Germany keen to invest in renewable energy power projects

ISLAMABAD (APP) - German Ambassador Michael Koch Friday called on the Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf, discussed various matters of mutual interest and investment opportunities in water and power sector in Pakistan to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The Minister while welcoming the ambassador briefed him on the current energy situation and said that all the resources are being utilized to mitigate the load shedding by December 2009. He said that private sector power projects and rental power projects are being installed to meet the current power shortfall of 3000 MW. He said that the government is focusing on hydel, solar, wind, coal-based power generation for future projects to produce affordable electricity for it consumers as a long term planning. He said that the government has also decided to change its energy mix for cheaper power generation. Pervez Ashraf also informed the ambassador that two small wind power projects have been set up initially. He said that a number of villages have been electrified in Sindh through solar, and soon areas will be electrified in Balochistan through solar system . He also said that it is being planned to shift all the street lights in the country from national grid to solar energy. German technology is reliable in the world, and will support Pakistan in this regard, he added. The Minister said that Alternative Energy Developed Board will coordinate with the German companies interested to invest in the renewable energy projects. Pakistan will provide maximum facilities through its liberal and incentive based policy to the investors and they will get good returns like other German companies working in Pakistan, he assured. Earlier, the ambassador thanked the Minister and expressed the desire to invest in the renewable energy power projects in Pakistan. He said that German companies are already working in various water and power sector projects, and has also expertise in the renewable energy projects. He asked for details of the projects identified for renewable energy in Pakistan. He said that a German delegation would visit Pakistan to explore venues in the renewable energy projects which is a cheap source of power generation. The ambassador remained for some time with the minister and also discussed matters of mutual interest.