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.

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Comment by Riaz Haq on February 22, 2021 at 9:03pm

A massive solar energy project to power more than 200,000 homes in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province has been initiated.

https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/pakistan-solar-project-to-...

The provincial government has finalised the environment-friendly project with the suppliers to provide solar-powered electricity to 200,000 households in 10 districts of Sindh, the provincial energy minister Imtiaz Shaikh said. The 10 districts include Badin, Tharparkar, Khairpur, Sujawal, Mithi, Sanghar, Ghotki, Kashmore, Jacobabad and Qambar Shahdadkot.

The $30 million initiative for rural households with low or no grid access is part of the Sindh Solar Energy Project (SSEP) that aims to increase solar power generation and access to electricity in Sindh province. The World Bank has provided $100 million of financing for SSEP to support utility-scale solar power, distributed solar on and around public buildings, and provision of solar systems to households.


The SSEP project includes a 400MW solar park at Manjhand town in Jamshoro district at a cost of $40 million, a $25 million project to install rooftop solar systems on public sector buildings in Karachi and Hyderabad with 20MW capacity, and the $30 million to provide 200,000 rural households access to affordable solar home systems.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 23, 2021 at 8:23am

#China's LONGi Partners with #Pakistan's Reon #Energy (owned by Dawood Group). The 70MWp #solar project will be divided into 4-5 ground-mounted clusters at different Fauji #cement production sites. It will be completed by Q3/2021. #renewableenergy
https://www.pv-magazine.com/press-releases/longi-partners-with-reon...

The project owner is a leading cement group, the 70MWp project will be divided into 4-5 ground-mounted clusters at its different production sites. It is expected to be the largest commercial PV application in Pakistan upon completion. The project is scheduled to commence operations from the third quarter of 2021.

Reon Energy will perform EPC for the projects. The company has extensive experiences in solar projects, and is one of a few companies able to build large-scale solar facilities for industries throughout Pakistan.

LONGi is selected as the sole solar module supplier for Reon’s largest project to date. After carefully evaluated and analyzed, Reon Energy has chosen LONGi’s Hi-MO 5 series which represents highest module efficiency and reliability. In addition, comparing with other options available in the market, Hi-MO5 series can reduce over $1 US cent in BOS cost and saving nearly 5% project land usage, maximizing its EPC margin.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 25, 2021 at 11:38am

Overall, Pakistan attracted more than 50% of renewable energy investments (47% of which in hydropower), while Russia and Indonesia received predominantly fossil fuel related energy investments. (Green Belt and Road BRI Initiative)

https://green-bri.org/china-belt-and-road-initiative-bri-investment...


Among the BRI countries, investments were spread broadly across the continents. The countries that received most investments were Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan and Chile. Particularly Vietnam saw a strong increase of Chinese investments – an increase of over 200% compared to 2019, possibly driven by near-shoring to avoid American sanctions. Other BRI countries that saw increases of Chinese investments despite the COVID-19 pandemic include Poland, Bulgaria, Serbia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Chile, as well as Thailand.


Analyzing Chinese energy investments in different countries, we find that Pakistan was the country, which received most energy investments from 2013 to 2020, followed by the Russian Federation and Indonesia. Pakistan is both the largest recipient of coal-related investments and also the largest recipient of investments in hydropower. Overall, Pakistan attracted more than 50% of renewable energy investments (47% of which in hydropower), while Russia and Indonesia received predominantly fossil fuel related energy investments.


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Rail: Rail investments included high-speed rail projects connecting China through Thailand and Malaysia to Singapore (Kunming-Singapore rail). A deal of the first 40km segment of the China-Thailand high-speed rail linking Bangkok to Thailand’s border with Laos was signed in December 2020. China is also building a US$6 bn high-speed rail connecting 142 km between Jakarta and Bandung in Indonesia. Furthermore, China has been engaged in building several railway projects on the African continent (e.g. Standard Gauge Railways in Kenya and Ethiopia). China also invested in rail in Europe, such as the Budapest-Belgrade railway. China also invested in several urban rail transport projects, such as US$900 million in a subway in Hanoi, Vietnam (which has been delayed) or the US$1.6 billion metro line in Lahore, Pakistan opened in October 2020.

Road-transport: China invested across all countries with investments including road construction in Pakistan (e.g. Karakoram Highway connecting China and Pakistan all the way to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port). In 2020 investments in road infrastructure decreased by close to 70% to about US$4 billion.

Ports: Pakistan is also one of the largest recipients of Chinese investments in port infrastructure, such as the Gwadar port operated by China Overseas Port Holding Company, which is a strategically important and also contested investment for China. Other strategic port investments can be found in Piraeus, Greece or in Lamu and Mobasa, Kenya, as well as in Djibouti. A recent US$3 billion agreement to commission Croatia’s largest port (Rijeka Port) to a consortium of three Chinese contractors has been cancelled at the beginning of 2021.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 25, 2021 at 12:12pm

Pakistan leapfrogging to a green energy future
18 September 2020
Author: Maha Qasim, Islamabad

https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2020/09/18/pakistan-leapfrogging-to-a....

