Can Shakti Solar Success Inspire Pakistanis?

Reliable 24X7 availability of electricity is taken for granted in most of the developed world. Whenever consumers plug their favorite gadgets into the wall socket, it is assumed that the power will be there. Everyone has access to it. Electrical power outages are extremely rare.

Electricity empowers consumers by enhancing their lives through better learning and entertainment, higher productivity and income, greater comfort, increased safety, superior health, and improved economy. People in the developed world live with the benefits of electricity everyday. While most people give little thought to where electricity comes from, there are many different ways to generate electricity - including coal, oil, gas, hydroelectric, nuclear, wind and solar. It is delivered to individual homes by extensive national grid systems.

In most of the developing nations, however, the availability of electricity to majority of the population is either unreliable or non-existent. The lack of such an essential energy source results in low levels of human development, low productivity and widespread poverty in the developing world, as evident from the chart above. The governments of most developing nations, particularly in South Asia, have miserably failed in providing such a basic necessity as electricity to their people. About 40% of the people in both India and Pakistan have no access to electricity, The percentage lacking access in Bangladesh is even higher. Socially-oriented enterprises such as Grameen Shakti and D.light are offering poor communities an affordable alternative to kerosene, which is ubiquitous but hazardous. The quality of the kerosene lamp light isn't good, it emits pollutants, and it's just plain dangerous. "You travel around these villages, and everyone has a story of a child being burned or a house destroyed by fire," says Nedjip Tozun of D.light, speaking to Fortune by phone from his office in Shenzhen, China. "And yet in some places we found that people were spending 15% to 20% of their income on light." The world's poor spend about $38 billion a year on kerosene for lighting, according to the International Finance Corp.

Pakistan's current installed capacity is around 19,845 MW, of which around 20% is hydroelectric. Much of the rest is thermal, fueled primarily by gas and oil. Per capita energy consumption of the country is estimated at 14 million Btu, which is about the same as India's but only a fraction of other industrializing economies in the region such as Thailand and Malaysia, according to the US Dept of Energy 2006 report. To put it in perspective, the world average per capita energy use is about 65 million BTUs and the average American consumes 352 million BTUs.

Extended electricity load shedding in Karachi's five major industrial estates is causing losses in billions of rupees as the production activity has fallen by about 50 per cent. KESC, Karachi's power supply utility, is dealing with with a shortfall of around 700MW against a total demand of 2200MW. Almost all forms of power generation from fossil fuel-fired thermal to hydroelectric to nuclear are down from a year ago. As a result of the daily rolling blackouts, the economy, major exports and overall employment are also down and the daily wage earners are suffering. The KESC and PEPCO owe more than Rs. 10b to the independent power producers (IPPs) and paying them will help bring them into full operation and ease the crisis at least partially.

The electric power situation in India is not much better. The country is suffering its worst electricity crisis. Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Haryana are the worst hit by the ongoing crisis and they are facing power gaps of about 5,000MW, 1,000MW, 2000MW, 1,500MW respectively. Some major cities in India are facing alarming situations; continuous load shedding in Bangalore has led to diesel shortage as people are using diesel generators to deal with the crisis. Times of India has reported student protests against power cuts affecting their studies. Textile and jute mills in West Bengal have been badly hit by unscheduled power cuts. In Tamil Nadu, severe power shortage has hit industrial production, according to MSN India. Companies said production could be down as much as 30 per cent. Sectors like textile, leather and salt appear to be among the worst hit. Industry associations put the loss in production at around Rs 4,000 crore. In Maharashtra, state officials are asking industrial consumers to lower their demand by 10% or be ready to face forced load shedding (rolling blackouts). Last year, IBN reported that New Delhi, the capital, faced 30 percent shortage in power. Maharashtra on an average had 8 to 10 hours of load shedding every day. Madhya Pradesh had 26 percent power deficit. In Gujarat, while the requirement is 5,500 Mega Units, availability is 4,780 Mega Units. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are facing 2000 Mega Units of energy deficit and Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir have 1,500 and 1000 Mega Units of power shortages respectively. Cities and towns are facing 7 to 13 hours blackouts.

