Pakistan's New Net Metering Law For Rooftop Solar, Wind

Pakistani power regulators have approved a regulatory framework for solar and wind energy for both commercial and residential installations. The framework includes feed-in tariffs for commercial power producers and net metering for residential applications of up to 1 MW.

Under the new Net Metering Law, NEPRA, the Pakistani power regulator, will grant power generation licenses to solar and wind system owners. The owners will need to register the critical equipment used, particularly the make and model of inverter and generator used. Among other technical considerations, the generator must also install a manual disconnect device to take the system off the network if necessary, according to details published by PV Tech publication.

Source: PV-Tech
Net metering is a billing mechanism that pays solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. It allows a residential customers with rooftop solar panels to generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours and sell it to the power supply company. It will require a bi-directional meter (or two separate meters) for implementation.

Pakistan has already introduced feed-in tariffs (FiTs) for larger renewable power systems to supply electricity to the national grid on a commercial scale.  It paved the way for a 1000 MW Quaid-e-Azam solar park being built in Bahawalpur.

Pakistan's renewable power policy and regulatory frameworks have drawn praise from international law firm Eversheds which has described the country as “one of the most exciting renewables markets globally, with an abundance of potential”. Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) of Pakistan's CEO, Amjad Ali Awan has said that "Pakistan’s renewable market is relatively new but it provides an attractive investment opportunity with compelling structures which make it bankable as well as marketable."

Net metering law is necessary but not sufficient to promote widespread use of renewable energy. It will take serious coordinated efforts of Pakistan power regulator NEPRA, the country's nascent solar industry and various utilities like K-Electric to start implementation. Meanwhile, consumers could install a stand-alone rooftop solar system that can be connected to the grid in future. They just need to make sure to select high-quality equipment, particularly inverter and switch, for this purpose which will most likely be acceptable to utilities.

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Riaz Haq said…
AGP’s report sees improvement in power generation to 16,890 MW 2015 in #Pakistan since 2013 via @ePakistanToday

The power sector in 2015 has shown significant improvement and has been able to utilise 90 per cent of its available generation capacity and recorded 16,890 MW electricity generation against 18,616 MW derated generation capacity previously.

This has been stated in the audit report submitted by the AGP to the president of Pakistan for the period 2012-13 of previous government tenure till 2014-15.

According to the report, domestic load shedding has been brought down from 8-11 hours to 6-8 hours while industrial load shedding has decreased from 8-12 hours to zero since November 2014, except during January and Ramzan.

The report said that cost minimisation and improvement in cash flow has been ensured by implementing the merit order dispatch – using economical plants first, introducing uniform load management, differentiated load management by identifying higher theft areas and brining all DISCOs collection to CPPA.

These measures have enabled the power sector to pay better and as a result the PSO has received 101 per cent of its outstanding during 2014-15 as compared to 77 per cent during 2013-14, IPPs received 102 per cent in 2014-15 as compared to 85 per cent during 2013-14 and gas companies 106 per cent in 2014-15 as compared to 104 per cent in 2013-14.

In the efforts to lower burden on national exchequer, the power sector has improved a lot. In 2012-13, 334 billion was the subsidy provided by the government accounting for 2.4 percent of GDP. Due to better fiscal management in 2013-14, the subsidy was brought down to 292 billion rupees making it 1.7 percent of the GDP. In the year 2014-15, the subsidy further decreased to 221 billion making it 0.76 percent of GDP. The ministry is further making efforts to further bring down the subsidy.

Similarly, the increase in circular debt in 2013-14 was 203 billion making it 0.7 percent of GDP while in 2014-15 it registered only 49 billion rupees increase accounting for only 0.17 percent of GDP.

For investment facilitation new polices have already been adopted, flexible and enabling security documents have been ensured and investors have been granted greater access and regular reviews of the potential power projects. These policies have been taken well and around 15,000 MW of power sector projects are now on fast tract and in different stages.

In 2013 the energy sector was faced with dual deficit dilemma – generation deficit of around 6,000 MW resulting in heavy industrial and domestic line losses and financial deficit resulting in heavy burden on public exchequer. Another problem being faced was the management deficit in terms of no load management plan resulting in unpredictable load shedding and no financial management plan resulting in burden on fiscal resources. Similarly, the national transmission system was highly risky and there were challenges for new investment in the power sector.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan power company Hubco signs deal with GE to digitize power plants | Business Wire …

GE (NYSE:GE) has signed a contract with Hubco to provide its digital industrial solutions for the 1,292-megawatt (MW) Hubco power plant in Baluchistan, Pakistan. Commissioned in 1997, the plant operates four 323-MW generating units. Additionally, it’s the largest independent steam power plant in Pakistan and exports power to the national grid.

