Can Shakti Solar Success Inspire Pakistanis?

Reliable 24X7 availability of electricity is taken for granted in most of the developed world. Whenever consumers plug their favorite gadgets into the wall socket, it is assumed that the power will be there. Everyone has access to it. Electrical power outages are extremely rare.

Electricity empowers consumers by enhancing their lives through better learning and entertainment, higher productivity and income, greater comfort, increased safety, superior health, and improved economy. People in the developed world live with the benefits of electricity everyday. While most people give little thought to where electricity comes from, there are many different ways to generate electricity - including coal, oil, gas, hydroelectric, nuclear, wind and solar. It is delivered to individual homes by extensive national grid systems.

In most of the developing nations, however, the availability of electricity to majority of the population is either unreliable or non-existent. The lack of such an essential energy source results in low levels of human development, low productivity and widespread poverty in the developing world, as evident from the chart above. The governments of most developing nations, particularly in South Asia, have miserably failed in providing such a basic necessity as electricity to their people. About 40% of the people in both India and Pakistan have no access to electricity, The percentage lacking access in Bangladesh is even higher. Socially-oriented enterprises such as Grameen Shakti and D.light are offering poor communities an affordable alternative to kerosene, which is ubiquitous but hazardous. The quality of the kerosene lamp light isn't good, it emits pollutants, and it's just plain dangerous. "You travel around these villages, and everyone has a story of a child being burned or a house destroyed by fire," says Nedjip Tozun of D.light, speaking to Fortune by phone from his office in Shenzhen, China. "And yet in some places we found that people were spending 15% to 20% of their income on light." The world's poor spend about $38 billion a year on kerosene for lighting, according to the International Finance Corp.

Pakistan's current installed capacity is around 19,845 MW, of which around 20% is hydroelectric. Much of the rest is thermal, fueled primarily by gas and oil. Per capita energy consumption of the country is estimated at 14 million Btu, which is about the same as India's but only a fraction of other industrializing economies in the region such as Thailand and Malaysia, according to the US Dept of Energy 2006 report. To put it in perspective, the world average per capita energy use is about 65 million BTUs and the average American consumes 352 million BTUs.

Extended electricity load shedding in Karachi's five major industrial estates is causing losses in billions of rupees as the production activity has fallen by about 50 per cent. KESC, Karachi's power supply utility, is dealing with with a shortfall of around 700MW against a total demand of 2200MW. Almost all forms of power generation from fossil fuel-fired thermal to hydroelectric to nuclear are down from a year ago. As a result of the daily rolling blackouts, the economy, major exports and overall employment are also down and the daily wage earners are suffering. The KESC and PEPCO owe more than Rs. 10b to the independent power producers (IPPs) and paying them will help bring them into full operation and ease the crisis at least partially.

The electric power situation in India is not much better. The country is suffering its worst electricity crisis. Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Haryana are the worst hit by the ongoing crisis and they are facing power gaps of about 5,000MW, 1,000MW, 2000MW, 1,500MW respectively. Some major cities in India are facing alarming situations; continuous load shedding in Bangalore has led to diesel shortage as people are using diesel generators to deal with the crisis. Times of India has reported student protests against power cuts affecting their studies. Textile and jute mills in West Bengal have been badly hit by unscheduled power cuts. In Tamil Nadu, severe power shortage has hit industrial production, according to MSN India. Companies said production could be down as much as 30 per cent. Sectors like textile, leather and salt appear to be among the worst hit. Industry associations put the loss in production at around Rs 4,000 crore. In Maharashtra, state officials are asking industrial consumers to lower their demand by 10% or be ready to face forced load shedding (rolling blackouts). Last year, IBN reported that New Delhi, the capital, faced 30 percent shortage in power. Maharashtra on an average had 8 to 10 hours of load shedding every day. Madhya Pradesh had 26 percent power deficit. In Gujarat, while the requirement is 5,500 Mega Units, availability is 4,780 Mega Units. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are facing 2000 Mega Units of energy deficit and Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir have 1,500 and 1000 Mega Units of power shortages respectively. Cities and towns are facing 7 to 13 hours blackouts.

