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Markets Print 2022-11-07

Experts for accelerating large-scale RE procurements

KARACHI: Accelerating large scale Renewable Energy (RE) procurement sto avoid expected electricity crises in the...
Published November 7, 2022

KARACHI: Accelerating large scale Renewable Energy (RE) procurement to avoid expected electricity crises in the coming years, experts urged at the launch of a study on Saturday.

The launch of study titled ‘Reforming Net-metering in Pakistan: The Road Ahead’ was followed by a detailed discussion session where renowned local and international experts from NEPRA, World Bank, CEEW India and REAP Pakistan shared their insights.

The session was moderated by Ammar Qaseem from Renewables First, who started by highlighting the importance of Net Metering Reforms in light of its significant expansion in the coming years. The national electricity planning document, IGCEP 2022-31, has planned an addition of 4320-MW of Net Metered solar PV by the year 2031, a more than five-fold increase over the current amount.

Muhammad Shehram Alam presented the study by first going through a history of Net Metering reforms ever since the program’s inception in 2015. He discussed examples of policy reforms and systematic tariff revisions in Vietnam and the US states of California and Florida. He also discussed how despite low compensations for surplus electricity in India, supplementary incentives played a key role in increasing capacity induction within a single year.

Neeraj Kuldeep from Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) emphasized the need for evolution in policy and the importance of making net metering an attractive option. He informed the audience that in various surveys carried out pay back periods of 6 to 7 years were perceived positively by the residential sector.

Chairman Renewable Energy Association Pakistan (REAP) Nisar Latif said that perceptions, whether right or wrong, are very real and investor confidence regarding policy and tariff revisions was necessary.

When asked about the confidence in IGCEP Net Metering targets subsequent to proposal of tariff revisions, Imtiaz Baloch from NEPRA replied that the targets were reasonable, but the regulator was open to revising the figure in coming iterations of IGCEP in light of new evidence.

Finally, Oliver Knight regretted “the procrastination and foot dragging” that went on with regards to renewable energy targets in Pakistan and urged for accelerating large scale RE procurement to avoid expected electricity crises in the coming years.

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