“GE’s digital solutions are a game changer for the energy sector, and we are happy to be working with them,” said Khalid Mansoor, CEO of Hubco. “Once implemented at the Hubco Power Plant, these solutions will help us to enhance the reliability of our operations.”

Powered by Predix*, GE’s cloud-based operating system built exclusively for industry, GE’s Digital Power Plant includes a suite of software solutions that can enable Hubco’s power plant operators to analyze and monitor operations across all touchpoints in real time and help identify any maintenance issues ahead of time, leading to greater asset uptime and reduced unplanned downtime.

The Baluchistan Hubco power plant is equipped entirely with non-GE equipment, demonstrating the power of Predix to operate across different types of original equipment manufacturers.

“Energy is increasingly becoming digital, and we have been proud to support Pakistan’s energy sector for more than 50 years with both hardware and software solutions,” said Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power. “This agreement with Hubco marks the sixth deployment of our advanced digital industrial solutions in the country, underscoring our commitment to provide Pakistan with our latest technology.”

Industry experts estimate that between now and 2025 there is $1.3 trillion in value creation for companies that embrace digitization and $90 billion is expected to be invested in the energy industry’s digitization by 2020.

“Pakistan is a leader in adopting new technologies to generate more power,” said Ganesh Bell, chief digital officer, GE Power. “This deployment of GE’s digital industrial solutions marks another chapter in our relationship with the country to deliver better productivity and outcomes for our customers.”
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan proposes solar FiT revisions

Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has published proposed revisions to its feed-in tariffs (FiTs) for solar energy projects of between 1-100MW capacity.

The South region includes the whole of Sindh and Baluchistan Provinces and South Punjab while the rest fo Pakistan's provinces account for the North.

NEPRA will now consider whether to determine a new upfront tariff for solar power projects or to determine a benchmark levelized tariff for competitive bidding by the relevant agency, and whether the proposed costs are reasonable.

Stakeholders now have less than two weeks to provide an intervention to the proposals. A hearing will also be held on 21 July in Islamabad.

This article has been updated to say the FiTs account for projects between 1-100MW.

Riaz Haq said…

Incentives 17 Solarenergie in Pakistan -Waqas Bin Najib  An attractive tariff model with sound guarantee structures for the RE power projects  Additional guarantee structures being put up my multilateral agencies for RE power projects in the country  Guaranteed power purchase (100% of produced electricity is mandatory for Power Purchaser to off-take)  State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has soft credit line for small renewable energy power projects  Zero rated import of all renewable energy plant, machinery, equipment, and spares (including electronics, batteries, and other machinery)  Exemption from income tax, including turnover rate tax and withholding tax on imports.  Repatriation of equity along with dividends freely allowed, subject to rules and regulations prescribed by the State Bank of Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
Solar tariffs decline to all-time low of of Rs 4.63 per kWhr: Piyush Goyal

Solar power tariff in India touched record low as US-based SunEdison won a contract to sell electricity from a 500 Mw project at Rs 4.63 per unit (Pak Rs. 7.19) , accelerating India's $160 billion clean energy drive and casting a shadow on fossil-fuel plants that pollute the air and sometimes charge a higher rate.

The winning tariff, for a project of NTPC, came in the Narendra Modi government's first round of auction under the solar mission. India has already attracted big-ticket solar energy investments. These include $3 billion plans of China's Sany group and $20 billion planned by Japan's SoftBank Corp along with Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan's Foxconn Technology. SunEdison's bid is about 15% cheaper than the industry average and about 8% less than the previous lows achieved a few months ago in India's solar energy space. It betters the previous lowest solar tariff in India — Rs 5.05 per unit (Pak Rs. 7.85) — quoted by Canadian SkyPower for a tender in Madhya Pradesh while current average solar tariff in the country is Rs 5.5-6 per kWh. Experts said the tariff offered under the Centre's National Solar Mission reflects the bidders' confidence on NTPC that called the bids and the solar parks where the plants would come up. Sources said SunEdison won the entire contract for 500 Mw solar power supply after an aggressive bidding among 28 companies, including Japan's SoftBank Corp, China's Trina Solar, ReNew Power, Reliance Power and First Solar, which were in fray for the NTPC tender for solar capacity to be developed in Ghani Solar Park at Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh.

