AEDB approves certification regulation for net-metering

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ISLAMABAD: The Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) has accorded approval to certification regulations for solar powered net metering in the country to facilitate consumers to install solar-powered electricity generation and sell the same to the national grid.

The BoD gave its approval in its 41st meeting held here under the Chairmanship of Power Division Federal Minister Sardar Awais Ahmed Laghari. Secretary Power Division and other members of the BOD participated in the meeting.

The federal minister appreciated AEDB CEO Amjad Ali Awan and the team associated with solar power for their hard work to complete all the requirements for facilitation of solar power based net-metering and its seamless inclusion in the national grid. He said that the move is bound to bring green energy and the biggest renewable electricity source of around 5000 to 7000 MW can now be exploited.

The minister said that for consumers having the desire to install solar system associated with net meters up to 25KV shall be facilitated to install their system within days as compared to present cumbersome licensing process spanning over months. “We are actually bringing, at the doorstep, the profitable business of electricity generation for everyone” the minister asserted.

The Board discussed matters relating to renewable energy projects and initiatives of the Government and AEDB for the promotion of RE technologies in the country with special emphasis on promoting RE based net-metering.

Among the major decisions taken during the meeting, the Board approved AEDB (Certification) Regulations, 2017 prepared by AEDB for certification of installers and vendors for net-metering based installations and other off-grid RE installations.

It was noted by the BoD that net metering based applications not only lessen the burden over the national grid but also support in increasing overall generation capacity, reducing fuel import bill, decreasing emissions of greenhouse gases and strengthening the national grid by minimising line losses as well as increasing major deployment of solar applications.

The BoD directed to initiate a well-planned public awareness campaign so that a maximum number of people may take benefit of the scheme.

The Board also approved the initiation of the scheme for conversion of all electricity operated tubewells in Balochistan to solar power. Currently, more than 30,000 electricity operated tubewells with a sanctioned load of more than 480 MW are running in Balochistan province on which the government is providing a subsidy of more than Rs 21 billion annually.

The BoD constituted two members committee to finalise the PC1 already prepared by the AEDB for conversion of the solar tube wells in Balochistan. The committee is tasked to present its final report at the next BoD meeting.

This subsidy constitutes a major portion of the circular debt. By converting the electricity operated tube wells to solar power, the load on the national grid will be relieved and the subsidy given on this electricity operated will be phased out thus significantly reducing the circular debt. In the first phase of the project, 10,000 solar water pumps will be installed to replace the existing electricity operated tube wells.

The Board resolved to take proactive steps in consultation with all concerned stakeholders for the promotion and development of alternative and renewable energy technologies in the country for overcoming energy requirements and ensuring energy security.