August 10, 2020 Read More →

New Pakistani energy plan aims for 30% renewable generation by 2030

Reuters:

Pakistan this week set in motion a plan to boost the share of its electric power that comes from renewables to 30% by 2030, up from about 4% today, government officials said.

“The targets in the newly announced policy are a 20% share of renewables in installed capacity of Pakistan’s power mix by 2025 and 30% by 2030,” said Syed Aqeel Hussain Jafry, policy director for the government’s Alternative Energy Development Board. That will include mainly wind and solar power, but also geothermal, tidal, wave and biomass energy, he said.

With boosts in hydropower capacity expected as well, the shift could bring the share of clean energy in Pakistan’s electricity mix to 65% by 2030, said Nadeem Babar, head of a task force on energy reforms in Pakistan.

But the legislation leaves in place plans to build seven more coal-fired power plants as part of the second phase of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project – something that could impede scale-up of renewable power, warned Zeeshan Ashfaq, a solar and wind energy developer in Pakistan.

The new national renewables policy, approved by the prime minister’s cabinet last December, was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and as negotiators tried to resolve disputes with individual provinces. But Asad Umar, federal minister for planning and development, said on social media the resolution of those disputes now opened the way to “unleash Pakistan’s full potential” for renewables.

International investors could put as much as $15 billion into the plan by 2030, Ashfaq predicted – though he cautioned that renewables investment would depend on clear government targets for its use, and growing demand for power as the country industrialises.

[Rina Saeed Khan]

More: Pakistan pushes renewables – but coal expansion continues too

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