Renewable Energy in Pakistan: 15.2% of Households Use Solar

Solar panel installations in Pakistani homes are rising rapidly. Pakistan PSLM/HIES 2018-19 survey results reveal that 15.2% of all households are using solar panels as a source of energy for their homes.  Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province leads the nation with 40% of all households using solar energy. Rural Pakistan is embracing solar power at a faster rate than Urban Pakistan. Adoption of solar in rural areas of KP is at 43%, Sindh 33.9%,  Balochistan 20.4% and Punjab 7.9%. Rapid decline in cost of solar panels appears to be driving the adoption of solar in Pakistan's rural areas where grid power is either unavailable or unreliable. Pakistan is starting to join the clean energy revolution with increasing adoption of solar and recent announcement of National Electric Vehicle Policy. Covid19 pandemic may temporarily slow it down but the upward trend will likely continue.

Pakistan Solar Panel Imports in Millions of US Dollars. Source: FBS...

Solar Panels in Pakistan: 

Imports of solar panels have increased at 15.9% annually in US dollar terms and 22.6% in Pakistan rupee terms in the last years. Solar panel imports have jumped from just $1 million in 2004 to a peak of $772 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, then declined to  $343 million in 2018 and then rose again to $409 million in 2019.  Covid19 pandemic may temporarily slow it down but the upward trend will likely continue.

Households Using Solar Panels. Source: PSLM/HIES 2018-19 Via Bilal ...

Solar panel installations in Pakistani homes are rising rapidly. Pakistan PSLM/HIES 2018-19 survey results reveal that 15.2% of all households are using solar panels as source of energy for their homes. 

Government survey data shows that 20% of rural households are  using solar panels, significantly ahead of just 7.7% urban households in the country. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province leads with 40% of households using solar energy, followed by Balochistan 25.7%, Sindh 20.5% and Punjab 6.4%.

Rural Pakistan is leading the nation into wider use of solar power.  Adoption of solar in rural areas of KP is at 43%, Sindh 33.9%,  Balochistan 20.4% and Punjab 7.9%. Rapid decline in cost of solar panels appears to be driving adoption of the solar energy in Pakistan's rural areas where grid power is either unavailable or unreliable.

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: 


Pakistan is starting to join the clean energy revolution with increasing adoption of solar and recent announcement of National Electric Vehicle Policy.  Solar panel installations in Pakistani homes are rising rapidly. Pakistan PSLM/HIES 2018-19 survey results reveal that 15.2% of all households are using solar panels as source of energy for their homes.  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.  Covid19 pandemic may temporarily slow it down but the upward trend will likely continue.

Related Links:

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Pakistan Electric Vehicle Policy

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Views: 58

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 13, 2020 at 8:13pm

#Pakistan awards $5.8B contract for #dam construction to consortium of #Chinese and #Pakistani companies. #diamerbhashadam will store 6.4 million acre feet (MAF) of #water and produce 4,500 MW of clean #electricity.$1.03B for social programs around the dam http://v.aa.com.tr/1839628

Islamabad on Wednesday granted a contract worth 442 billion Pakistani rupees ($5.85 billion) to a consortium of Chinese and Pakistani companies for construction of a major dam to cope with the country's growing energy requirements.

The contract was signed at a ceremony in the capital Islamabad between the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), and a joint venture of Power China, and Frontier Works Organization – a subsidiary of Pakistan’s Army – for construction of a diversion system, main dam, and access bridge of Diamer-Basha dam, apart from a 21 megawatt hydropower project.

Amir Bashir Chaudhry, chief executive officer of the project, and Yang Jiandu of Power China signed the agreement on behalf of WAPDA and the joint venture respectively, according to a statement by the Water and Power Ministry.

WAPDA has already awarded a consultancy contract of the project to Diamer Basha Consultants Group (DBCG) worth 27.182 billion rupees ($168.8 million). The consultancy agreement includes construction design, construction supervision, and contract administration of the Diamer-Basha Dam project, the statement added.

The development came a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the start of construction of the much-awaited dam in northern Pakistan.

The $14 billion dam, to be constructed on the River Indus in the northern Gilgit-Baltistan region, which borders China, is set to produce 4500MW of affordable electricity, said the statement.

"The 6.4 MAF [million acre foot] water storage capacity of the dam will reduce the current water shortage in the country of 12 MAF to 6.1 MAF," the statement said, adding that it will also add 35 years to the life of Tarbela Dam – one of the two major dams in Pakistan – by reducing sedimentation.

