from the California Air Resources Board, peak California PM2.5 pollution began increasing in mid-August and reached a record high of 659 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) on September 15, the highest level since record keeping began in 2000. Peak PM2.5 pollution is measured as the daily average value at the testing site that has the

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 8, 2020 at 12:08pm

Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan has said that the government has planned to transform the outlook of the energy market under the new Alternative Renewable Energy Policy.


https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2020/11/06/govt-plans-to-transf...

The minister said this while talking to Ambassador of Denmark to Pakistan Lis Rosenholm on Friday. Tabish Gauhar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Power, was also present on the occasion.

During the meeting, the outlook of the emerging market of the sector and business opportunities in view of the newly approved Alternative Energy Policy were discussed.

Acknowledging the lead role of Denmark in clean and green energy at global level, the minister said that Pakistan too is embarked upon tapping the huge indigenous potential of renewable energy. He said that Pakistan’s New Renewable Energy Policy would bring opportunities for investors due to transparent policies of the incumbent government.

He said that the government had set ambitious targets to introduce 25pc renewable energy by 2025, and 30pc by end of 2030, including 45pc share of hydel power generation and 10pc of nuclear energy into the energy mix of the country.

While explaining the investment potential in the power sector, the minister said that the government would induct renewable energy-based power plants through open and transparent competitive bidding process, which would lower the cost of production of electricity.

He also apprised the envoy that the government had prepared the Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP) 2047 for competitive market structure, generation, up-gradation of transmission, Smart AMI and modernization of distribution system.

The minister further informed that lowering of electricity cost for industries and establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) would boost economic activity besides creating thousands of new jobs in the country.

The Danish ambassador, while appreciating the government’s commitment to raise the share of renewable clean and green energy, said that the new policy is more transparent as it provides a level playing field for all. She suggested setting up a joint energy platform to study the market, so that Danish companies would closely follow developments in the field of renewable energy and they could participate in the competitive process of renewable energy projects.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 10, 2020 at 8:37pm

Pakistan can save $5bn by scaling up renewable energy: WB - Profit by Pakistan Today

https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2020/11/10/pakistan-can-save-5b...

The study, titled Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) Integration and Planning, finds that Pakistan needs to urgently implement a major expansion of solar and wind “variable renewable energy”, to achieve a share of at least 30per cent of total capacity by 2030. This would help lower the cost of power, achieve greater energy security, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“A large and sustained expansion of solar photovoltaic and wind power, alongside hydropower and substantial investments in the grid, is both achievable and desirable”, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan Najy Benhassine said.

“Such an initiative would lead to immediate and long-term economic and environmental benefits. It would enhance the security of supply as well as positioning Pakistan at the forefront of the global energy transition. We stand ready to support Pakistan in achieving the goal of affordable, reliable power for all by 2030,” he added.

According to the study, many sources of fossil fuel generation are no longer competitive and should be retired or their use significantly reduced. This includes domestic and imported coal, which is not economical over the next 10 years compared to VRE and has the additional downsides of GHG emissions, air pollution, and use of scarce water resources.

The study, based on an hour-by-hour analysis of all generation options, finds that a substantial and immediate scaling up of VRE capacity represents a “least-cost” strategy for expanding capacity in Pakistan, including consideration of the costs of integrating the variable supply from solar and wind.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 12, 2020 at 9:40pm

Pakistan Decides Against New Coal-fired Power

By 2030, Khan said, 60% of all energy produced in Pakistan will be clean and obtained through renewable resources, while 30% of all vehicles will run on electricity.

https://www.voanews.com/south-central-asia/pakistan-decides-against...


Khan’s government, which took power more than two years ago, has also undertaken a countrywide reforestation campaign to plant more than 3 billion trees by mid-2023 to mitigate the effects of climate change. The massive program, dubbed the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami, went into effect last year, and officials say it has planted more than 500 million saplings across Pakistan.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 23, 2020 at 4:50pm

The battle within the electric-vehicle industry will intensify
The new kids v the old hands

The World Ahead

https://www.economist.com/the-world-ahead/2020/11/17/the-battle-wit...

The surging share price of Tesla, now the world’s most valuable carmaker, provides a big incentive for incumbents and newcomers to catch up. Tesla may lead in battery technology and software, but to make those advantages stick it must prove that “production hell” is behind it. The firm’s boss, Elon Musk, dreams of making 20m cars a year; in 2019 he made 370,000. Scaling up manufacturing has caused Tesla its biggest headaches. Will its new “gigafactories” in Texas and near Berlin come online as smoothly as a new plant in Shanghai, providing proof that Tesla can expand at will?

Tesla may have some catching up to do in large-scale production, but established carmakers face an equally daunting challenge: learning how to write software. Electric cars require integrated software, not just to ensure that batteries and motors work together to provide the best performance, but to connect the car to the outside world. Incumbent carmakers are struggling to combine disparate electronic systems from different suppliers to create the seamless experience offered by Tesla, which constantly improves its cars with smartphone-style “over the air” software updates.

Pivoting from mechanical engineering to developing software and providing the mobility services that customers will increasingly demand (such as ride-hailing and ride-sharing) is not the only challenge. Incumbents must also wind down investments in combustion-­engine technology and make the alliances needed to catch up on batteries and software. Expect more joint ventures and investments in startups, as they try to share costs, shift away from petrol power and bring in new thinking.

And what of the Tesla wannabes, from China’s Li, Nio, WM Motor and Xpeng to American firms such as Fisker, Lucid and scandal-hit Nikola? Cash from excitable investors has poured in and established carmakers are also taking stakes—as are tech giants, keen to get involved as transport goes digital. But which companies will have staying power? Can the wannabes persuade investors that they have proprietary technology that will give them a long-term advantage?


Flashy launches of vehicles are one thing, but as the industry’s travails show, working out how to make cars at scale, when bits and bytes are as important as brakes and bodywork, is quite another. Establishing retail and maintenance networks is no joyride, either. The coming year will make clearer which of Tesla’s competitors, new and old, can stay in the race.

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