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Saturday June 15, 2024

Promoting solar energy through holistic policy

By Rasheed Khalid
May 18, 2024
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) giving his welcome remarks in an event held on May 12, 2024.  — Facebook/SuleriAbid
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) giving his welcome remarks in an event held on May 12, 2024.  — Facebook/SuleriAbid

Islamabad: Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) has said despite the government’s repeated assurances of no taxation on solar panels and reversing net-metering formula, it is pertinent to work out research-based solutions to the problem that had stirred debate in the concerned quarters.

Dr Suleri was giving opening remarks at a roundtable on “Solar net-metering conundrum: adapting solar net-metering to evolving market dynamics in Pakistan" organised by SDPI and Energy Update here Friday.

Dr Suleri said that the policy reversal scenario in the energy sector was not new as the nation witnessed such transition while shifting from diesel-based vehicles to those running on CNG fuel.

Dr Suleri mentioned that due to technology transformation, solar panels were becoming affordable that would further expedite solar energy roll out and make policy reversal on the cards.

The SDPI Executive Director mentioned that it is the duty of the think-tanks to initiate a well-informed discussion on pros and cons of the decision while considering the country’s environmental obligations, nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to be implemented in 2026 with international, regional and local implication for Pakistani industry.

Touseef Farooqi, former Chairperson, NEPRA, said the floodgates have opened and no one can stop roll out of solar power technology. It will be insane to claim limiting of solar energy roll out as it will not even benefit the national grid whereas the fashion in which net metering is done it should be probed whether it is catering for the needs of the most deserving communities, he said.

He added that the cheapest electricity at Rs12.3 can be easily inducted and suggested that it should be bought with net-metering being promoted at the community scale by producing cheap electricity. The masses should avoid misuse of net-metering to avoid discrimination of poorer and contribute their share into the clean energy mix, he said.

AbuBakar from Amreli Steel said the prosumers were cross subsidised by consumers as the ancillary services at the grid were being passed on to the grid and not paid by the solar consumers.