To empower people and communities in some of the developing nations, social entrepreneurs are stepping in to fill the large gap between supply and demand for electricity. In Bangladesh, for example, Grameen Shakti is a social enterprise selling home solar electricity systems to families that do not have access to electricity otherwise, which includes more than 70% of the country’s population. It is an enterprise that demonstrates the success of a densely networked approach involving mutually reinforcing investments in human, social, ecological and financial capital by a number of organizations.

Solar energy makes much sense for Pakistan for several reasons: firstly, majority of the population lives in 50,000 villages that are far away from the creaking old national grid, according to a report by the Solar Energy Research Center (SERC). Connecting these villages to the national grid would be very costly, thus giving each house a solar panel would be cost efficient and would empower people both economically and socially.

To draw inspiration for empowering Pakistani villagers with solar energy, Pakistanis don't have to look far. In Bangladesh, Grameen Shakti (GS) is demonstrating that it can be done. GS was founded by Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate Mohammad Yunus in 1996 as part of the Grameen Bank’s family of enterprises. Shakti is attempting to rescue the rural people from energy poverty which hampers their social and economic development. Shakti's unique program has taken the first step to break the social and economical divide between those who have energy and those who do not.

The Grameen Bank, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, was started in 1976 and officially founded in 1983; it operates on a model of providing small loans without collateral to the rural poor in Bangladesh. Grameen Shakti is one of more than two dozen organizations within the Grameen family of enterprises that is dedicated to improving the quality of rural life in Bangladesh. Although registered as a not-for-profit organization, Grameen Shakti is run like a business. In the face of persistent market challenges, the organization achieved profitability in 2000, after only four years of operation. Grameen Shakti has installed more than 40,000 individual solar energy systems that have provided more than 100,000 lower-income individuals with access to reliable electricity.

GS’s solar program mainly targets those areas, which have no access to conventional electricity and little chance of getting connected to the grid within 5 to 10 years. It is one of its most successful programs. Currently, GS is one of the largest and fastest growing rural based renewable energy companies in the world. GS is also promoting Small Solar Home System to reach low income rural households.

Solar Home Systems(SHSs) can be used to light up homes, shops, fishing boats etc. It can also be used to charge cellular phones, run televisions, radios and cassette players. SHSs have become increasingly popular among users because they present an attractive alternative to conventional electricity such as no monthly bills, no fuel cost, very little repair, maintenance costs, easy to install any where etc.

Grameen Shakti has a micro-utility model for some very poor rural consumers who cannot afford a complete solar home system. Under this model, one entrepreneur installs the system at his own premise and share the load with some of his neighbors. Owner of the system is responsible for making installment payments to GS, more than 50% of which is covered by the rents he collects from the users of his system. Micro-utility model has become very popular in the rural market places and has helped to increase business turnover by extending business hours. More than 1000 micro-utility systems are operating in the rural market places.

GS installed SHSs have made a positive impact on the rural people. GS has introduced micro-utility model in order to reach the poorer people who cannot afford a SHS individually. Another successful GS venture is Polli Phone which allows people is off grid areas the facilities of telecommunication through SHS powered mobile phones.

Pakistani blog Pakistaniat has reported practical examples of the use of solar energy as seen in some villages of Pakistan where each house has been provided with a solar panel that’s sufficient to run an electric fan and two energy saving bulbs. Prior to this arrangement, the whole village used to go dark at night. In Narian Khorian, a village about 50 kilometers from Islamabad, 100 solar panels have been installed by a local firm, free of cost, to promote the use of solar energy. With these panels, the residents of 100 households are enjoying light and fan facilities. This would not have happened for decades as the supply of electricity from the national grid would be difficult and costly due to the mountainous terrain.

Dawn newspaper recently reported that the Alternative Energy Development Board is planning electrification of 6968 remote villages through solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the next 20 years. All the renewable energy projects, being undertaken by AEDB in the country, are financed by federal government through public sector development program (PSDP) allocation and funding from international multi-lateral institutions.

