Govt working to promote net-metering based solar energy systems, says Hammad Azhar

Federal Minister for Energy Muhammad Hammad Azhar has said that the government and Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) have been promoting the installation of net-metering based solar energy systems under the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s (NEPRA) regulations.

The minister said agencies including NEPRA and DISCOs have also been promoting net-metering awareness amongst their consumers by promotional material disseminated through websites and electricity bills.

Moreover, the minister said that Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) is carrying out the certification of installers for net-metering based systems under AEDB Certification Regulations.

Hammad said that the certified installers are obligated to provide the minimum warranties for the equipment as prescribed under the regulations.

Further, the minister said that the installer shall ensure that the project and the equipment comprising therein is compliant with the prescribed international standards and specifications.

The number of AEDB certified installers has reached 150 as compared to only 24 in December, 2019. The certified installers are also carrying out net metering awareness and promotion through electronic, print and social media.

Hammad Azhar said that Balochistan has an immense potential of solar energy all across the province with an average daily Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) of 2200 kWh/m2. He said that with immense wind and solar potential, significant number of ARE based projects are envisaged to be developed in Balochistan.

However, the wind energy potential in Balochistan is available mostly in western and north western parts of the province. He said that the coastal belt of Balochistan has relatively lower wind potential as compared to the other wind corridors in the province.

The minister informed the house that no renewable energy based PSDP project has been initiated in the last three years since the renewable energy based rural electrification projects are mostly being carried out by the provincial government.

However, he added that the government is planning to carry out off-grid village electrification through renewable energy resources in southern Balochistan. In this regard, the minister said that a project for off-grid village electrification of 9 Districts of southern Balochistan is being devised. The government is also preparing a project for solarization of all grid operated tube wells in Balochistan.

Hammad went on to say that the development of large-scale grid connected renewable energy-based power generation projects is being pursued through private sector investors on IPP mode. Under the new ARE Policy 2019, the development of ARE based power generation projects for supply to the national grid will be carried out through competitive bidding.


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