Govt urged to implement electric power wheeling, banking policy

Move will pave way for reliable, efficient transmission of electricity

Our Correspondent March 25, 2018
The sun rises behind electricity pylons. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Energy Watch (PEW) has urged the government to implement electric power wheeling and banking policy without any delay to pave the way for reliable and efficient transmission of electricity, in addition to creating competition in the electricity market.

Commenting on a letter sent by the Power Division to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) for amending the wheeling policy, PEW General Secretary Faiz Bhutta said renewable energy wheeling should also be part of the regulation for a quick growth of renewable energy sector in Pakistan, which was suffering because of a lack of integrated planning and short-term focus of the government on coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

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The Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) should also be taken on board in the consultation and implementation process, he added.

He emphasised that open access to energy would allow the consumers freedom to choose suppliers and the power market would become competitive, qualitative and efficient with that policy.

“Renewable energy wheeling and banking is applicable across the world,” Bhutta said, adding wheeling charges for solar power plants within a single distribution company should be exempted for three years as an incentive to attract investors.

The minister for energy recently announced the formulation of the National Electric Policy, but it should be National Electricity and Tariff Policy and should also address renewable energy, he said.

Bhutta said when the idea of net metering was initiated, the distribution companies feared losing revenue and resisted its implementation, but later they felt it was a good experience for their system.

Similarly, the distribution companies would benefit in case of implementation of the power wheeling and banking policy and wheeling and banking of electricity produced by non-renewable and renewable sources would create benefits for all producers, transmitters and consumers, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2018.

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