To empower people and communities in some of the developing nations, social entrepreneurs are stepping in to fill the large gap between supply and demand for electricity. In Bangladesh, for example, Grameen Shakti is a social enterprise selling home solar electricity systems to families that do not have access to electricity otherwise, which includes more than 70% of the country’s population. It is an enterprise that demonstrates the success of a densely networked approach involving mutually reinforcing investments in human, social, ecological and financial capital by a number of organizations.

Solar energy makes much sense for Pakistan for several reasons: firstly, majority of the population lives in 50,000 villages that are far away from the creaking old national grid, according to a report by the Solar Energy Research Center (SERC). Connecting these villages to the national grid would be very costly, thus giving each house a solar panel would be cost efficient and would empower people both economically and socially.

To draw inspiration for empowering Pakistani villagers with solar energy, Pakistanis don't have to look far. In Bangladesh, Grameen Shakti (GS) is demonstrating that it can be done. GS was founded by Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate Mohammad Yunus in 1996 as part of the Grameen Bank’s family of enterprises. Shakti is attempting to rescue the rural people from energy poverty which hampers their social and economic development. Shakti's unique program has taken the first step to break the social and economical divide between those who have energy and those who do not.

The Grameen Bank, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, was started in 1976 and officially founded in 1983; it operates on a model of providing small loans without collateral to the rural poor in Bangladesh. Grameen Shakti is one of more than two dozen organizations within the Grameen family of enterprises that is dedicated to improving the quality of rural life in Bangladesh. Although registered as a not-for-profit organization, Grameen Shakti is run like a business. In the face of persistent market challenges, the organization achieved profitability in 2000, after only four years of operation. Grameen Shakti has installed more than 40,000 individual solar energy systems that have provided more than 100,000 lower-income individuals with access to reliable electricity.

GS’s solar program mainly targets those areas, which have no access to conventional electricity and little chance of getting connected to the grid within 5 to 10 years. It is one of its most successful programs. Currently, GS is one of the largest and fastest growing rural based renewable energy companies in the world. GS is also promoting Small Solar Home System to reach low income rural households.

Solar Home Systems(SHSs) can be used to light up homes, shops, fishing boats etc. It can also be used to charge cellular phones, run televisions, radios and cassette players. SHSs have become increasingly popular among users because they present an attractive alternative to conventional electricity such as no monthly bills, no fuel cost, very little repair, maintenance costs, easy to install any where etc.

Grameen Shakti has a micro-utility model for some very poor rural consumers who cannot afford a complete solar home system. Under this model, one entrepreneur installs the system at his own premise and share the load with some of his neighbors. Owner of the system is responsible for making installment payments to GS, more than 50% of which is covered by the rents he collects from the users of his system. Micro-utility model has become very popular in the rural market places and has helped to increase business turnover by extending business hours. More than 1000 micro-utility systems are operating in the rural market places.

GS installed SHSs have made a positive impact on the rural people. GS has introduced micro-utility model in order to reach the poorer people who cannot afford a SHS individually. Another successful GS venture is Polli Phone which allows people is off grid areas the facilities of telecommunication through SHS powered mobile phones.

Pakistani blog Pakistaniat has reported practical examples of the use of solar energy as seen in some villages of Pakistan where each house has been provided with a solar panel that’s sufficient to run an electric fan and two energy saving bulbs. Prior to this arrangement, the whole village used to go dark at night. In Narian Khorian, a village about 50 kilometers from Islamabad, 100 solar panels have been installed by a local firm, free of cost, to promote the use of solar energy. With these panels, the residents of 100 households are enjoying light and fan facilities. This would not have happened for decades as the supply of electricity from the national grid would be difficult and costly due to the mountainous terrain.

Dawn newspaper recently reported that the Alternative Energy Development Board is planning electrification of 6968 remote villages through solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the next 20 years. All the renewable energy projects, being undertaken by AEDB in the country, are financed by federal government through public sector development program (PSDP) allocation and funding from international multi-lateral institutions.

