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Launch of Renewable Readiness Assessment of Pakistan by AEDB and IRENA

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Launch of Renewable Readiness Assessment of Pakistan by AEDB and IRENA - Renewable Energy Can Build Prosperity and Improve Energy Security in Pakistan

 IRENA assessment shows Pakistan’s abundant renewable resources can boost power generation and energy access

 International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Alternative Energy Development Board successfully launched Renewable Readiness Assessment (RRA) Report today in a ceremony held in Marriott, Islamabad. This RRA report has critically analyzed the renewable energy sector of Pakistan and has provided a comprehensive analysis of the country’s energy sector, valuable policy guidance and technical assistance to determine our best available renewable-based power options and identifies key actions to accelerate renewable energy deployment.

The RRA Report has stated that while hydropower has traditionally been the most prominent source of renewable energy in Pakistan — making up almost a third of electricity generation with 7.1 gigawatts of installed grid-connected capacity — IRENA’s assessment finds that the country has up to 60 GW of economic and technical hydropower potential. The assessment also identifies 50 GW of wind potential in Pakistan’s southern Sindh and Baluchistan provinces and estimates that 25 million tonnes of biomass feedstocks from industrial and agricultural residue can be made available for use, per year.

 The Director General IRENA, Mr. Adnan Z. Amin said during the launching ceremony that Pakistan is undergoing rapid economic and industrial development, which in turn is fuelling strong energy demand growth across the country. To meet this demand Pakistan has a tremendous opportunity to cost-effectively tap its abundant solar, wind and hydropower resource potential. Doing so would support national prosperity and job creation, whilst enhancing security of supply, improving access and moving Pakistan towards greater energy independence.

The CEO, AEDB stated during the launching ceremony that Pakistan is rich in renewable energy potential, and can with this assessment develop policies, investment opportunities and energy development actions to harness it. Critical to this report has been IRENA’s valuable policy guidance and technical assistance to determine our best available renewable-based power options. The CEO, AEDB also launched solar maps of Pakistan being developed under the ESMAP, with the support of World Bank.

 The RRA Report shows that declines in solar photovoltaic (PV) technology costs have supported the sector’s growth in Pakistan, with 400 megawatts (MW) of solar PV projects in 2015-2016, helping to create over 15,500 local jobs. In recent years, Pakistan has seen a surge in providers offering a range of solar home system products including solar water pumping systems, solar lighting solutions and solar water heaters. With more than half of Pakistan’s total population residing in rural areas, millions remain reliant on traditional biomass use. Among Pakistan’s rural population, only half have access to electricity.

 IRENA’s assessment presents options for Pakistan to strengthen its policy, regulatory and institutional framework in order to accelerate renewables deployment. It suggests ways to strengthen renewable energy targets, examines the constraints of existing grid infrastructure, highlights the best mechanisms to reduce costs and address technical challenges, and underlines the potential for private investment in renewables for off-grid and rural electrification.

 To further utilise the country’s indigenous renewable energy resources, the RRA Report of Pakistan finds that key challenges can be addressed by: 

  • Setting a binding target for renewable energy development;
  • Coordinating the development and implementation of an integrated energy plan;
  • Encouraging renewable energy zoning and competitive procurement to reduce overall system costs;
  • Involving the private sector in the development of transmission infrastructure to enhance the grid;
  • Devising a comprehensive distributed power generation plan;
  • Developing policy and regulatory frameworks and implementation mechanisms that facilitate private-sector engagement in rural electrification.

 

The RRA Report is available at AEDB website at www.aedb.org/publications and at IRENA Website at https://www.irena.org/publications/2018/Apr/Renewables-Readiness-Assessment-Pakistan