LAHORE: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has approved upfront tariff for Buksh Energy’s 10-megawatt solar power plant in Cholistan.
The development came following a recent call for proposals made by the government for 50MW projects from independent power producers (IPPs).
Pakistan is facing power shortages of 3,300-3,500MW with up to 12 hours of daily outages. The country has solar irradiation of 5.9 kilowatt hours per square metre (kWh/sqm), which can be a major contributor to energy production, says a press release.
The private sector has now joined hands with the government for providing electricity to households, commercial centres and industrial units.
“Pakistan is facing one of the worst power shortages as problems in provision of electricity are continuously affecting economic output,” said Asim Buksh, Chairman of Buksh Energy.
“The 10MW plant will serve as a pioneering solar IPP, leading to a resolution of the energy crisis in the country with a profitable, sustainable and environmentally friendly solution for all stakeholders involved.”
Cholistan is one of the most suitable locations for installation of solar energy projects as it receives solar light for almost 300 days in a year. Generation of electricity through solar energy would be the most feasible and viable proposition in such a location.
“Buksh Energy aims to contribute 0.14% to overcoming the power shortfall in the country through its solar energy projects. Looking at the current energy crisis, renewable energy sources seem to be the only viable solution,” said Fiza Farhan, Director of Buksh Energy.
Average dependable electricity capacity in summer reached up to 15,000MW. Pakistan was losing up to 3% of its gross domestic product (GDP) because of frequent power shortages, underlining the need for the IPPs to collaborate with the government in order to bring the shortages under control, she added.
According to the Water and Power Development Authority’s forecast, the demand for electricity will reach up to 40,000MW by 2020.
According to the press release, Pakistan has the potential to produce 2.324 million megawatts through solar and alternative energy sources, hence the resources should be used in the most effective and efficient manner to address the energy deficiency.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2014.