Among private non-government initiatives, a number of community-based micro hydro projects are being executed with the help of the Agha Khan Foundation in Pakistan's Northern Areas and NWFP. Within this region, out of a total of 137 micro-hydro plants, the AKRSP has established 28 micro-hydros with an installed capacity of 619kW. Initially, in 1986, these plants started as research and demonstration units. These projects were extended to Village Organizations (VOs) and became participatory projects. A Village Organization (VO) is a body of villagers who have organized themselves around a common interest.

Shakti Solar offers a very good model for organizing and funding a larger, nation-wide effort to empower Pakistanis with electrical energy to improve their lives.

Last February, I wrote an article "Solar Energy For Sunny Pakistan" suggesting that Pakistanis should seriously pursue the solar energy option. Many of the comments on the post were quite skeptical, some even cynical. But one particular response elated me. It was posted by someone with initials SK, who wrote as follows: "I am a consultant for the World Bank and I work on energy and infrastructure development issues. I am in the process of leaving and starting a non-profit organization to replicate the Grameen Shakti solar pv model in Pakistan because it is the only project I ever reviewed that seemed to make a bit of difference in actually alleviating poverty".

I do hope SK is out there now trying to light up a few homes in Pakistan to empower people. I wish SK, and others like him, great success as social entrepreneurs in Pakistan. It is indeed better to light candles than to curse darkness.

Here is a video on Grameen Shakti Solar:




Related Links:

Energy Shortage

Electric Power Crisis Worsens in Pakistan

Light a Candle, Don't Curse Darkness

Social Entrepreneurs Target India and Pakistan

Solar Energy For Sunny Pakistan

UN Millennium Goals in Pakistani Village

Comments

Unknown said…
Riaz,

I would like to touch base with you regards potential collaboration.
Please refer to my blog http://mystockvoice.wordpress.com for further detail.

Look forward to your response

Kind regards

Paul
Riaz Haq said…
ADB is financing a big solar power push in Asian nations, according to the Express Tribune:

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said it will launch the Asia Accelerated Solar Energy Development Fund with $2.25 billion as it targets solar power projects in countries including China, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Thailand to add another 1,000 megawatts next year and 1,500MW in 2013.

“By providing an enabling environment for commercial lending and private investment in the solar energy market, we hope to encourage its rapid growth and bring solar energy nearer to grid parity – making solar energy competitive in price to conventional sources,” ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said at a clean energy forum in Manila on Wednesday.

He said Asia needs to invest around $10 billion in the next few years to make solar power generation competitive with conventional energy sources and called for radical steps to fight climate change.

He said ADB wants Asia, home to about two-thirds of the world’s population, to add 3,000 megawatts of solar energy capacity by the end of 2013. Already this year, it has helped countries add 500 megawatts, doubling the region’s solar capacity. Fast-growing Asian economies rely heavily on fossil fuels. ADB has forecast Asia-Pacific imports of fossil fuels will more than double between 2005 and 2030, with oil accounting for more than 90 per cent of such imports.

“The total cost of this 3,000 MW is about $10 billion, of which we are planning to commit $2.25 billion,” S Chander, Principal Director at ADB’s Office of Information Systems and Technology, told reporters.

“Our job is to catalyse enough projects to increase volumes and to make sure that the manufacturers (of low-carbon technologies) have an incentive to invest in research and development,” Chander said.

ADB invested $1.76 billion in clean energy across 29 projects last year and said it is on track to meet a goal of $2 billion in clean energy investments annually by 2013. It plans to inject $60 million into three venture capital funds that will provide early-stage financing support for new climate technology products. It expects this initiative to leverage over $400 million in private sector investment.

Kuroda said Asia had a lot to lose from climate change and needed to act quickly to develop alternate energy source. “A big push is needed to accelerate this transition,” he said. “The climate fight will be won or lost by decisions made in this region.”


http://tribune.com.pk/story/194487/adb-targets-solar-power-projects-in-pakistan/
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan set to announce incentives for renewable energy investors, according to Bloomberg:

Pakistan will announce its first tariff policy for clean-energy producers next month, offering premium payment rates as it seeks to attract investors to help overcome power shortfalls.