Some 78.5 billion rupees ($1.03 billion) will be spent on social development of the area around the dam, mainly on resettlement of the population.

"It will also be a major source of flood mitigation and save billions worth of damages caused by floods each year," the statement said.

Earlier, Asim Saleem Bajwa, special assistant to the prime minister on information, called the announcement "historic."

"Announcing to start construction of Diamer Bhasha dam today is a historic news for all generations of Pakistan, a huge stimulus for our economy, create 16,500 jobs, generate 4500 MW hydel power, and irrigate 1.2 million acre agriculture land," he tweeted on Monday.

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 15, 2020 at 12:31pm

"What is the solar panel cost / maintenance of running a two bedroom apartment in Pakistan with fans and lights in each room, couple of computers, TV and a Refrigerator?

About Rs 106,000 for 540W system:

Solar Panel: Rs. 100 per watt = Rs. 100 x 540 = Rs. 54,000
Inverter – we will need 1KW inverter = Rs. 26,000
Batteries: 2 x 200 Amp batteries: Rs. 13,000 x 2 = Rs. 26,000
Total Cost: Rs. 54,000 + Rs. 26,000 + Rs. 26,000 = Rs. 106,000 https://www.phoneworld.com.pk/energy-efficient-and-a-better-investm...

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 24, 2020 at 12:07pm

#China ignores #India over world's highest Diamer-Bhasha #dam project in #Pakistani #Kashmir. #Islamabad gets #Beijing funds for joint venture opposed by #Delhi. It will generate 4,500 MW of #power & store 8 million acre-feet of #water. #RenewableEnergy

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Belt-and-Road/China-ignores-India...

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 27, 2020 at 7:18am

#Pakistan's Suki Kinari #hydroelectric power project unaffected by #COVID19. 19.5% work on the 874 MW dam project completed on Kunhar River with an investment of
US $ 1.963 billion under the umbrella of #CPEC. #China #renewableenergy https://www.app.com.pk/progress-of-suki-kinari-power-project-remain... via @appcsocialmedia

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting General (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa Wednesday said work on the Suki Kinari hydal power project was in full swing as progress on the project remained unaffected due to COVID-19.
In a tweet, Asim Bajwa who is also Chairman, China Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (CPECA) said, 19.5 percent work on the 874 MW power project had been completed.
He said the project was being established at Kunhar River with an investment of
US $ 1.963 bn under the umbrella of China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
He informed that the project had so far created 4,250 job opportunities and
after completion it would help reducing cost of electricity.
“Bringing cost of electricity down is top priority of the government,” he added.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 17, 2020 at 7:00pm

#Pakistan's Rural Transformation With #Education, #Remittances, #Healthcare & #Communications: Motorized Vehicles replacing horses & bulls, sturdy brick/cement replacing mud houses, TVs & Mobile Phones everywhere, Migrant workers bringing money & ideas. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/685889-changing-landscape-of-villa...

Islamabad:The countryside life in far-flung areas of Pakistan, once considered totally isolated and secluded from the rest of the world and devoid of modern-day facilities, has undergone a massive transformation during the last two decades or so by changing the entire landscape of village life.

The rural life is often considered backward, fixed and hostage to tribal culture and traditions. Similarly, the popular social discourse that nothing has changed in Pakistan contradicts with historical facts.

Looking at the national picture of rural life in Pakistan rapid changes have occurred in almost all spheres of life from communication to education, socialization to healthcare, transportation to banking, governance to farming and cultivation to harvesting due to technological advancement, developmental works, penetration of information technology, remittances and domestic tourism.

Among others, the two factors of economic and technological developments as the agent of change had proved instrumental in shaping the process of change not only in the urban areas but also in suburbs of the country. Not more than twenty years ago when mobility was considered difficult in the remote areas not only due to missing road infrastructure but also due to poor transportation facilities.

‘Tonga,’ a carriage pulled by a horse, was the only facility for public transport while bullock-cart was commonplace phenomena for weight transportation in almost all small villages. The houses made of mud have also slowly been replaced by cemented buildings while the social structure was also changed due to disintegration of combined family structure to separate family system.

Likewise, only a few professions of handicrafts have survived due innovation to capture the pace of time and demand of the market while others have totally faded away. Similarly, the obsolete tools, techniques and methods are no more used in farming, cultivation and harvesting due to low production. Therefore, it could not survive at all in the face of modern technologies.

