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LAHORE: The demand-supply gap of electricity has been constant despite the fact that Pakistan possessed a potential to supply 37,261 MWs with existing infrastructure.

Leading energy experts and stakeholders in the renewable energy have pointed out that Pakistan’s energy demand in 2021 was 29,435 MWs whereas the supply after line losses in the same period was 26,083 MWs. This gap existed despite the fact that Pakistan possessed a potential to supply 37,261 MWs with existing infrastructure.

They were speaking at a webinar organised by Karandaaz on the challenges and opportunities of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Pakistan.

They urged the government to look for innovative steps such as net metering through which consumers who own renewable energy facilities can supply excess produce to national grid in exchange for incentives, and energy efficient commercial construction and housing models.

It may be noted that according to Ministry of Energy, Power Division’s 2021 figures, Pakistan’s energy mix remained heavily reliant on non-renewable sources with a meagre share of renewable sources such as solar (400 MWs), wind (1235 MWs), and bagas (364 MWs) despite their vast potential.

Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Chairperson Karandaaz said, the 2019 alternative and renewable energy policy, if proactively implemented, would promote low carbon pathways as it targets a change in energy mix by lifting the share of renewables to 20 percent by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030. Complementing this target is raising the share of hydel capacity to 30 percent, she added. She said Pakistan was falling short of its targets already as the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix went down to 2.2 percent in 2021 so significant catching up is required in the next 3 years.”

In her concluding remarks, Annabel Gerry, Development Director of the UK’s FCDO commended the organisers and participants of webinar to discuss issues related to renewable energy and energy efficiency that face Pakistan. UK is leading global efforts to combat climate change and has already cut its own emissions by 43 percent since 1990, which is the fastest among the G-7 countries.

The webinar also had in-depth panel discussions on topics such as regulatory and financial constraints in the renewable energy generation, distribution, and efficiency, role of emerging technologies in accelerating the impact of renewable and efficient energy; potential for climate finance; need for energy efficient green buildings in Pakistan, and the potential benefits and modalities of commitment to net zero.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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