Prospects of Renewable Energy in Pakistan

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“Energy is synonymous with civilisation. It is the lifeline for economic growth and development. The continuing volatility of fuel prices and conventional energy’s deep carbon foot print coupled with close nexus between water, energy, and food security has brought energy access and energy security issues into even sharper focus” - Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan

Today, only 55% of Pakistan’s population has access to electricity. The nation is currently facing a 4 GW power supply shortage which is the most severe energy crisis ever to hit the country . The occurrence of prolonged and frequent power outages has had a negative impact on industry operation, the economy and the livelihood of citizens in general . While the energy shortage continues to grow, abundant indigenous sustainable energy resources such as wind, solar and biomass remain virtually untapped. The government attempted to promote the adoption of Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) in 2006 (Attached as Annex A) by implementing its first renewable energy policy. However, this policy has had limited success and faces a number of challenges. The future of renewable energy in Pakistan relies heavily on identifying these challenges and addressing them in order to pave the way forward for a sustainable and secure energy future of Pakistan.

Currently, approximately 66% of power generation in Pakistan is derived from fossil fuels (primarily oil and gas) followed by hydroelectricity (30%) and nuclear energy (3%). Hydro is the only sustainable energy resource which Pakistan employs for large-scale power generation. The implementation of the 2006 renewable energy policy has stimulated some interest in large-scale renewable power generation, but only one 50 MW wind energy project has been deployed in the Sindh region to date - that, too, with limited success.

The potential for renewable energy...
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