Among private non-government initiatives, a number of community-based micro hydro projects are being executed with the help of the Agha Khan Foundation in Pakistan's Northern Areas and NWFP. Within this region, out of a total of 137 micro-hydro plants, the AKRSP has established 28 micro-hydros with an installed capacity of 619kW. Initially, in 1986, these plants started as research and demonstration units. These projects were extended to Village Organizations (VOs) and became participatory projects. A Village Organization (VO) is a body of villagers who have organized themselves around a common interest.

Shakti Solar offers a very good model for organizing and funding a larger, nation-wide effort to empower Pakistanis with electrical energy to improve their lives.

Last February, I wrote an article "Solar Energy For Sunny Pakistan" suggesting that Pakistanis should seriously pursue the solar energy option. Many of the comments on the post were quite skeptical, some even cynical. But one particular response elated me. It was posted by someone with initials SK, who wrote as follows: "I am a consultant for the World Bank and I work on energy and infrastructure development issues. I am in the process of leaving and starting a non-profit organization to replicate the Grameen Shakti solar pv model in Pakistan because it is the only project I ever reviewed that seemed to make a bit of difference in actually alleviating poverty".

I do hope SK is out there now trying to light up a few homes in Pakistan to empower people. I wish SK, and others like him, great success as social entrepreneurs in Pakistan. It is indeed better to light candles than to curse darkness.

Here is a video on Grameen Shakti Solar:




Related Links:

Energy Shortage

Electric Power Crisis Worsens in Pakistan

Light a Candle, Don't Curse Darkness

Social Entrepreneurs Target India and Pakistan

Solar Energy For Sunny Pakistan

UN Millennium Goals in Pakistani Village

Comments

Paul said…
Riaz,

I would like to touch base with you regards potential collaboration.
Please refer to my blog http://mystockvoice.wordpress.com for further detail.

Look forward to your response

Kind regards

Paul
Riaz Haq said…
ADB is financing a big solar power push in Asian nations, according to the Express Tribune:

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said it will launch the Asia Accelerated Solar Energy Development Fund with $2.25 billion as it targets solar power projects in countries including China, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Thailand to add another 1,000 megawatts next year and 1,500MW in 2013.

“By providing an enabling environment for commercial lending and private investment in the solar energy market, we hope to encourage its rapid growth and bring solar energy nearer to grid parity – making solar energy competitive in price to conventional sources,” ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said at a clean energy forum in Manila on Wednesday.

He said Asia needs to invest around $10 billion in the next few years to make solar power generation competitive with conventional energy sources and called for radical steps to fight climate change.

He said ADB wants Asia, home to about two-thirds of the world’s population, to add 3,000 megawatts of solar energy capacity by the end of 2013. Already this year, it has helped countries add 500 megawatts, doubling the region’s solar capacity. Fast-growing Asian economies rely heavily on fossil fuels. ADB has forecast Asia-Pacific imports of fossil fuels will more than double between 2005 and 2030, with oil accounting for more than 90 per cent of such imports.

“The total cost of this 3,000 MW is about $10 billion, of which we are planning to commit $2.25 billion,” S Chander, Principal Director at ADB’s Office of Information Systems and Technology, told reporters.

“Our job is to catalyse enough projects to increase volumes and to make sure that the manufacturers (of low-carbon technologies) have an incentive to invest in research and development,” Chander said.

ADB invested $1.76 billion in clean energy across 29 projects last year and said it is on track to meet a goal of $2 billion in clean energy investments annually by 2013. It plans to inject $60 million into three venture capital funds that will provide early-stage financing support for new climate technology products. It expects this initiative to leverage over $400 million in private sector investment.

Kuroda said Asia had a lot to lose from climate change and needed to act quickly to develop alternate energy source. “A big push is needed to accelerate this transition,” he said. “The climate fight will be won or lost by decisions made in this region.”


http://tribune.com.pk/story/194487/adb-targets-solar-power-projects-in-pakistan/
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan set to announce incentives for renewable energy investors, according to Bloomberg:

Pakistan will announce its first tariff policy for clean-energy producers next month, offering premium payment rates as it seeks to attract investors to help overcome power shortfalls.

The country has given approval to 30 companies to install wind plants with an estimated capacity of 1,500 megawatts, said Arif Alauddin, chief executive of the state-run Alternative Energy Development Board.

