Large scale wind, solar, biomass projects launched to harness renewable energy potential

Islamabad – The incumbent government has taken various steps for harnessing the renewable energy (RE) potential in the country and large scale wind, solar, biomass projects were kicked off. The measures included Development of Framework for Power Cogeneration (Bagasse/ biomass), preparation and approval of bankable standard security agreements, conducting resource assessment of RE resources, told official sources APP here Tuesday.

They said detailed ground data based resource assessment of wind, solar and biomass being carried out through the support of Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP). Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) assisted the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) in preparation and announcement of regulations for Distributed Generation and Net-Metering for renewable energy applications. As a result of AEDB's effort for initiating indigenous manufacturing of RE equipment, M/s China Three Gorges has established a tower manufacturing facility which would be upgraded to wind turbine assembling facility in future, they said.

Similarly, M/s DESCON was also manufacturing wind turbine towers and issues related to financing of projects have been resolved and now leading financing agencies like IFC, ADB, OPIC, ECO Trade Bank, CDB, ICBC etc. were offering financing to RE projects in Pakistan. The sources said use of solar based off-grid applications such as solar water heaters, solar-water pumps, solar street lights etc. is being promoted. In order to restrict the import of sub-standard solar equipment, quality standards for solar equipment have been developed, they said.

These quality standards had also been approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) and subsequently adopted by Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority. The sources said the AEDB was currently supporting Ministry of Science & Technology and FBR in the implementation of solar quality standards. Government had also decided to develop more wind and solar power projects through competitive bidding in order to avail benefits of decreasing prices through market competition. They said so far RE projects having accumulative capacity of 1370.1 MW had already been added in to the national grid with several others in the pipeline. Detailed resource assessment of wind, solar and biomass throughout the country had already been carried out, they said.

"Monitoring Desk"

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