Pakistan able to produce 1,000 MW electricity through renewable energy sources

KARACHI -  Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Chief Executive Officer Amjad Ali Awan on Wednesday said that Pakistan has become member of the exclusive club, producing over 1,000 megawatts of electricity through renewable energy sources.

Speaking at a press briefing, the AEDB chief informed journalists that Pakistan had achieved 1135 MW of installed capacity of electricity on basis of renewable sources of energy. This capacity would be increased to 1185 MW by next month, when first project of renewable energy under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) using wind power would be installed at Gharo, he said. Naeem Qureshi, Chairman organising committee International Wind energy Summit was also present on the occasion.

Out of these 1135 MW produced by utilising renewable sources, the country has been producing 590 MW on basis of wind power, 400 MW on basis of solar energy, 145 MW power produced through bagasse available with sugar mills in Northern Sindh and Southern Punjab, the AEDB CEO said.

He said the AEDB expected that electricity production through solar power would be increased to 1756 MW by the end of year 2018, while wind power projects in the country would be producing well over 1,000 MW after two years. He said the Letters of Interest (LoIs) had been issued to four more projects to increase bagasse-based electricity to 375 MW, while by year 2019, different sugar mills in the country would be contributing up to 500 MW electricity to the national grid.

Awan expressed optimism that by the beginning of year 2019, the country would be producing 3,000 MW electricity through renewable energy as its onward supply to the end consumers would be made on basis of subsidised tariff causing not much financial burden on users of clean electricity in their households and businesses.

He said that up to 91 percent of 1135 MW electricity, the country had been producing through renewable sources of energy, had been achieved since year 2013. While 57 percent of this installed capacity had been secured in just one last year, showing sincerity of the present government to utilise potential of the country to produce clean energy, he said.

He said that Gharo-Jhimpir wind corridor in Sindh had alone the potential of generating 32,000 MW to 35,000 MW electricity. He said that under its future strategy the AEDB would encourage operators of wind power projects in Sindh to install solar panels at their site to generate additional megawatts of clean power on more stable and reliable pattern.

Awan informed that AEDB, for last around one-and-half years, had not been issuing LoIs for new wind power projects in Sindh as already a number of such projects using the renewable source of energy had been in the pipeline. He said the AEDB had also started doing mapping of renewable energy sources available in the country through assistance of World Bank. For the purpose, 12 wind masts have already been installed for wind energy and 10 solar data stations had been established in different parts of the country to scientifically know about potential of the country to produce electricity on basis of these two main alternative sources of energy.

He said that till the time the country would develop its own testing labs to check quality of solar cells, it would be binding upon the pre-shipment inspection companies to ensure due observance of safety and quality standards recently enforced for solar cells being imported into the country.

While responding to a question, Awan said that AEDB had been ensuring that operators of wind power projects at Gharo-Jhimpir wind corridor would develop a number of welfare projects under the concept of corporate social responsibility to fulfill health, educational, employment, and livelihood needs of the local people to improve their socio-economic standards of living.

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