“There will be a feed-in tariff based on a cost-plus approach,” he said in an Aug. 23 interview at his office in Islamabad. The tariff policy “offers an extremely good rate of return,” with most of the risks covered by the government, he said.

Developers may be able to get as much 18 percent returns on their investment, he said, declining to say what the feed-in tariff rates will be.

Pakistan is seeking to diversify its energy supplies away from oil and gas and boost electricity production. The nation has a power deficit of 3 to 4 gigawatts a day, or more than the output of two nuclear reactors, triggering 12-hour blackouts that cause riots and close factories in cities nationwide.
Financial Closure

The feed-in tariffs will speed the development of projects in the pipeline, Alauddin said. Companies that are close to achieving financial close include Zorlu Enerji Elektrik Uretim AS (ZOREN), a Turkish power utility, China International Water & Electric Corp. and Fauji Foundation’s two plants in Sindh province, he said.

Pakistan has almost 1 gigawatt of wind-power projects under construction or with financing agreed upon and 498.5 megawatts more of plants announced, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data. Only 6 megawatts of wind-energy facilities are operating in the nation.

Commercially exploitable wind exists in many parts of Pakistan, especially in Sindh and the coastal area of Balochistan. Zorlu Enerji’s project is Pakistan’s first privately owned and financed wind farm.

Pakistan is the ninth-poorest country in the Asia-Pacific region with a 2009 gross domestic product per capita of $2,609, according to Bloomberg data. Its fight with Taliban militants in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, a debt pileup among energy companies and unwillingness of banks to finance power projects are creating some “barriers” for potential investors, Alauddin said.

“The engineering, procurement and construction cost and the turbine cost that are offered to Pakistani investors appear to be higher than what is being offered elsewhere in the world, maybe 20 percent to 25 percent higher,” he said.

Pakistan is seeking to derive at least 5 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, the development board said in March. Last year, 53 percent came from natural gas, 30 percent from oil and the rest from coal, nuclear and hydropower, according to data from BP Plc. The London-based oil company didn’t measure the sources of renewable energy there.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-25/pakistan-offers-renewable-energy-incentives-to-tackle-shortages.html
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan will unveil a new renewables feed-in tariff (FIT) next month as it looks to narrow its economically-crippling energy gap, according to rechargenews.com:

The Pakistani government first launched a FIT in 2006, but the package bore little fruit and the country still has just 6MW of operational wind capacity.

The new FIT is aimed at jump-starting renewables in a nation that faces a 3-4GW energy shortfall, made worse by the devastating floods in 2010.

In sharp contrast to Pakistan’s paltry wind portfolio, neighbouring India had more than 13GW installed at the end of 2010, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

While Islamabad has not spelled out the new FIT rates, a spokesman for the state-run Alternative Energy Development Board says investors will be able to net internal rates of return of up to 18% under the new support regime.

The government has already given the go-ahead to 1.5GW of projects, with several developers near to reaching financial close. These include Turkish utility Zorlu Enerji and China International Water & Electric.

Zorlu Enerji’s 49.5MW project near Hyderabad will be Pakistan’s first privately-owned wind farm.

In 2010, for the first time, more wind capacity was added in emerging economies than in the traditional wind markets in the OECD countries.

Industry figures say attitudes towards wind energy have shifted dramatically in developing countries like Pakistan in recent years, as officials come to grips with the immense opportunity wind brings for rapidly adding generation capacity.

Pakistan has a target of a 5% share of power from renewables by 2030.


http://www.rechargenews.com/business_area/politics/article274782.ece
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a NY Times story on India benefiting from plummeting prices of solar panels and solar energy:

Over the last decade, India has opened the state-dominated power-generating industry to private players, while leaving distribution and rate-setting largely in government hands. European countries heavily subsidize solar power by agreeing to buy it for decades at a time, but the subsidies in India are lower and solar operators are forced into to greater competition, helping push down costs.

This month, the government held its second auction to determine the price at which its state-owned power trading company — NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam — would buy solar-generated electricity for the national grid. The average winning bid was 8.77 rupees (16.5 cents) per kilowatt hour.

