Federal Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir on Wednesday said the bidding process for a 600-megawatt (MW) pilot solar project will be completed today, which will determine the cost of these projects.
Through these sources, 11,000MW of electricity will be added to the national grid in the coming years, he said.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Dastgir said investors will be invited to evaluate the project, after which a reverse bidding process will be initiated.
He said shifting the entire electricity generation through indigenous sources will lower the burden on the national exchequer and provide cheap electricity to consumers.
Sharing features of the government’s energy policy, Dastgir said power plants built in the future will be based on indigenous sources, including hydel, solar, wind, Thar coal and nuclear.
“The reason is that prices of oil and gas, which are mostly imported, have skyrocketed in the international market. This would also ensure energy security."
Dastgir said the cost of electricity generated using solar and wind sources are 50-60% cheaper than other sources. The minister added that solar energy would aid in mitigating pollution as well.
“Moreover, pressure on the country’s power sector, which is under huge debt due to subsidies, would be alleviated,” said the minister.
Dastgir said that the government intends to install 2,000MW of renewable energy projects in rural areas through micro solar projects of 1-2MW, adding government buildings and tube wells will be solarised.
“The goal is to provide cheap electricity to consumers,” he said.
He said the government is working on a number of power projects which will add 2,000MW of electricity to the national grid by next year. “The Shanghai Thar coal of 1,320MW would be inaugurated later this year.”
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that Pakistan’s future hinged on extensive utilisation of renewable energy as these alternative resources of energy could help generate inexpensive power.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister's Office (PMO) gave a deadline of a couple of weeks for mapping 6,000-MW solar projects across the country and proposed a tariff along with indexation to attract international investment.
These directions were issued at a meeting on September 5, 2022, presided over by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Effective Governance, Dr Jehanzeb Khan, a close relative of Azam Khan, who was a secretary in the government of Imran Khan.