The 28 companies had qualified for the reverse e-auction that started Tuesday afternoon and ended in the early hours of Wednesday. At least nine firms bid lower than Rs 5 per unit during the reverse auction, sources said. "Delighted that an all time low solar tariff has been achieved during reverse e-auction conducted by NTPC," renewable energy minister Piyush Goyal tweeted on Wednesday morning. The minister had earlier told ET in an interview that the country's energy investment thrust would clearly be skewed towards the renewable sector.

PricewaterhouseCoopers energy leader Kameswara Rao said the latest solar auction reflects continued decline in solar module prices. "But it owes as much to higher creditworthiness of the buyer, and to the concept of solar parks, which are relatively costlier but take out development risks," he said. The government has increased its thrust on renewable energy projects with an ambitious target of raising renewable energy generation to 175 GW by 2020.
Riaz Haq said…
Tariff revision poses threat to solar power project

Upset over the move by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to push the tariff down from 14.15 cents to 9.25 cents per unit from January 2016, Zonergy President Yu Yong has sent a letter to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

In the letter, he recalled that the company’s interest in setting up the solar power plant dated back to August 2013 when the first memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed. The Punjab government and Zonergy signed another MoU on July 9, 2014 in Beijing for installation of the 900MW plant in Bahawalpur under the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park project.

This was followed by a project commitment agreement on July 23, 2014 and both sides agreed on a tariff of 14 cents per unit excluding taxes and also reached agreement on associated conditions and the project implementation schedule.

This tariff, he claimed, was quite below the prevailing market standard as Nepra’s tariff at that time was 16.2 cents per unit, but the company accepted it in view of the economies of scale of the project.

Riaz Haq said…
The arrival of clean energy in Pakistan

Clean energy is ramping up in Pakistan. Solar PV and LED lighting solutions are fast becoming pervasive in both rural and urban areas with thousands of small businesses signing up for clean energy.

For consumers, it is only logical to move beyond intermittent grid electricity which has proven to be both expensive and unreliable.

As per the latest International Energy Agency Report for 2016, clean energy accounted for 70pc of total electricity generation investment, sidelining investments in fossil-fuel based generation by a wide margin.

Clean energy investments are led by wind power (37pc), solar PV (34pc) and hydropower (20pc).

Amongst countries, China leads the global investment in clean energy generation and continues to invest roughly more than double its investment in clean energy as compared to fossil fuel generation, followed by the European Union, the United States and Japan.

Pakistan has taken a different approach towards energy security. The CPEC has shifted the bulk of the new additions to coal and nuclear. Despite this, solar, wind and micro hydro have all taken off.

What is really encouraging is the use of solar PV by small and medium businesses amid unreliable and expensive grid electricity.

The electricity regular, Nepra, must be given full credit for setting the right sectoral tone by introducing Wheeling, Net Metering and Distributive Generation regulations, all in a short span of time.

Consumers have realised that it is grid energy which is intermittent and expensive and not clean energy.

At the grid level, consumers are unnecessarily penalised with surcharges and taxes which include tariff rationalisation surcharge, debt servicing surcharge, Neelum Jhelum surcharge, FED, sales tax and other fees.

Through all this, the cost of grid electricity is being pushed much higher despite low crude oil prices.

Circular debt, as per media reports, is once again hovering in the range of Rs450 billion and the only plausible way to pay it off is via levy of another surcharge. It has become a norm in the sector that those who pay are only asked to pay more for those who don’t pay at all.

Pakistan needs to understand the business case for clean energy — primarily the impact on jobs and increase in business productivity.

As a country, we too will be adding roughly 1,000MW of clean energy (wind, solar and bagasse) in the next two years but will be adding substantially more from coal and nuclear power.

The government needs to realise that the tide has shifted. The old notions that clean energy is expensive and intermittent no longer holds true.

With changing times, incentives must be provided to help scale clean energy, provide it with the right eco-system, along with regulations to help consumers shift to improved technologies.

Now is the time for Pakistan to truly embrace its clean energy potential, make an early transition and reap the benefits of higher business productivity and increased job creation.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan updates net metering scheme, unveils clean energy investment program

Pakistan has updated its 2015 net metering scheme to make it more user friendly. The Government of Punjab, meanwhile, has unveiled a new Access to Clean Energy Investment Program, aimed at installing over 20,000 solar PV rooftop systems.