The country has given approval to 30 companies to install wind plants with an estimated capacity of 1,500 megawatts, said Arif Alauddin, chief executive of the state-run Alternative Energy Development Board.

“There will be a feed-in tariff based on a cost-plus approach,” he said in an Aug. 23 interview at his office in Islamabad. The tariff policy “offers an extremely good rate of return,” with most of the risks covered by the government, he said.

Developers may be able to get as much 18 percent returns on their investment, he said, declining to say what the feed-in tariff rates will be.

Pakistan is seeking to diversify its energy supplies away from oil and gas and boost electricity production. The nation has a power deficit of 3 to 4 gigawatts a day, or more than the output of two nuclear reactors, triggering 12-hour blackouts that cause riots and close factories in cities nationwide.
Financial Closure

The feed-in tariffs will speed the development of projects in the pipeline, Alauddin said. Companies that are close to achieving financial close include Zorlu Enerji Elektrik Uretim AS (ZOREN), a Turkish power utility, China International Water & Electric Corp. and Fauji Foundation’s two plants in Sindh province, he said.

Pakistan has almost 1 gigawatt of wind-power projects under construction or with financing agreed upon and 498.5 megawatts more of plants announced, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data. Only 6 megawatts of wind-energy facilities are operating in the nation.

Commercially exploitable wind exists in many parts of Pakistan, especially in Sindh and the coastal area of Balochistan. Zorlu Enerji’s project is Pakistan’s first privately owned and financed wind farm.

Pakistan is the ninth-poorest country in the Asia-Pacific region with a 2009 gross domestic product per capita of $2,609, according to Bloomberg data. Its fight with Taliban militants in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, a debt pileup among energy companies and unwillingness of banks to finance power projects are creating some “barriers” for potential investors, Alauddin said.

“The engineering, procurement and construction cost and the turbine cost that are offered to Pakistani investors appear to be higher than what is being offered elsewhere in the world, maybe 20 percent to 25 percent higher,” he said.

Pakistan is seeking to derive at least 5 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, the development board said in March. Last year, 53 percent came from natural gas, 30 percent from oil and the rest from coal, nuclear and hydropower, according to data from BP Plc. The London-based oil company didn’t measure the sources of renewable energy there.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-25/pakistan-offers-renewable-energy-incentives-to-tackle-shortages.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here's Businessweek story on South Korean company building 300 MW solar plant in Pakistan:



CX Solar Korea is leading a group that signed an agreement with the government of Pakistan to build a 300-megawatt solar farm that will require an investment of as much as $900 million.

The group plans to start a 50-megawatt installation near Quetta in southwestern Balochistan province that will use a combination of crystalline silicon and thin-film panels to see which perform best, said Moon-sok Choi, chief executive of CX Solar, a Seoul-based project developer.

The group expects to build 300 megawatts by 2016, Choi said. The power will be sold under a 25-year contract, with details still being negotiated, Choi said in an e-mailed response to questions.

CX Solar is in talks with panel suppliers, including Bernin, France-based Soitec SA (SOI), which makes Concentrix photovoltaic panels, Choi said.


http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-16/south-korean-group-plans-900-million-pakistan-solar-farm.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a pv magazine report of a local NGO working to light up Pakistani villagers' homes:

Working with local and international partners like Coca-Cola, China Mobile's Zong, the Imran Khan Foundation and Engro Corporation, Pakistan's Buksh Foundation has set a goal of illuminating 4,000 off-grid villages by 2017.


Pakistani village Chak 113
The village of Chak 113, in Punjab's Sahiwal District, installs its new lantern charging station.
Buksh Foundation
As part of a pilot project to increase the use of solar power, the Lahore-based microfinance institute Buksh Foundation and the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in India, working with national and international partners, have electrified 72 off-grid villages in Pakistan's Punjab province.