That is about twice the price of coal-generated power, but it was about 27 percent lower than the winning bids at the auction held a year ago. Germany, the world’s biggest solar-power user, pays about 17.94 euro cents (23 American cents) per kilowatt hour.

India still significantly lags behind European countries in the use of solar. Germany, for example, had 17,000 megawatts of solar power capacity at the end of 2010. But India, which gets more than 300 days of sunlight a year, is a more suitable place to generate solar power. And being behind is now benefiting India, as panel prices plummet, enabling it to spend far less to set up solar farms than countries that pioneered the technology.

In its solar power auctions, moreover, NTPC is not creating open-ended contracts. The last auction, for example, was for a total of only 350 megawatts, which will cap the government’s costs. The assumption is that the price of solar power will continue to decline, eventually approaching the cost of electricity generated through conventional methods.

Most Indian power plants are fueled by coal and generate electricity at about 4 rupees (7.5 cents) per kilowatt hour — less than half of solar’s cost now. In this month’s auction, the recent winning bids were comparable to what India’s industrial and commercial users pay for electricity — from 8 to 10 rupees. And solar’s costs are competitive with power plants and back-up generators that burn petroleum-based fuels, whose electricity costs about 10 rupees per kilowatt hour.

“At least during daytime, photovoltaic panels will compete with oil-generated electricity more than anything else” in India, said C├ędric Philibert, a senior analyst at the International Energy Agency in Paris. “This comparison is becoming better and better every month.”

In addition to the federal government, several of India’s states like Gujarat, where Khadoda is located, are also buying power at subsidized rates from solar companies like Azure Power.

Analysts do not expect India’s solar rollout to be problem free. They say some developers have probably bid too aggressively in the federal auctions and may not be able to build their plants fast or cheap enough to survive. Consequently, or because their bids were speculative, some developers are trying to sell their government power agreements to third parties, analysts say, even though such flipping is against the auction rules.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/29/business/energy-environment/in-solar-power-india-begins-living-up-to-its-own-ambitions.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ref=todayspaper
Riaz Haq said…
Solar energy lights up rural schools in Pakistan, according to Earth Techling:

Pakistan starts 2012 on a slightly brighter note after a year of recovering from the worst floods in the country’s history in 2010 (while continuing to endure high levels of terrorism-related violence). As part of the effort to rebuild, sunny days and solar panels and multipurpose lights are providing reliable and much needed electricity for schools and rural areas of Pakistan that have been without electricity since the floods.

Plan International Pakistan and the Punjab education department have rehabilitated nearly 400 schools destroyed by floods, and implemented solar power in 250 schools that did not have electricity. Funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the project piloted the first use of solar technology in the UK’s disaster response. In addition to the solar panel installation, the project also provided water and sanitation, school furniture, school paper, schoolbags and uniforms, sports equipment and health education for 54,000 primary school children.

In addition to powering up the schools, aid from the U.K.’s DFID also provided multipurpose solar light units to people across rural southern Pakistan who have been without power since the floods and were relying on candles, kerosene oil and rechargeable flashlights for light. The solar unites provide free and sustainable light for up to 10 hours after charged and last up to five years. But beyond providing light, the units can also be used to recharge mobile phones, which play a critical role in helping displaced families and communities stay connected in areas where landline phones are rare.

Marvi, a woman living in southern Pakistan with her seven children, explained to aid officials how the solar units were benefiting her family: “I use the solar light for cooking at night,” she explains. “We save money because we had to buy candles and kerosene before. We also use it to charge our mobile phones.”


http://www.earthtechling.com/2012/01/pakistan-lights-up-new-year-with-solar/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's Businessweek story on South Korean company building 300 MW solar plant in Pakistan:



CX Solar Korea is leading a group that signed an agreement with the government of Pakistan to build a 300-megawatt solar farm that will require an investment of as much as $900 million.

The group plans to start a 50-megawatt installation near Quetta in southwestern Balochistan province that will use a combination of crystalline silicon and thin-film panels to see which perform best, said Moon-sok Choi, chief executive of CX Solar, a Seoul-based project developer.

The group expects to build 300 megawatts by 2016, Choi said. The power will be sold under a 25-year contract, with details still being negotiated, Choi said in an e-mailed response to questions.

