Round Table on "Alternative and Renewable Energy"

Round Table on "Alternative and Renewable Energy"

Karachi, 8th Nov 2018: The Centre for Peace, Security, and Developmental Studies (CPSD) hosted a roundtable discussion on Alternative and Renewable Energy. The roundtable was co-chaired by President CPSD, Lt Gen Agha M. Umer Farooq (Retd) and Former Federal Minister, Suhail Wajahat

Participants at the event comprised energy experts from the public and private sector who deliberated on the current capacity and potential of the renewable and alternative energy industry in Pakistan. They all agreed that due to the current energy crisis and an ever increasing population, Pakistan must harness energy from alternative and renewable energy resources.

Lt. Gen Agha M. Umer Farooq (Retd), welcomed the participants to the meeting. In his view alternative and renewable energy is the key to ensure Pakistan’s energy security. Former Federal Minister, Suhail Wajahat commenced the roundtable by laying down the agenda and asked the stakeholders to provide concise, pragmatic, and doable solutions.

Shaaf Mehboob, CEO Adoptive Technology, said Pakistan must convert most of the houses to solar power since it is fortunate enough to receive abundant solar irradiation on the order of over 2 MWh/m and 3,000 hours of sunshine a year. Syed Baber Nadeem Gillani, Managing Director REVGREEN, said that in the aftermath of devolution of power, there are capacity issues of the provinces. While the power might have been delegated to the provinces, there are a lot of institutional issues such as financial constraints that must be addressed.

Hira Wajahat, Senior Project Consultant Stimulus Pvt Ltd, opined that there is a need to develop human resources who can partake in the development of the energy sector which necessitates building academic infrastructure particularly in public universities. There is also a requirement to encourage new start-ups that can provide innovative solutions to the energy crisis. Moreover, the electrical equipment currently installed at houses and offices needs to be efficient so they consume less energy.

Syed Khurram Shah, Head of Investment Banking AKD Securities, emphasized for cross-cutting and dynamic academic programs in public universities incorporating technical, management, and policy modules in the curriculum.

Fahad Doudpota, an energy consultant with Nizam Energy, urged the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) to support the net metering program by reducing the limit of four years. He highlighted that in September 2015, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) approved a net metering program. Under this program, solar and wind generators under 1 MW of capacity are allowed to sell back produced electricity to the national grid. Residential, commercial, and industry scale owners of the eligible generators can participate in the scheme.

The end of the talk was followed by an open house discussion. A consensus was reached that since the incumbent government is new, it should make a policy based on short, medium, and long term goals which will increase the confidence of the investors thus promoting alternative and renewable energy sources in the country