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Pakistan to buy excess solar energy from consumers

Pakistan to buy excess solar energy from consumers

The Board of Directors (BoD) of Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) on Wednesday allowed consumers to install solar powered panels to generate electricity and sell the same to national grid .

The BoD gave this approval in its 41st meeting held here. Allowing certification regulations for solar powered net metering in the country to facilitate consumers to install solar powered panels to generate electricity and sell the same to national grid is likely to bring 5,000 to 7,000MW electricity to the national grid , said federal Minister for Power Awais Laghari while presiding over the meeting of Board of Director of AEDB. The Power Division secretary and other members of the BOD participated in the meeting.

The minister said that the move is bound to bring green energy and biggest renewable electricity source of around 5,000 to 7,000MW can be exploited. The minister said that for consumers having desire to install solar system associated with net meters up to 25KV shall be facilitated to install their system within days as compared to present cumbersome licensing process spaning over months. “We are actually bringing at the door step the profitable business of electricity generation for everyone” the minister asserted.

The board discussed matters relating to renewable energy projects and initiatives of the government and AEDB for promotion of RE technologies in the country with special emphasis on promoting RE based net-metering.

Among the major decisions taken during the meeting, the board approved AEDB (Certification) Regulations, 2017 prepared by AEDB for certification of installers/vendors for net-metering based installations and other off-gird RE installations.

It was noted by the BoD that net-metering based applications not only lessen the burden over the national grid but also support in increasing overall generation capacity, reducing fuel import bill, decreasing emissions of greenhouse gases and strengthening the national grid by minimising line losses as well as increasing major deployment of solar applications.

The BoD directed to initiate a well planned public awareness campaign so that maximum number of people many take benefit of the scheme. The board also approved initiation of scheme for conversion of all electricity operated tubewells in Balochistan to solar power . Currently, more than 30,000 electricity operated tubewells with a sanctioned load of more than 480MW are running in Balochistan on which the government is providing subsidy of more than Rs21 billion annually.

The BoD constituted two-member committee to finalise the PC-1 already prepared by the AEDB for conversion of the solar tubewells in Balochistan. The committee is tasked to present its final report in the next BoD meeting.

This subsidy constitutes a major portion of the circular debt. By converting the electricity operated tubewells to solar power , the load on the national grid will be relieved and the subsidy given on these electricity operated will be phased out thus significantly reducing the circular debt. In the first phase of the project, 10,000 solar water pumps will be installed to replace the existing electricity operated tubewells.

The board resolved to take proactive steps in consultation with all concerned stakeholders for promotion and development of alternative and renewable energy technologies in the country for overcoming energy requirements and ensuring energy security.

The Nation

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