CX Solar is in talks with panel suppliers, including Bernin, France-based Soitec SA (SOI), which makes Concentrix photovoltaic panels, Choi said.


http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-16/south-korean-group-plans-900-million-pakistan-solar-farm.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a pv magazine report of a local NGO working to light up Pakistani villagers' homes:

Working with local and international partners like Coca-Cola, China Mobile's Zong, the Imran Khan Foundation and Engro Corporation, Pakistan's Buksh Foundation has set a goal of illuminating 4,000 off-grid villages by 2017.


Pakistani village Chak 113
The village of Chak 113, in Punjab's Sahiwal District, installs its new lantern charging station.
Buksh Foundation
As part of a pilot project to increase the use of solar power, the Lahore-based microfinance institute Buksh Foundation and the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in India, working with national and international partners, have electrified 72 off-grid villages in Pakistan's Punjab province.

The Buksh Foundation, launched in 2009 by Pakistani retail giant Buksh Group, has sought to increase financial inclusion for rural and peri-urban population.

The organization has launched a unique solar energy access model, Lighting a Million Lives, which aims to provide energy access to rural un-electrified areas of Pakistan.

"Under this project, 72 villages in the districts of Sahiwal, Mianwali,
Lodhran, Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan, Bahawalpur and Chiniot have already been electrified, with 70 more in the pipeline for this month, further reaching out into Mardan, Khushab, Gujrat, Kasur and Bahawalnagar in a period of only six month," Anam Elahi, the Buksh Foundation's business development manager and head of the Lighting a Million Lives project, told pv magazine.

The project has already impacted some 25,000 people and the Buksh Foundation is planning to light a total of 4,000 Pakistani villages, directly helping a million individuals, in the next three years. Recently scheduled projects include electrifying the villages in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

"The project with its multifold benefit model, has not only helped in providing a sustainable energy alternative, but has also encouraged female empowerment, increased economic capacity of the rural areas, created literacy about the needs for environmental friendly energy alternatives and the benefits they provide," said Buksh Foundation CEO Fiza Farhan.

The initiative seeks to empower females in rural communities by putting them in charge of photovoltaic charging stations, which are used to charge lanterns during the day. The women then either sell or rent the lanterns to villages for PKR 4 (€0.03) a day, providing a much cheaper alternative to high-priced kerosene traditionally used for lighting.

Each solar lantern replaces about 500-600 liters of kerosene during its 10-year lifespan, mitigating about 1.5 tonnes of CO2, according to the Buksh Foundation.

The organization said that about 43% of the population of Pakistan lives without access to electricity, of which 70% live in rural areas in 50,000 villages, completely detached from the national electricity grid. By 2015, the figure is expected to climb to 46% as the energy deficit worsens; by 2025, it will rise to 64%, with 187 million people having no access to the power grid.

By reaching its goal of providing a million lanterns to people the Foundation said it could reduce 1.5 million tons of CO2, save around PKR 25 billion (€188 million) and reduce oil imports by 6% a year....


http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/initiative-lights-up-off-grid-villages-in-pakistan-_100012117/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Reuters' report on homeowners installing solar panels to deal with load-shedding in Islamabad:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – After months of sleepless nights and uncomfortable days in sweltering heat, Hussain Raza has found relief.

But it’s not just the cooler winter weather that is making Raza happier. It is, somewhat ironically, the sun.

The 35-year-old banker and his family have bought a solar-powered electricity supply that kicks in during the frequent power outages that afflict even his upscale residential neighbourhood in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital.

A chronic shortfall in electricity in Pakistan makes life miserable for much of the country’s population and hampers industrial growth, experts say.

Until he bought his 300-watt solar energy system in October last year, Raza and his family often had no electricity to keep the lights on in the evening or run a fan during hot nights.

“How can I be at ease seeing my children go to school without homework (being done) and feeling sleepy in school due to inadequate sleep at night?” he asked. “Now I feel really relieved that I have a solar energy system that runs two fans that give us a good night’s sleep,” he said.

Mounted on the roof of his two-storey house, the solar installation stores energy in a battery that can power two fans and four 23-watt energy saver light bulbs for 10-12 hours through the night.

