National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Chairman Waseem Mukhtar on Monday said that promoting energy affordability for the export sector through regionally competitive tariffs was a critical factor in boosting economic growth
in current challenging times.
Addressing the Pakistan Energy Conference jointly organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Eventive Solutions, he said other critical factors were boosting investments for a reliable energy supply and transmission system and increasing access, said a press release issued here.
The conference aimed to explore policy solutions and map out a viable way forward to promote renewable energy transition in Pakistan under worsening global and national energy inflation for sustainable economic development and provide relief to the public from external price shocks.
Chairman NEPRA remarked that the sector’s success depends on three factors i.e. reliability, affordability, and accessibility. He further stressed the improvement of the forecast mechanisms to ensure return on investments for renewable energy projects.
“We are confronting a poly-crisis globally and at the domestic level there is a pressing need for innovative solutions to achieve a balance between soaring energy prices and capacity payment issues to alleviate some of the sufferings of the public”, said Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI.
Romina Khurshid Alam, former SAPM, stressed that there was an immediate need for the implementation of solar and wind projects through competitive bidding and urged for tapping into the Green Climate Fund to catalyze the national-level energy transition projects. She further emphasized the need to scale up off-grid systems to address social challenges and increase energy access for marginalized communities.
Director General, Board of Investment Zulfiqar Ali said the Government of Pakistan was bringing the Asaan Karobaar Program under which the National Regulatory Delivery Office (NRDO) is being developed to support investments from private sector.
Muhammad Ayub, Former Deputy Managing Director, of NTDC, said integrating wind energy on low load areas like South Punjab and improving transmission from such points to high-demand areas to prevent transmission losses.
He urged the government to focus on indigenizing manufacturing of Solar PVs, inverters etc. to lower technology cost and import dependence and introducing hybrid renewable energy technologies in areas with low wind pressure to scale up the integration of wind in renewable energy.
Chairperson, Board of Directors SNGPL Roohi Khan urged the government to focus on technology transfer and concessional financing for indigenous manufacturing of renewable energy technologies.
Improving planning, risk management, sensitivity, and cost analysis for renewable energy projects especially winds to ensure projects’ financial viability are critical measures to mitigate the current challenges hampering the expansion of the renewable energy transition, she said.
Irfan Ahmed, Advisor, Energy Update stressed addressing seasonal demand fluctuations, insufficient network capacity to accommodate generated wind power, and sudden changes in system load due to abnormal weather conditions to maximize the potential of wind energy in Pakistan and ensure efficient utilization.
Ubaid ur Rehman Zia, Lead Energy Unit, SDPI highlighted that Pakistan must make this transition as it makes a much better economic case, the cheapest source of energy in Pakistan.
Jawwad A. Latif, Member Wapda, said Wapda aims to scale up renewable energy generation capacity to 12,666 MW by 2025 and 20,591 MW by 2028, which will increase access and reduce cost. Sharing progress on ongoing projects he informed that by 2026, WAPDA aims to complete projects worth Rs2600 Billion.
For these projects, “government has to allocate only 25% of the finances while 75% funding will be arranged by Wapda in equities through local and foreign banks”. He informed that “Wapda has successfully floated green euro bonds in the London Stock Exchange and US$500 Million towards these transformative projects have already been secured.”