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ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Water Resources and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Government are said to have raised questions on duplication of energy models being used by Integrated Energy Planning (IEP) of Planning Commission and Integrated Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGECP) of NTDC, an arm of Power Division, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

The representatives of both M/o Water Resources and Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Board expressed their views during the fourth meeting of Steering Committee of IEP presided over by the caretaker Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Sami Saeed.

Chief (EF&E) Planning Commission shared the background of the IEP initiative and intimated that it was conceptualized under Vision-2025. Later on, IEP structure and processes were formalised and PC-I was approved in January, 2020. The activities under IEP framework formally started in March 2021. An overview of the IEP structure and its ongoing activities was presented to the members of the Steering Committee.

On the question of the smooth working of the Energy Planning and Resource Centre (EPRC) secretariat, the forum was informed that hiring of the project staff has been the biggest challenge till date as suitable candidates are not found for the advertised vacancies. The Chair stressed the need for swift hiring for the project staff owing to the importance of the manpower for the completion of the project.

The caretaker minister enquired about the frequency of the meetings of the Steering Committee and stressed the need for a minimum bi-annual meeting of the Steering Committee for better appraisal of the project activities by the energy sector policymakers. The PD further noted that despite shortage of the project staff, the project activities have continued as per the work plan.

It was explained that IEP is going to establish an Energy Information System (EIS) which will be the single source of reference for energy related data accessible to the relevant energy sector agencies including policymakers. The Chair highlighted the need for a central energy related database and sharing of data with the energy sector stakeholders. He also advised the energy sector stakeholders present in the meeting to facilitate EPRC’s access of the energy related data.

Sami Saeed enquired about the presence of working groups in IEP and was informed that IEP already has four operational working groups working in collaboration with other energy sector stakeholders on functional level. On the question of integration of IEP with the energy sector, the representative of CPPA-G/ Power Division endorsed the work of EPRC and apprised the forum that CCI in 2021 approved an electricity policy and Ministry of Energy will make an Integrated Energy Plan. In 2023, the Cabinet approved the National Electricity Plan and designated EPRC to support the formulation of future plans; therefore, the capability of EPRC may improve.

Moving on to next agenda item, the Steering Committee was presented LEAP-based integrated energy outlook. The Committee was also briefed on development of the model including training on the Low Emission Analysis Platform (LEAP) model, formulation of the policy questions by the working group on LEAP and a consultative workshop on the LEAP model results. Additional Secretary, M/o Water Resources added the importance of the relation of GDP and energy demand in developing an efficient energy model. He further added the importance of the reliability of the model through calibration.

Chief (EF&E) presented the three scenarios developed in the LEAP model including Base, Medium and High Growth scenarios. He stated during the session that a draft report on the LEAP model will be shared with the stakeholders and based on the feedback, a final report would be published as the first integrated energy plan by EPRC.

On the discussion of financial benefit of different scenarios, Additional Secretary M/o Water Resources advised the modelling team to include a slide of financial benefit in the presentation as well so that the forum could have a better idea of the financial outcomes of the model. He also advised the IEP team that the model may be integrated based on the growth of the economic sectors instead of growth of the energy demand.

Chief (EF&E)/ PD IEP in his response noted that the LEAP model has GDP growth rate as a key variable used in the modelling. He further added that the questions raised in the forum may be integrated in the final report of the model. It was also discussed that the model may also include energy affordability. It was also clarified to the forum that every model including LEAP has its limitations and not all questions could be answered using a single model. Once the adequate modelling capability has been developed then more complex models and analytical tools would be opted to answer specific questions.

Additional Secretary M/o Water Resources, Syed Mehar Ali Shah and representative of PEDO, Imran Nazir questioned the duplication of energy model of IEP with IGCEP. It was clarified that IEP framework will be looking into entire energy sector in holistic manner and will not be limited to electricity or the power sector as is the case with IGCEP. The current LEAP based IEP model analyses and processes various aspects of the energy sub-sectors including coal, gas, oil, and non-energy sectors including environmental emissions. It was also clarified that one of the key deliverables of IEP framework is to combine and integrate planning efforts and capabilities developed by various line ministries, departments, provincial governments and academia.

The representative of the M/o Climate Change observed that as per the international commitments, the country cannot install more imported coal-based power plants. It was clarified that additional production in the model is not from installation of the new plants but from the optimized dispatch from the existing plants.

Managing Director Punjab Power Development Board (PPDB) Samia Awais requested the forum that provincial energy departments may be included in the IEP activities for their input in IEP work and IEP publications may also be shared. In response, Project Director IEP Anayat Ullah Qureshi apprised the forum that reports published by IEP are publicly available at the Planning Commission website and as a general practice, IEP invites all provincial energy departments through the office of their secretaries.

PD IEP informed the session that IEP has successfully completed the project of solarisation of the P-Block by installation of 200-KWp roof-top solar system.

Wrapping up the meeting, the caretaker Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives appreciated the work of the IEP team and the attendees of the meeting for their presence.

After detailed discussion, the meeting took the following decisions: (i) meetings of the Steering Committee on IEP should be held quarterly or at least bi-annually.

Moreover, meetings of all Working Groups may be held regularly; (ii) membership of Steering Committee should be expanded by including stakeholders like NEPRA and OGRA; and (iii) the proposed EIS should be expedited and completed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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