Pakistan Solar Net Metering Installations Have More Than Doubled Since Last Year

Nearly 4,000 new net metering licenses have been issued in Pakistan in the July-September quarter, up from 2,000 in the same quarter last year. Vast majority of these are for solar photo-voltaic installation. Net metering solar installations are in addition to the rapidly growing off-grid solar panels across Pakistan. Higher electric utility (DISCO) bills and lower cost of solar panels appear to be driving the adoption of solar in Pakistan. Net metering allows users with private renewable energy production plants to connect to the electric grid and sell excess power to the local electric utility or DISCOs such as K-Electric, LESCO or IESCO in Pakistan.   

Net Metering Installations in Pakistan. Source: Jeremy Higgs

This year has seen the fastest growth in net energy metering (NEM) growth since Pakistan launched its first NEM policy in 2015, according to data shared by Jeremy Higgs, director of operations for Islamabad-based EcoEnergy.  Total number of net metering installations in Pakistan is about 16,000, according to Jeremy Higgs. National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) issued 3,334 net metering licenses with total installed capacity of 56.86 megawatt under the net-metering regime during 2019-20, according to an October, 2020 news report.    

Net Metering Installations By DISCOs in Pakistan. Source: Jeremy Higgs

Surprisingly, Pakistan's biggest city Karachi is lagging significantly behind Lahore and Islamabad in net metering licenses. Nearly 25% of all net metering licenses in Pakistan were issued by LESCO (Lahore Electric Supply Company) in the July-September quarter. IESCO (Islamabad Electric Supply Company) has handed out 20% and K-Electric (Karachi Electric) 15%. 

Top 10 Solar Energy Countries in 2017. Source: USAID

Back in 2017, Pakistan was ranked among the top 10 countries for investment in solar PV projects below 1 MW. Pakistan PSLM/HIES 2018-19 survey results revealed that 15.2% of all households are using solar panels as a source of energy for their homes.  

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

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.

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Views: 34

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 4, 2021 at 8:35am

#Solar #energy shines with opportunity for #China, #Pakistan. Key initiatives: solar village electrification for 40,000 villages & 1.1 million solar powered pumps in rural Pakistan. #agriculture #electricity #renewableenergy #Renewables https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202110/01/WS61567d22a310cdd39bc6cc3...


Pakistan's population of 220 million is set to grow at a rate of 1.5 percent annually, which will lead to drastically growing demands for energy. However, energy deficiency has been a serious challenge to the security and economy of the country. Currently, almost 80 percent of Pakistan's energy supply comes from the burning of fossil fuels, such as the oil and gas that Pakistan has to import.

At the same time, Pakistan is blessed with natural resources such as sunlight and wind. According to recent studies, Pakistan's solar potential is estimated to be over 100,000 megawatts. Excellent conditions for harnessing solar energy can be found in the southwestern province of Balochistan, where the sun shines about eight hours daily or approximately 3,000 hours per year. For many Pakistani villagers who live far from the national grid, distributed solar power provides an ideal solution.

Facing the urgency of global climate change, Pakistan has been promoting more environmentally friendly renewable energy in recent years. The government intends to boost the share of clean and green energy to 60-65 percent of the total energy mix by 2030. Some key initiatives have been taken, such as the Solar Village Electrification program, under which more than 40,000 villages that are too far from the national grid to be economically connected now have energy access, and the Solar Powered Efficient Pumps program which is designed to replace 1.1 million water pumps that were previously operated with either insufficient electricity or diesel. The Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power in Punjab is the first utility-scale solar power plant in the country.

To promote solar energy, the Pakistani government has also offered a flexible and attractive policy that includes tax incentives and legal protection for the return on investment (which is usually eight years, the highest in the world). Under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), further incentives are offered for Chinese investors, along with other preferential treatment.

As the interviews in the book Belt and Road Through My Village have shown, Pakistani people are the beneficiaries of solar energy, which has improved the socioeconomic conditions of the common people, enhanced their income and made their lives more comfortable. Solar energy has served as a catalyst in poverty eradication. People are happy and grateful to their Chinese brethren and welcome more similar development projects to improve their lives. These projects are cost-effective, and, contrary to Western propaganda, they are not debt traps.

China is a world leader in solar energy and has been meeting the worldwide demand. Today, China can share its solar technology, experience and environmental improvement stories with the rest of the world. The Pakistani government's new policies and determination to develop solar energy provide Chinese solar companies and investors, as well as the Pakistani people, a great opportunity to grow together cleanly and sustainably.

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 27, 2021 at 7:21am

SBP eases terms for renewable energy financing

https://www.dawn.com/news/1651531

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has allowed all Renewable Energy Investment Entities (RE-IEs) to avail financing on easy conditions to remove growing electricity shortage in the country.

The SBP on Monday said that to promote investment in RE solutions by companies, the central bank has eased the conditions for renewable energy solution providers under its Refinance Scheme for Renewable Energy.

With the aim of helping address the challenges of energy shortages and climate change, the central bank revised its Financing Scheme for Renewable Energy in July 2019. Since the inception of the scheme, 717 projects having potential of adding 1,082MW of energy supply through renewable sources have been financed. As of June 30, 2021, total outstanding financing under the scheme is Rs53 billion.

RE, often referred to as clean energy, comes from natural sources — sunlight, water and wind — or processes that are constantly replenished.


Since 2019, projects promising 1,082MW of energy supply have been financed

“Now, all RE-IEs interested in installing renewable energy projects and solutions are allowed to avail refinance under Category-III of the scheme,” said the SBP.

An RE-IE is a business entity (including vendors and suppliers) whose business is to establish renewable energy projects for onward leasing, renting out or selling on deferred payment basis or selling of electricity generated from these projects to end users.

The SBP also launched a Sharia-complaint version of the scheme in August 2019. The scheme now comprises of three categories. Under Category-I, financing is allowed for setting up of RE power projects with capacity ranging from 1-50 MW for own use or selling of electricity to the national grid or a combination of both.

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

Under Category-III, financing is allowed to vendors, suppliers and energy sale companies for installation of wind and solar systems of up to 5 MW.

While there is substantial take up under Category-I and II, solution suppliers under Category-III faced problems, said the SBP.

Accordingly, in light of the feedback received from stakeholders including RE solution suppliers, Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) and banks, the requirement of AEDB certification has been relaxed for RE-IEs who do not undertake installations on their own but hire services of installers or vendors for installation of RE projects.

“However, vendors, suppliers, engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractors of these RE-IEs will still be required to be certified under the AEDB certification regulations,” said the SBP.

The SBP expects that this revision in Category-III will further facilitate production of clean energy in the country.

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