In August 2020, the Pakistan government formally approved the Alternative and Renewable Energy Policy 2019. The new policy aims to boost the share of electricity generated from renewable sources from around 5 per cent at present to 20 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030.


To encourage the shift to renewables and empower the domestic industrial sector, the policy offers generous tax benefits to investors, encourages lower tariffs by introducing competitive bidding, and incentivises local production of renewable energy equipment such as wind turbines and solar panels.

The recent introduction of net-metering legislation for solar installations allows consumers to sell power to the grid. This is expediting the adoption of rooftop solar by homeowners and presents an opportunity to electrify remote villages and commercial enterprises that have sufficient rooftop space and available land.

Around 1000 MW of wind power has also been developed over the last few years. Wind power receives the highest level of private sector interest due to bite-size investment requirements and a relatively short gestation period. Utility-scale wind and solar plants could soon be augmented by battery storage to overcome the challenge of intermittent power supply.

The National Electric Vehicles Policy launched last year also promotes the large scale adoption of electric vehicles in an effort to combat urban air pollution and provides incentives to jumpstart the local electric vehicle manufacturing industry. The shift to electric vehicles could play a significant role in reducing Pakistan’s oil import bill and securing the transport sector against international price shocks, while also creating numerous green business and employment opportunities.

Pakistan currently imports almost a third of its energy resources in the form of oil, LNG and coal. An import-driven energy policy is not sustainable for Pakistan as it contributes to long-term energy insecurity, exposing the economy to energy price shocks and the risk of inflation. Inflationary pressures reduce the competitiveness of the country’s exports, further constraining Pakistan’s capacity to pay for energy imports.

The rapid adoption and upscaling of green energy solutions in the form of distributed generation, smart metering and electric vehicles — coupled with investments in utility-scale renewable energy power plants and increased energy conservation efforts — will significantly reduce energy imports and decrease the cost of electricity. This amounts to greater self-sufficiency and energy security for Pakistan.

Thanks to infrastructure and energy projects built under the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan has managed to plug the energy shortfall that has plagued the country for several years. The government has various power projects in the pipeline and forecasts surplus generation capacity in the next decade — a surplus that could benefit the growing electric vehicles sector.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 3, 2021 at 6:03pm

#Karachi-based Denim-Maker Artistic Milliners Makes $370M Investment in #Hydropower Projects in #Pakistan demonstrating commitment to sustainability. It will also include the development of wind and solar projects, as well as an operational #wind farm. https://sourcingjournal.com/denim/denim-mills/artistic-milliners-hy...

Karachi, Pakistan-based denim manufacturer Artistic Milliners further demonstrated its commitment to sustainability with a $370 million investment in two run of river hydropower projects.

Artistic Milliners’ hydropower plants, Hydro I and Artistic Hydro II, will contribute a combined 521 GWh per year. According to Italian energy company ERG SpA, that’s enough energy to meet the demand of more than 133,000 homes. Both plants are located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, with Artistic I Hydro pulling from the Panjkora River and Artistic II Hydro pulling from the Ushu River.


The project will also include the development of wind and solar projects, as well as an operational wind farm.

Regulatory authorities are currently processing generation licenses and tariffs needed for the projects, and commercial operation is slated to begin by December 2027.

According to the International Hydropower Association, renewable hydropower is a clean and low-cost source of electricity generation and responsible water management. Specifically, run-of-river hydropower channels flowing water from a river to spin a turbine. This form of energy uses water flow that is regulated by the facility for a continuous supply of electricity. It’s currently a significant energy source in Pakistan, representing around 25 percent of capacity and 21 percent of generation.

This investment is part of Artistic Milliner’s overall commitment to the land in which it operates. At the end of last year, Artistic Milliners launched the Milliner Cotton Initiative, a call for visibility and women empowerment throughout the cotton supply chain. It also encompasses capacity building for ginners and promotes practices for mitigating extortion throughout the Rahim Yar Khan district of Punjab, Pakistan.

Artistic Milliners is also the first and only Pakistan-based company to abide by the United Nations’ 1.5°C-compliant business model to help mitigate the climate crisis. It has aggressive sustainability targets in place to reach net zero emission by 2025.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 11, 2021 at 7:17am

JinkoSolar signs 100MW module supply deal in ‘key market’ Pakistan

https://www.pv-tech.org/jinkosolar-signs-100mw-module-supply-deal-i...

JinkoSolar has secured an agreement that will see its Tiger and Tiger Pro 530 / 535W modules be marketed and distributed in Pakistan throughout 2021.

The company has signed a 100MW module supply deal and formed a long-term development partnership with Pakistani solar firm AE Power.