The Buksh Foundation, launched in 2009 by Pakistani retail giant Buksh Group, has sought to increase financial inclusion for rural and peri-urban population.

The organization has launched a unique solar energy access model, Lighting a Million Lives, which aims to provide energy access to rural un-electrified areas of Pakistan.

"Under this project, 72 villages in the districts of Sahiwal, Mianwali,
Lodhran, Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan, Bahawalpur and Chiniot have already been electrified, with 70 more in the pipeline for this month, further reaching out into Mardan, Khushab, Gujrat, Kasur and Bahawalnagar in a period of only six month," Anam Elahi, the Buksh Foundation's business development manager and head of the Lighting a Million Lives project, told pv magazine.

The project has already impacted some 25,000 people and the Buksh Foundation is planning to light a total of 4,000 Pakistani villages, directly helping a million individuals, in the next three years. Recently scheduled projects include electrifying the villages in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

"The project with its multifold benefit model, has not only helped in providing a sustainable energy alternative, but has also encouraged female empowerment, increased economic capacity of the rural areas, created literacy about the needs for environmental friendly energy alternatives and the benefits they provide," said Buksh Foundation CEO Fiza Farhan.

The initiative seeks to empower females in rural communities by putting them in charge of photovoltaic charging stations, which are used to charge lanterns during the day. The women then either sell or rent the lanterns to villages for PKR 4 (€0.03) a day, providing a much cheaper alternative to high-priced kerosene traditionally used for lighting.

Each solar lantern replaces about 500-600 liters of kerosene during its 10-year lifespan, mitigating about 1.5 tonnes of CO2, according to the Buksh Foundation.

The organization said that about 43% of the population of Pakistan lives without access to electricity, of which 70% live in rural areas in 50,000 villages, completely detached from the national electricity grid. By 2015, the figure is expected to climb to 46% as the energy deficit worsens; by 2025, it will rise to 64%, with 187 million people having no access to the power grid.

By reaching its goal of providing a million lanterns to people the Foundation said it could reduce 1.5 million tons of CO2, save around PKR 25 billion (€188 million) and reduce oil imports by 6% a year....


http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/initiative-lights-up-off-grid-villages-in-pakistan-_100012117/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Reuters' report on homeowners installing solar panels to deal with load-shedding in Islamabad:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – After months of sleepless nights and uncomfortable days in sweltering heat, Hussain Raza has found relief.

But it’s not just the cooler winter weather that is making Raza happier. It is, somewhat ironically, the sun.

The 35-year-old banker and his family have bought a solar-powered electricity supply that kicks in during the frequent power outages that afflict even his upscale residential neighbourhood in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital.

A chronic shortfall in electricity in Pakistan makes life miserable for much of the country’s population and hampers industrial growth, experts say.

Until he bought his 300-watt solar energy system in October last year, Raza and his family often had no electricity to keep the lights on in the evening or run a fan during hot nights.

“How can I be at ease seeing my children go to school without homework (being done) and feeling sleepy in school due to inadequate sleep at night?” he asked. “Now I feel really relieved that I have a solar energy system that runs two fans that give us a good night’s sleep,” he said.

Mounted on the roof of his two-storey house, the solar installation stores energy in a battery that can power two fans and four 23-watt energy saver light bulbs for 10-12 hours through the night.

Apart from the comfort and convenience the system provides, Raza’s monthly electricity bills have dropped from around 4,500 Pakistani rupees (about $43) to less than 2,800 rupees ($27).

“It is worth the bill we paid for the renewable energy system,” he said. The kit cost the equivalent of $560, he said.

WORSENING OUTAGES

Power outages in Islamabad have been a problem for more than seven years, in part because of rising electricity demand due to the increasing size of the city’s population.

Pakistan’s daily power demand averages 16,000 megawatts (MW), but the country produces only around 12,000 MW. This shortfall can soar to 7,000 MW during peak summer months.

As a result, power authorities must resort to load shedding for more than 15 hours a day in the summer months, and six to eight hours daily in the winter.