Pakistan has updated its net metering guidelines. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi officially launched the changes at a ceremony in Islamabad on January 3.

Overall, the framework is said to have been simplified, while net metering connections can now be gained in less than one month.

According to a statement on the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage Government of Pakistan website, Khaqan said issues of service and equipment quality had also been addressed.

He added that the key challenge now is to make the system “more efficient and reduce the cost of generation,” of which net metering is part of the plan.

Pakistan first introduced a net metering scheme on September 1, 2015. According to Net Metering Pakistan, as of last March 20, the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) had connected 56 net metering systems and imported nearly 6 MWh of electricity.

Reducing the burden

The Government of Punjab is also looking to up the solar ante, having introduced The Access to Clean Energy Investment Program, aimed at reducing burden on the National Grid and improving environmental conditions through the implementation of off-grid, decentralized energy solutions.

It is looking to install solar PV rooftop systems on all basic health units (2,400), schools (20,000) and public buildings in the province.

In a document calling for expressions of interest (EOI), the government adds, “The program also includes conducting the energy efficiency audits on the public sector building, construction of a model net zero building and establishment of IT based Program Performance Monitoring System.”

Among the conditions required for project developers, are the criteria that they have completed at least two similar projects within the last 10 years, and have an annual turnover of Rs. 30.00 Million (around US$270,800) or higher.

To fund the program, the government has asked the Asian Development Bank for support to the tune of $87.69 million, which was already approved in November 2016.

“The ADB will support broader GoPb provincial government program for providing uninterrupted access to affordable and clean energy, as set out in the respective power sector master plan,” said the government.

Overall, two phases have been envisaged for implementing the plan: (i) solar PV rooftop systems on 10,861 schools in South Punjab; and (ii) systems on another around 9,700 schools in Northern and Central Punjab.

“The installed solar plants will provide electricity to more than 2.4 million students, including 30% girl’s schools,” said the government.

In addition, a 2.5 MW PV system will be installed at the Islamia University Bahawalpur in 
Punjab by Punjab Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency (PEECA). And 2,400 basic healthcare units will receive solar PV rooftop installations.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), Pakistan will see PV installations increase 46% in 2017, up from 700 MW in 2016, to 1.020 GW.

Riaz Haq said…

Jeremy Higgs

Net-metering installations by quarter in Pakistan. Rocket


Over 16,000 (licenses issued)


Which DISCOs are processing the most net-metering applications? IESCO and LESCO.


Every generation licence is published on the NEPRA website. A bit of web scraping and PDF parsing to extract the data, lots of waiting, and out it pops!
Riaz Haq said…
PlaceTech | 7 exceptionally green buildings from around the world

Interloop Denim Factory
Interloop denim

Location | Kasur, Pakistan

Occupier | Interloop – clothing manufacturer

Use type | Factory

Rating | Platinum (85) – December 2020

Size | 574,229 sq ft

Notable features

Includes specialised rainwater harvesting pits to recycle ground water
More than 30% of the area is dedicated to greenspace, including a planned “urban forest” with 3,000 trees, which will be planted over five years
30% reduction in its carbon footprint by introducing by introducing solar panels and rice husk boiler
Riaz Haq said…
KARACHI: 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, a report said.

Overall, a total of 3,361 generation licenses of cumulative 2,395MW for conventional power plants, renewable energy projects, hydropower projects and net metering were issued during the period under review, the official report said. During the last five years, ie fiscal year 2015-16 to fiscal year 2019-20, a total of 4,959 of net-metering licenses with total capacity of 86.36MW have been issued under the net-metering regime.

Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) issued 886 new metering licenses for a capacity of 14.98MW. Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) issued 863 licenses for 9.99MW distributed generation. K-Electric Limited awarded 730 net metering licenses for a cumulative capacity of 12.24MW. Similarly, all electricity distribution companies facilitated the consumers opting for net metering and distributed generation.

Government through Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) has envisaged adding 5,000MW of solar-based generation by 2023 through net metering and other related initiatives.

Distributed alternate energy generation and net metering offer several advantages, including promotion of friendly environment, lessening burden on national grid, reducing grid investment, and community participation in power generation.