The media revolution in the country with more than 100 private TV channels has brought the whole world at the doorstep of the villagers while the mobile phone companies and 3G/4G technologies have brought it further closer to the palms of people. Hardly there is anyone left without having a smartphone even in the remotest parts of the country.

Almost everybody has got access to the unbridled flow of information on social media in every nook and corner of the country. Thus the electronic media and communication technologies have brought together the collective experiences of the whole world into rural households. The occupation and profession in rural areas once used to be farming and handicraft only. Now it has also transformed into government services, urban migration, overseas workers and businesses. The migrant workers are not only bringing money to the rural economy, but also ideas and experiences about how people in urban areas and the world outside live.

The villages, the basic components of civilization, where a large segment of society is living, have either transformed into model villages/towns or merged with nearby cities having urbanized lifestyle and lots of hustle and bustle. But in developed parts of the globe, the difference between village and city life is still quite visible due to well-planned construction, proper waste disposal mechanism, sewerage system, cleanliness and greenery.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 22, 2020 at 12:31pm

State Bank of #Pakistan goes green, expands #renewable energy financing scheme under Category II for customers and Category III for vendors. The SBP has also launched a Shariah-compliant version of the scheme. #solar #wind - Profit by Pakistan Today https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2020/07/22/sbp-goes-green-expan...

In an attempt to encourage clean energy in the country, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has enhanced the scope of its Refinance Scheme for Renewable Energy, according to a statement issued on Wednesday.

The scheme allows financing under category III to solar and wind-based energy sale companies. After feedback received from stakeholders, the size of the project established by the vendor, supplier, or energy sale company has been increased from 1MW to 5MW. The cumulative financing limit has also been increased from Rs1 billion to Rs2 billion.

“This revision in the scheme is expected to not only attract fresh local and foreign investment in the sector but also facilitate production of clean energy in the country, helping in managing climate change,” the SBP said.

The SBP Financing Scheme for Renewable Energy was announced in June 2016, with an aim to help address the challenges of energy shortages and climate change in the country.

Initially, the scheme had two categories. Category 1 allowed financing for setting up of renewable energy power projects, with the capacity ranging from 1MW to 50MW for own use or selling of electricity to the national grid, or combination of both.

Category II allowed financing to domestic, agriculture, commercial and industrial borrowers to install renewable energy-based projects of up to 1MW to generate electricity for own use or selling to the grid and distribution company under net metering.

Later, in July 2019, the SBP introduced Category III for facilitating financing to vendors and suppliers to install wind and solar systems of up to 1MW. The SBP also launched a Shariah-compliant version of the scheme in August 2019.

Since the introduction of the scheme, total outstanding financing under the scheme has reached Rs15.6 billion for 217 projects. This has the potential of adding 292MW to energy supply.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 25, 2020 at 11:29am

#CleanEnergy: Under Nia #Pakistan Solarization Project, 7,227 schools provided with #solar power & #energy efficient fans & #LED light bulbs. 2,400 Basic Health Units to get Hybrid Solar PV system, benefiting an estimated 168,000 patients every day - https://www.newsweekpakistan.com/towards-clean-and-green-energy/

The Nia Pakistan project is supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which had approved a Disbursement Link Indicators-based loan of $83.69 million under its Access to Clean Energy Investment Program during the previous government’s tenure. However, there was no progress on it and right after taking charge, I took the project out of cold storage, fast-tracked it and put it on speedy execution.

As of this writing, 7,227 schools have been provided with solar power under this project, including installation of energy efficient fans and light bulbs. In the first phase, we are determined to convert to solar some 10,861 primary schools by the end this year. Schools located in off-grid areas, including some 1,794 that have never had access to electricity, would be prioritized.

The second phase will involve solarization of an additional 4,500 schools in the rest of northern and central Punjab. Similarly, over 2,400 Basic Health Units from all over the province would also be converted into Hybrid Solar PV system, benefiting an estimated 168,000 patients every day. The conversion of public sector universities, colleges, hospitals and other public sector buildings to solar energy is also under process.

The Punjab Energy Department plans to convert 60 public sector universities in the province to solar on fast-track basis and Memorandums of Understanding have already been inked with 16 varsities in this regard. The groundbreaking ceremony of converting the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore to solar power was performed last month, while the THQ Teaching Hospital, Dera Ghazi Khan, and the Government Comprehensive High School, Gujranwala have already been solarized.

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