Farhan Qurban, country manager of Pakistan at JinkoSolar, said the country “has had an impressive boom” in recent years and is currently “one of the key markets” for the company in Asia.

“The 100MW distribution agreement for 2021 between AE Power and JinkoSolar in the Pakistan market represents the first important step of the long-term partnership between the two companies,” he added.

To date, JinkoSolar has supplied up to 30MW of its Tiger Pro modules to Pakistan. The company is set to double production of the Tiger Pro series this year, thanks to the upcoming completion of the first 10GW phase of a new solar cell manufacturing base in Yunnan Province, China.

AE Power CEO Rana Abbas said: “The 100MW distribution contract for 2021 opens up ideal cooperation opportunities for construction companies and rooftop solar power developers in Pakistan in using clean energy at average prices.”

Pakistan aims to generate 30% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.

--------------------

AE Power Focuses on the manufacturing of top quality photovoltaic modules and specializes in PV Technology innovation, application, and system development. The company is a KEY COMPONENT SUPPLIER and PROJECT DEVELOPER. AE Power’s global sales and marketing network Successfully provides end-users with accessible clean energy, whilst promoting its core brand values of STABILITY, DURABILITY, and RELIABILITY. We provide international and local warranty in Pakistan.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 11, 2021 at 7:21am

Imports of solar panels have risen from as little as $1 million in 2004 to a peak of $772 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017. While they have since dropped down to $409 million in fiscal 2019, the country’s imports of solar panels appear to be a strong upward trajectory, growing at an average rate of 15.9% per year in US dollar terms (22.6% per year in Pakistani rupee terms) in the five years between 2014 and 2019.

https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2020/05/04/solar-is-the-future-so-might-as-well-hurry/

While a substantial portion of those imports are for grid-scale projects, a significant proportion are for domestic, commercial, and industrial users who are not necessarily connected to the grid.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 23, 2021 at 4:26pm

LONGi Solar has taken its confirmed solar module orders from Pakistan this year to 500MW, the majority of which it said were for its Hi-MO 5 series.

https://www.pv-tech.org/longi-solar-takes-pakistan-module-orders-to...

LONGi said more than 80% of orders secured in the country, equivalent to around 422MWp, were for the Hi-MO 5 series of modules which come in power output variants of up to 540W.

Among the clients LONGi has secured in the country are Reon Energy, which is to develop Pakistan’s largest commercial solar project to date – and among the largest commercial rooftops outside of China – at 70MWp. The project is due to enter commercial operations in Q3 2021.

Dennis She, senior vice president at LONGi Solar, said the module manufacturer was committed to helping its customers in Pakistan contribute towards the country’s “path towards greater energy independence”.

“As Pakistan is prioritizing its energy generation methods and enhancing capacity to produce clean energy in order to meet growing demand without degrading the environment, energy project cooperation is playing a pivotal role,” he said.

Amidst a sizeable energy deficit where demand far outstrips power supply in Pakistan, the country is quickly turning to renewable power to bolster its power generation base. As of 30 June 2020, Pakistan had an operational solar generation capacity of 530MW, equivalent to around 1.36% of the country’s total power generation capacity of just over 38.7GW. Renewables in total contribute just 4% to total power output.

But Pakistan maintains an ambition to see that share rise to 30% by 2030, and sizeable additions to the country’s renewables portfolio are planned. LONGi cited estimates that between 565MW and 1,120MW of new solar capacity will be added this year, followed by between 623MW and 1,287MW in 2022.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 25, 2021 at 4:34pm

Pakistan’s installed PV capacity will likely increase from around 1.3 GW at the end of 2019 to 12.8 GW by 2030 and 26.9 GW by 2047, according to the Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan – IGCEP 2047, which was recently published by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA).


https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/05/01/pakistani-regulator-expects-...

NERPA's base-case scenario predicts that overall generation capacity will grow from 33,000 MW in 2020 to around 168,200 MW in 2047. But coal and hydropower will still account for 36% and 42% of total capacity, at 32,948 MW and 55,836 MW, respectively.

By 2030, the share of wind and solar in the overall energy mix will likely increase from about 3% in 2020 to 23%. “Beyond 2030, share of solar and wind plants decreases due to the increase in the number of new local coal-based plants having greater capacity factors,” NERPA said.

However, it also acknowledges that wind and solar are becoming the cheapest forms of new electricity generation. “They are set to replace the conventional fuels to great extent for power generation to meet the future demand growth,” NEPRA said. “The cheaper and widely accessible renewable energy has the potential to substantially decrease the reliability of power sector on expensive imported fuels.”

The organization also predicts that solar power plant capex in Pakistan will drop from $530/kW in 2020 to $371/kW by 2030. A global outlook report that was recently published by SolarPower Europe also predicted that Pakistan will deploy close to 5 GW of solar capacity by 2022.

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