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ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), on Thursday, held an interactive session with stakeholders on the facilitation of small and large-scale power projects in the country, especially in Balochistan.

Presided over by Mathar Niaz Rana, Member (Tariff and Finance) Balochistan, different options were discussed to install solar projects in Balochistan and the obstacles being faced by the investors and the provincial government.

Starting the meeting, the member Balochistan said that the regulator wants to promote cheap power generation in the country, especially in Balochistan, which has a lot of potential for solar energy.

Rana, who hails from Balochistan and has also served as chief secretary in the province, was of the view that solar power generation can help reduce poverty in the province.

“Nepra wants to remove hurdles in the promotion of solar system. Large-scale solar generation can be started in Balochistan,” he added.

Investors who participated in the meeting were of the view that there is a need for a change in the attitude of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) toward the importation of solar energy-related equipment. They requested the Nepra to play its role in the promotion of solar energy.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank want to convert tube wells in Balochistan to solar.

One of the investors said that the government can save billions of dollars by replacing fuel-based generation with solar projects.

During the meeting, it was stated that the conversion of agriculture tube wells in Balochistan can save billions of rupees of subsidy being extended by the government. Experts said the promotion of solarisation will be a game changer in Balochistan.

Rana said the Nepra will continue to guide investors who are interested to invest in solar projects.

He further stated that the regulator will not allow changes in the net metering mechanism as it wants the promotion of solarisation in the country, adding that the authority will release the IGCEP determination very soon.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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