NEPRA is of the view that distributed generation facilities will result in optimum utilisation of renewable energy, which is currently untapped, resulting in pollution-free electric power. Solar is an indigenous resource and such resources should be given preference for energy security.
Riaz Haq said…
Bilal I Gilani
During July-Mar FY2022, a total of 10,783 net metering based systems of 196.77 MW
capacity were installed by different segments of consumers. As of 31st December, 2021, net-metering based solar installations had reached up to 17,950 with a
cumulative capacity of 305.79 MW.
Riaz Haq said…
Over 3,500 applications for Net-Metering pending in DISCOs

As many as 3,521 applications for Net-Metering are currently pending in all power distribution companies (DISCOs).

These applications were pending in various distribution companies including Islamabad Electric Supply Company, Lahore Electric Supply Company, Multan Electric Supply Company, Gujranwala Electric Supply Company, Sukkur and Hyderabad Electric Supply companies and Peshawar Electric Supply Company.

According to official of Power Division, all net metering applications are being facilitated as per National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA’s) regulations and Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) guidelines which are already included in the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of DISCOs.

Power Division has also issued instructions to all DISCOs for timely processing of Net-Metering applications. Net metering connections are installed within the specified time period and no such delays or hurdles are created by DISCO.

A dedicated team of Market Implementation & Regulatory Affairs Department (MIRAD)/ concerned Superintending Engineer are closely monitoring the whole process of net metering connections in all DISCOs for timely execution. He said in order to facilitate consumers, DISCOs have allowed for self-purchase of Bi-Directional energy meters for net metering from approved manufactures. NNI

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistani regulator backtracks on amendments to net metering tariff. Nepra had planned to reduce the tariff paid to net-metered households from PKR 19.32 ($0.072)/kWh to PKR 9/kWh, affecting 20,700 houdseholds. #solar #wind #renewables #electricity

Amid fierce public opposition, Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has decided not to proceed with proposed amendments to its 2015 net-metering regulations. Nepra originally planned to reduce the tariff paid to net-metered households from PKR 19.32 ($0.072)/kWh to PKR 9/kWh.

Nepra says it will not move ahead with its draft amendments to Pakistan’s 2015 regulations for distributed generation and net metering.

In September 2022, the regulator proposed replacing the current national average power purchase price of PKR 19.32/kWh with the national average energy purchase price of PKR 9/kWh for net-metered households that inject excess electricity into the grid. The measure would have affected 20,700 households.

After public consultation, the public and consumers “strongly opposed the proposed amendments, citing reasons that electricity through net metering is one of the most efficient methods and the proposed amendment in the regulations would discourage net metering/solar installation,” Nepra said in an official statement about its decision to reverse the proposed amendments.

In the same statement, Nepra argued that electricity generated through rooftop solar should be mainly for self-consumption and “not for commercial sale.” However, it conceded that electricity from net-metered households represents less than 1% of the national distributor’s electricity purchases.

“The economic benefits of net metering in terms of displacement of costlier electricity, savings of foreign exchange and incurring minimal losses, cannot be ignored,” it added.

In September, Afia Malik, a senior research economist for the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), told pv magazine that she expects just 23 MW of excess electricity to be exported into the grid by the affected net-metered households.
Riaz Haq said…
Unilever Pakistan announces its partnership with K-Solar

LAHORE-Unilever Pakistan has announced its partnership with K-Solar, a subsidiary of KE, to transition its operations to solar energy in Rahim Yar Khan and Karachi. This initiative represents a significant step towards achieving Unilever’s ambitious sustainability goals, including net zero emissions in its operations by 2039. Simultaneously, the firm will shed close to PKR 84 million a year in energy costs, facilitating the local economy by considerably reducing the strain on the national grid collectively generating approx. 2.3 million Kwh through renewable sources.

Unilever Pakistan’s Solar Captive Power Plant Phase 2 installation demonstrates their dedication to renewable energy solutions, leading to significant savings and CO2 reductions. At Futehally Chemicals Limited (FCL), the factory that manufactures Surf Excel for Unilever, the 362 kW system will save 496,035 kWh annually, reducing costs by approximately 18 million PKR and CO2 emissions by 233 metric tons. The 1000 kW installation at Rahim Yar Khan Factory will save 1,430,886 kWh, saving approximately 53 million PKR and a CO2 reduction of 662 metric tons per year. The 250 kW system at Rahim Yar Khan Estate will save 357,721 kWh, resulting in cost savings of 13 million PKR and a CO2 reduction of 165 metric tons annually. Unilever Pakistan’s investment in these projects reinforces their commitment to sustainability.

