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ISLAMABAD: There is huge transition from fossil fuel to environment-friendly energy generation which overall will play a significantly positive role in dealing with the climate change situation.

This was the crux of a discussion at a webinar organised by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) which was moderated by the Vice Chancellor PIDE, Nadeem Haque, and attended by senior research economist Dr Ahmed Waqar Qasim, Additional Secretary Board of Investment (BOI), and others.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Qasim said that owing to the government’s steps towards facilitating solar power in a bid to promote small scale generation, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has also started playing its role for net metering regulations.

He said that a power distribution company (DISCO) required installation of normal electric meter 3-Phase before applying for provision of net metering equipment. It applies on both fresh and existing applicants with double time approvals which also imposes an additional cost fee for 3-phase meter.

The compliance requirements were similar for small and large installations, cost of Rs1000 per KW was to be paid to the NEPRA as licensing fee, and majority of applicants install small capacity systems which pose little risk.

During consultation with the private sector following it must be identified that the NEPRA issues license for power generation and linking system with national grid through net-metering for all installation irrespective of size which includes procedure that was manual and time consuming.

Sharing his thoughts, Additional Secretary BOI Mukarram Jah Ansari said that impact of assessment eliminating 3-phase connections requirement shows that it save the processing time and lowers cost by around Rs15,000.

In past, only consumers have three-phase meters, only three percent of the total power consumers were eligible to avail the facility but now almost 100 percent of consumers can avail this facility. It also reduces the aggregate monetary cost by Rs350 million, Dr Qasim and Ansari said.

The BoI additional secretary further said that on the recommendations of the BOI the prime minister of Pakistan decided to eliminate licensing by the NEPRA for the solar power units up to 25 kilowatts which has significantly benefited the SMEs in reducing power bills.

He said that furthermore, the condition of installation of normal electric meter before installing the green meter to avail net metering facility was also removed on the recommendation of the BOI.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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