ISLAMABAD, Jan 3 (APP): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said that the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz government has fulfilled its obligation of ending severe power load-shedding and added 10,000 MWs of reliable, sustainable and cheap electricity to the national grid.
Addressing at a ceremony to launch the consumer-friendly Net-Metering Framework here at the Comsats Institute of Information Technology, the Prime Minister said before 2013, the governments were only able to generate 20,000 MWs of electricity in 66 years, however, in only a period of four years, the PML-N government added 10,000 MWs of electricity.
He said other projects to add another 15,000 MWs of electricity were in the pipeline and said this generation capacity would be enough to meet the needs of the country till the year 2030.
Under the formal launch of an upgraded consumer-friendly Net-Metering Framework, even domestic consumers would be able to sell their surplus solar energy to the local power distribution companies and earn up to 14 per cent profit to enable them to recover their investment and help the country meet its energy needs.
The Comsats Institute of Information Technology has become the first public sector university to add 100 KW of solar power to the national grid.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the streamlined system of Net Metering would provide incentives to the common people to not only generate solar energy for their personal use, but also sell it to the government and get good returns.
“The potential is vast and would lead to better returns on their investments,” the Prime Minister said and added that the country was now utilising a healthier diversified energy mix of hydel, nuclear, coal, LNG powered besides solar and wind generation.
He said today the quantum of load shedding has drastically reduced as the demand-supply gap has diminished and the only issues were related to transmission and distribution constraints, that were being addressed. “Now our challenge is to make the system more efficient, reliable and cheap,” he added.
The Prime Minister termed the launch of the improved net metering system a milestone and said though not new, yet it would go a long way in helping the government provide cleaner energy to those consumers who are not generating their own power. He said Pakistan would now be a step closer to achieving its global climate change commitments.
Minister for Energy (Power Division) Sardar Awais Ahmed Leghari described the new concept as a bold step by the government and said it was exploring all avenues of power generation. He said in this regard new legislation was in the final stages to come up with a new 5-year National Electricity Plan that would provide a road map for future power generation projects, pricing issues and set the highest standards for power consumers.
He said Net Metering was a successful international phenomenon and was financially viable for household users. He said the processing time has now been cut from around six months to less than a month and has been simplified. He said the quality of services and products for the system through certified vendors have also been standardized and the information was available from the website of Alternative Energy Development Board.
He said Pakistan was playing its due role in the global efforts to reduce overall greenhouse emissions and combating the serious climate change issue. He was optimistic that the Net Metering would help add around 2000-3000 MWs of electricity to the national grid.
Awais Leghari said the new process had now been streamlined to enable the small consumers to get a Net Metering connection in around a month’s time, instead of the earlier cumbersome over six month-long periods.
Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain said the use of renewable energy was part of the country’s Vision 2025 for diversifying the energy mix initiative. He was appreciative of the Comsats Institute for Information Technology for taking a lead role and said it has seven fully functional Campuses across the country and was one of the leading universities of the country. He also mentioned the role of Rector Dr Raheel Qamar and its founder Dr S. M. Junaid Zaidi.
The Net Metering system can now be installed by any domestic or commercial consumer by submitting a simplified form to the local SDO and the term for the contract has now been extended to seven years from the initial three years.