While Unilever’s own factories, offices, research labs, data centers, warehouses, and distribution centers account for only 2% of its total greenhouse gas footprint, the company acknowledges the significance of these emissions and is committed to eliminating them entirely. Abdul Hannan Ahmed Khan, Head of Supply Chain at Unilever Pakistan, expressed his enthusiasm for this collaboration, stating, “Unilever Pakistan is deeply committed to sustainable practices and minimizing our impact on the environment. This solar project is a testament to our dedication to combat climate change and create a brighter, cleaner future. By investing in renewable energy, we are not only reducing our carbon emissions but also driving positive change in the communities we operate in.”

Hashim Raza, CEO of K-Solar, emphasized the significance of joint efforts in realizing a sustainable energy future. He stated, “We are thrilled to partner with Unilever Pakistan on this journey. By combining Unilever’s leadership in sustainability and K-Solar’s expertise in renewable energy solutions, we are confident that we can make a substantial impact in reducing carbon emissions and promoting the use of clean energy sources.”

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan among 26 countries which added over 1,000 MW of solar electricity 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
Riaz Haq said…
Community solar subscriptions can reduce electricity costs for consumers - Profit by Pakistan Today

Rooftop solar installations have been a success story in Pakistan for the past few years, with more than 20,000 net metering licenses issued by the end of 2021-22, adding 450MW to the system. The 10x reduction in solar panel prices during the last decade, steep escalation in electricity tariffs, and net metering have made solar installation one of the best investments, with a payback of fewer than four years, while providing an excellent hedge against inflation and tariff escalation. Advanced LFP (Lithium Ferrous Phosphate) batteries, with 15 plus years life, are also becoming financially feasible for peak hours use with imminent peak rate hike.

Despite the success of rooftop solar, there is still much room for growth. There are 610,000 households in Pakistan using 700 plus units and 16.8 million households consuming 300-700 units on average per month. The country can easily achieve at least 10,000MW of rooftop solar installations on just 5 percent of these houses during the next five years by continuing with the current net metering and export rate incentives.

For households using 500–700 units per month, rooftop installations can be accelerated by providing incentives such as reinstating low-cost loans, removing current limitations on net metering, and eliminating 17pc general sales tax on solar equipment for 10KW or smaller installations. However, rooftop solar is not a practical option for lower-income households (300–500 units per month consumption) because of higher cost per kilowatt for a smaller system, financial constraints, roof space availability, rental housing, and apartment living.

This is where community solar comes in as a practical and lower cost solution for these households and industrial facilities. In the community solar subscription model, consumers either purchase or rent a small portion of a large solar farm operated by the utility or a private developer. For example, for a 100 MW solar farm located near an industrial zone, multiple industrial facilities can purchase 20pc of this farm’s capacity (20MW), providing equity investment, while the remaining 80pc (80MW) can be subscribed (rented) by 80,000 low usage household (300-500 units) customers with a limit of 1KW for each.

Because of economies of scale, the per kilowatt cost of these solar farms is 15-20pc lower than a rooftop system, thus reducing the purchase or rental cost. Also, since the industry will be providing equity investment, there won’t be a need to find large investors for these solar farms.

Riaz Haq said…
Solar power installations in Pakistan have seen remarkable growth, with an installed capacity of over 2,368 MW as of FY22, reflecting the rising popularity and potential of solar energy.

In recent years, Pakistan has witnessed substantial investments in solar power projects, both domestic and foreign. It has introduced a financing scheme for renewable energy to make financing available for consumers in the private sector to invest in renewable electricity generation. Until February 2022, SBP had provided Rs74 billion (about $400 million) in financing to over 1,175 projects with a combined capacity of 1,375 MW in renewable energy.

The World Bank also reports that Pakistan has a potential of 40 GW of solar power and has set a target of achieving 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

Pakistan has been heavily reliant on fossil fuels, particularly oil and gas, for power generation. However, the power production mix has undergone some changes in recent years.

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), as of 2020, fossil fuels accounted for approximately 63% of the total power generation, followed by hydropower at 29%, nuclear energy at 5%, and renewable energy at around 3%.

Despite its vast potential for solar energy, Pakistan has only scratched the surface of its capabilities. The country is blessed with abundant sunshine, making it an ideal location for solar power generation. Pakistan’s government, recognising the importance of renewable energy, has introduced favourable policies and incentives to promote solar energy development. The Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) offers net metering and feed-in tariffs to encourage residential and commercial solar installations.