Apart from the comfort and convenience the system provides, Raza’s monthly electricity bills have dropped from around 4,500 Pakistani rupees (about $43) to less than 2,800 rupees ($27).

“It is worth the bill we paid for the renewable energy system,” he said. The kit cost the equivalent of $560, he said.

WORSENING OUTAGES

Power outages in Islamabad have been a problem for more than seven years, in part because of rising electricity demand due to the increasing size of the city’s population.

Pakistan’s daily power demand averages 16,000 megawatts (MW), but the country produces only around 12,000 MW. This shortfall can soar to 7,000 MW during peak summer months.

As a result, power authorities must resort to load shedding for more than 15 hours a day in the summer months, and six to eight hours daily in the winter.

The outages have also been getting longer because of a lack of investment in energy systems, particularly hydropower, which accounts for one-third of Pakistan’s total power production. The rest of the country’s energy is produced with oil and coal...


http://www.trust.org/item/20140116230113-87r9a/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a PV magazine story on solar plants pipeline in Pakistan:

The country currently has 22 individual solar PV projects under different stages of development, according to Pakistan's Alternative Energy Development Board.

Pakistan is on course to add 772 MW of solar power to its national grid by 2016, according to figures released by the country's Alternative Energy Development Board (AEEDB).

There are currently 22 individual solar power projects either under construction or at various stages of development across Pakistan, with a number of these projects awaiting an agreement on a national FIT – details of which the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) finally announced in late January after months of delays.

NEPRA has now published its final FIT incentives for PV projects between 1 MW and 100 MW. In the north of Pakistan the FIT will be set at $0.18 cents per kWh for an initial ten-year period, halving after that time to just $0.09 cents per kWh for the next 15 years.

In Pakistan's southern regions, the FIT incentive comes in a little more generously, at $0.19 cents per kWh for the first ten years, but falling to below $0.09 cents per kWh thereafter.

In 2013, the AEDB recommended a FIT level of approximately $0.27 cents per kWh nationwide, but NEPRA has calculated a lower rate on the basis of Pakistan's current PV pipeline.

AEDB has also revealed that it is pursuing a number of renewable energy projects for the country’s national grid, and has pledged its backing to the solar industry and the wind industry – the latter of which has an estimated 150 MW pipeline in the offing.

For solar, AEDB is set to embark on a campaign to promote the installation of residential rooftop PV systems designed for self-consumption. Currently, Pakistan has no building or licensing restrictions on these types of installations.


Read more: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/pipeline-of-pv-projects-in-pakistan-reaches-772-mw_100014240/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a PV magazine story on solar plants pipeline in Pakistan:

The country currently has 22 individual solar PV projects under different stages of development, according to Pakistan's Alternative Energy Development Board.

Pakistan is on course to add 772 MW of solar power to its national grid by 2016, according to figures released by the country's Alternative Energy Development Board (AEEDB).

There are currently 22 individual solar power projects either under construction or at various stages of development across Pakistan, with a number of these projects awaiting an agreement on a national FIT – details of which the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) finally announced in late January after months of delays.

NEPRA has now published its final FIT incentives for PV projects between 1 MW and 100 MW. In the north of Pakistan the FIT will be set at $0.18 cents per kWh for an initial ten-year period, halving after that time to just $0.09 cents per kWh for the next 15 years.

In Pakistan's southern regions, the FIT incentive comes in a little more generously, at $0.19 cents per kWh for the first ten years, but falling to below $0.09 cents per kWh thereafter.

In 2013, the AEDB recommended a FIT level of approximately $0.27 cents per kWh nationwide, but NEPRA has calculated a lower rate on the basis of Pakistan's current PV pipeline.

AEDB has also revealed that it is pursuing a number of renewable energy projects for the country’s national grid, and has pledged its backing to the solar industry and the wind industry – the latter of which has an estimated 150 MW pipeline in the offing.

For solar, AEDB is set to embark on a campaign to promote the installation of residential rooftop PV systems designed for self-consumption. Currently, Pakistan has no building or licensing restrictions on these types of installations.


Read more: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/pipeline-of-pv-projects-in-pakistan-reaches-772-mw_100014240/

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