The outages have also been getting longer because of a lack of investment in energy systems, particularly hydropower, which accounts for one-third of Pakistan’s total power production. The rest of the country’s energy is produced with oil and coal...


http://www.trust.org/item/20140116230113-87r9a/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a PV magazine story on solar plants pipeline in Pakistan:

The country currently has 22 individual solar PV projects under different stages of development, according to Pakistan's Alternative Energy Development Board.

Pakistan is on course to add 772 MW of solar power to its national grid by 2016, according to figures released by the country's Alternative Energy Development Board (AEEDB).

There are currently 22 individual solar power projects either under construction or at various stages of development across Pakistan, with a number of these projects awaiting an agreement on a national FIT – details of which the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) finally announced in late January after months of delays.

NEPRA has now published its final FIT incentives for PV projects between 1 MW and 100 MW. In the north of Pakistan the FIT will be set at $0.18 cents per kWh for an initial ten-year period, halving after that time to just $0.09 cents per kWh for the next 15 years.

In Pakistan's southern regions, the FIT incentive comes in a little more generously, at $0.19 cents per kWh for the first ten years, but falling to below $0.09 cents per kWh thereafter.

In 2013, the AEDB recommended a FIT level of approximately $0.27 cents per kWh nationwide, but NEPRA has calculated a lower rate on the basis of Pakistan's current PV pipeline.

AEDB has also revealed that it is pursuing a number of renewable energy projects for the country’s national grid, and has pledged its backing to the solar industry and the wind industry – the latter of which has an estimated 150 MW pipeline in the offing.

For solar, AEDB is set to embark on a campaign to promote the installation of residential rooftop PV systems designed for self-consumption. Currently, Pakistan has no building or licensing restrictions on these types of installations.


Read more: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/pipeline-of-pv-projects-in-pakistan-reaches-772-mw_100014240/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a PV magazine story on solar plants pipeline in Pakistan:

The country currently has 22 individual solar PV projects under different stages of development, according to Pakistan's Alternative Energy Development Board.

Pakistan is on course to add 772 MW of solar power to its national grid by 2016, according to figures released by the country's Alternative Energy Development Board (AEEDB).

There are currently 22 individual solar power projects either under construction or at various stages of development across Pakistan, with a number of these projects awaiting an agreement on a national FIT – details of which the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) finally announced in late January after months of delays.

NEPRA has now published its final FIT incentives for PV projects between 1 MW and 100 MW. In the north of Pakistan the FIT will be set at $0.18 cents per kWh for an initial ten-year period, halving after that time to just $0.09 cents per kWh for the next 15 years.

In Pakistan's southern regions, the FIT incentive comes in a little more generously, at $0.19 cents per kWh for the first ten years, but falling to below $0.09 cents per kWh thereafter.

In 2013, the AEDB recommended a FIT level of approximately $0.27 cents per kWh nationwide, but NEPRA has calculated a lower rate on the basis of Pakistan's current PV pipeline.

AEDB has also revealed that it is pursuing a number of renewable energy projects for the country’s national grid, and has pledged its backing to the solar industry and the wind industry – the latter of which has an estimated 150 MW pipeline in the offing.

For solar, AEDB is set to embark on a campaign to promote the installation of residential rooftop PV systems designed for self-consumption. Currently, Pakistan has no building or licensing restrictions on these types of installations.


Read more: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/pipeline-of-pv-projects-in-pakistan-reaches-772-mw_100014240/
Riaz Haq said…
Solar grids bring relief to Sindh
19-kilowatt mini-grids powered by solar energy installed in Ishaq Jokoi


https://tribune.com.pk/story/2411592/solar-grids-bring-relief-to-sindh


Indus Earth Trust (IET), an organisation promoting green energy, has provided a life-changing solution for residents of Ishaq Jokio, a small settlement in the Sindh province of Pakistan.

The 19-kilowatt mini-grids powered by solar energy have transformed the lives of people, who have been accustomed to enduring long hours of power cuts during peak consumption in summer.

