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April 28, 2020

Govt grants licences for 100MW solar power plants

 
April 28, 2020

KARACHI: The government has licenced two local businesses to set up 100 megawatts of solar power plants for an estimated investment of $100 million, it was learnt on Monday.

National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) granted generation licences to two solar power plants of 50MW each being set up with a cumulative investment of $100 million.

The licences were issued to Artistic Solar Energy (Private) Limited for its $45 million plant in Sukkur district, and Siddiqsons Kohat Solar Limited for its $55 million plant in Kohat district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Nepra said the proposed projects would result in optimum utilisation of untapped renewable energy, which would result in pollution free electricity.

“There is a global trend of reduction in the prices of PV cells, which results in lower tariffs as is evident from various determinations of the authority,” Nepra said in a document. “These lower tariffs will result in reduction of the overall basket price which will be beneficial to the public at large.”

Sustainable and affordable energy is a key prerequisite for socioeconomic development of any country. In fact, the economic growth of any country is directly linked with the availability of safe, secure, reliable and cheaper supply of energy.

Nepra said all indigenous power generation resources, including renewable energy, should be developed on priority basis for sustainable development.

Recently, the world market for renewable energy technologies has seen a sharp downward trend in terms of prices, making these technologies more attractive and cost-effective for power generation. Further, there are developments in the sector, which are paving the way to address the intermittency issues of these technologies.

The power division finalised the draft of renewable energy policy 2019, envisaging 25 percent of total generation capacity from alternative and renewable energy technologies by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.

Together with more than 30 percent hydropower generation, the government aims to achieve the most environmental-friendly and affordable electricity mix compared to the heavy mix of imported fossil fuels of the past.

The policy aims to enhance the share of renewable resources, while ensuring transparency by introducing competitive bidding regime.

Pakistan produces only five percent of electricity from renewable power – mainly from wind, a bit from solar, and a little from bagasse as captive power plants in sugar mills. The government decided to move to a renewable energy-reliant economy by 2030 in which hydropower would be the backbone. To keep pace with the demands, this would require the development of additional generation capacity of 20 gigawatts of hydropower, wind and solar.