The increasing attractiveness of solar energy is expected to drive significant capital investment in Pakistan. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the renewable energy sector has already been on the rise. Solar projects, including large-scale solar farms and distributed solar installations, offer lucrative investment opportunities. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has also played a crucial role in fostering solar energy cooperation between the two countries.

Several challenges need to be addressed to fully harness Pakistan’s solar energy potential. These challenges include the high initial costs of solar installations, limited access to financing, lack of awareness about solar energy benefits, and inadequate grid infrastructure.

To overcome these obstacles, the current government is working on a new 25-year energy policy that seeks to have 20-30% of all energy derived from renewable energy sources by 2030. The policy also aims to reduce dependence on imported fuel products and increase the share of indigenous resources.

The current government has approved the Alternative and Renewable Energy Policy 2019, which provides incentives and facilitation for renewable energy projects. The previous government also faced challenges in implementing the National Electricity Policy 2021, which was approved by the Council of Common Interests in February 2021.

The policy aimed to ensure affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity supply for all consumers, but faced resistance from some provinces and stakeholders over issues such as tariff determination, power sector governance and distribution reforms. The shift towards solar energy as an attractive investment option signifies a significant turning point in Pakistan’s power production landscape. The country has ample solar resources that can be harnessed to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, enhance energy security, and contribute to environmental sustainability.

With supportive government policies, increased foreign investment, and technological advancements, solar energy has the potential to revolutionise Pakistan’s power generation sector.
Riaz Haq said…
Illuminating Pakistan: Leading solar provider commit to dig deep PV market--China Economic Net

LAHORE, May. 31 (Gwadar Pro)– “Today, LONGi’s footprint in Pakistan is around 5GW. I believe we are well positioned to seize such an opportunity to further our efforts towards a green future for Pakistan.”

In recent months, clean energy has experienced a new period of rapid growth, with global renewable energy capacity increasing by 50 percent in 2023 compared to the previous year. Pakistan is committed to becoming an important renewable energy development hub in South Asia and the entire Asian region, and is vigorously promoting green transformation at the national level.

As report goes, the Sindh government lately announced to provide solar systems to 200,000 households across the province, including 50,000 homes in Karachi. “A total of 6,656 solar systems will be distributed in each district of the province,” the Director of Sindh Solar Energy has confirmed. Ali Majid, Pakistan General Manager of leading solar solutions provider LONGi, believes that it is undoubtedly good news for Pakistan’s photovoltaic industry, specifically, for Chinese PV companies that have been deeply involved in the local market.

The systems will include solar panels, charge controllers, and batteries. Currently, Sindh generates 400 megawatts of electricity from solar energy. This project is expected to significantly increase solar power generation in the province.

“Nestled in a region blessed with ample sunlight, Pakistan boasts approximately 2.9 million MW of solar power potential,” Ali told in an interview with Gwadar Pro. “And while the initial cost of solar technology has been a deterrent, the decreasing global cost is making it more economically viable for Pakistan.”


Pakistan - Renewable Energy

According to National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s (NEPRA) 2022 yearly report, Pakistan’s total installed power generation capacity is 43,775 MW, of which 59% of energy comes from thermal (fossil fuels), 25% from hydro, 7% from renewable (wind, solar and biomass), and 9% from nuclear.

Wind data, provided by Pakistan's Meteorological Department, measures Pakistan's coastal belt at 60km (Gharo-Keti Bandar) and 180km long, with an exploitable potential of 50,000MW of electricity generation through wind turbines. Currently, 36 private wind projects are operating, producing approximately 1845MW.

Small hydropower projects are mainly located in remote areas of Pakistan particularly the North of the country. Recently, the GoP has identified new generation requirements by capacity, fuel technology, and utilizing indigenous resources for power generation by announcing the Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP). This plan aims to add 13,000 MW of hydropower capacity to the current 9000 MW capacity by 2030.

According to the Private Power & Infrastructure Board (PPIB) of the Ministry of Energy, seven solar projects of 530 MW are operational and supplying electricity to the national grid.

With the rising costs of electricity in Pakistan and an unreliable grid supply, more industries and commercial organizations are turning to captive solar solutions. There has been a strong surge in domestic installation of rooftop photovoltaic panels in larger cities. For projects under 1 MW, net metering regulations came into effect in September 2015. The current state of the energy sector is promising for growth in solar power in the future. given rising fossil fuel prices.

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