“Villages were selected according to a needs assessment survey, while the villagers provided the land where the 19-kilowatt mini-grids were installed. In this hamlet caressed by the sea breeze from the Arabian Sea, panels bred prosperity,” reported the China Economic Net.

According to the State of Industry reports from the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), homes consume 50% of the total electricity delivered, and this demand is largely driven by cooling and lighting. The demand is estimated to increase from 106 terawatt-hour (TWh) in 2020 to 234 TWh in 2030, representing a 121% increase due to the rise in temperatures from climate change.

Pakistan’s energy problems have been exacerbated manifold by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the global supply crisis. Pakistan’s fuel import bill surged to $23 billion in FY2021-22, a 105% increase from the previous financial year. The country’s per capita annual electricity consumption of 644 kilowatt-hour (kWh) is among the lowest in the world, which is only 18% of the world average, 7% of the developed countries’ average.

However, Pakistan’s efforts to embrace photovoltaics at all levels have started to pay off. Pakistan imported about $1.2 billion in photovoltaic modules in the last fiscal year, and in 2022, China’s photovoltaic module exports to Pakistan reached approximately $870 million, with a total installed capacity of 3.2GW, a year-on-year increase of 54% and 37%, respectively, said Liu Yiyang, Deputy Secretary-General and Press Spokesperson of China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA). The Pakistan Solar Association (PSA) forecasted that the country’s import demand for photovoltaic products this year will be around $1.8 billion.

“Pakistan’s Solar Energy Market is expected to record a CAGR of 2.5% during the period from 2022 to 2027, with Net Metering-Based Solar Installations and Power Generation growing by 102% and 108% respectively,” said a KTrade Securities analyst.

A World Bank study in 2020 urged Pakistan to urgently expand solar and wind “to at least 30% of electricity generation capacity by 2030, equivalent to around 24,000 MW.” This provides huge opportunities for growth as currently, as of December 2022, Pakistan’s total domestic installed power capacity is 43,775 MW, of which photovoltaic installed capacity is 630 MW, accounting for about 1.4% only.

China’s efforts are also reaching millions of households in remote areas in the form of micro-power plants. Out of the $144 million foreign investment in PV plants in Pakistan, $125 million is from China, accounting for nearly 87% of the total.

“Pakistan and China are a perfect match for collaboration on renewable energy (solar PV) as China is a globally known giant when it comes to renewable energy technology, while Pakistan needs to move away from thermal to renewable for power generation,” stated a KTrade Securities solar PV industry report.

Recently, the Pakistan Solar Association (PSA) sent an official letter adjuring the federal government to ask SBP and other commercial banks to help in the solar imports through an annual limit of USD 800 million at a time when Pakistan is facing a renewable energy sector that is growing rapidly. The letter also urged the government to take steps to promote local manufacturing of solar panels to reduce reliance on imports and create job opportunities for the local population.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan among 26 countries which added over 1,000 MW of solar electricity in 2022

https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/06/13/spain-germany-poland-which-european-countries-added-the-most-solar-power-in-2022

Where are the major solar countries?
More countries than ever are real “solar contenders”, the report shows.

In 2022, the number of major solar countries - defined as those installing at least 1 GW annually - grew from 12 to 26. By 2025, the report predicts that more than 50 countries will be installing more than 1 GW of solar per year.

European countries make up 12 of the solar heavyweights, led by Spain, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Italy.

Poland’s solar development has flown past expectations. It’s mostly due to a surge in small rooftop ‘prosumer’ systems that enable homeowners to be rewarded for producing as well as consuming energy.

Ranked by the amount of extra solar they installed last year, here is the full list of the 26 major solar powers:

1. China
2. US
3. India
4. Brazil
5. Spain
6. Germany
7. Japan
8. Poland
9. The Netherlands
10. Australia
11. South Korea
12. Italy
13. France
14. Taiwan
15. Chile
16. Denmark
17. Turkiye
18. Greece
19. South Africa
20. Austria
21. UK
22. Mexico
23. Hungary
24. Pakistan
25. Israel
26. Switzerland

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