The government of Sindh province in Pakistan has taken a significant step towards strengthening the power generation infrastructure through renewable energy projects, following in the footsteps of its neighbouring province, Punjab, which has already taken major strides in setting up renewable energy projects.
The Sindh provincial government approved allocation of 15,089 acres of land to set up 21 solar and wind energy projects, amounting to a total installed capacity of 1,880 MW. The government will also allocate an additional 6,622 acres land for 12 more renewable energy projects later.
The projects are expected to be developed by national and international project developers, however, no auctions have been organised or announced, though some project developers have submitted bank guarantees with the Sindh Energy Department to start work on the projects.
The projects are expected to feed power generated in to the grid operated by the National Transmission and Dispatch Company and will receive feed-in tariffs as per the regulations approved by the country’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority.
Earlier this year, the Sindh government announced plans to set up five solar PV power plants, each with 20 MW capacity.
Sindh borders the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, which are the two leading states in terms of installed solar power capacity. Both the states also have huge wind energy potential. Sindh also shares the Thar desert with India, which provides it with ample land resources to develop large-scale renewable energy projects, as has been done in India.
Development of new power generation assets is critical for Pakistan’s power sector which has been struggling to meet the rising demand. A large majority of the country’s power generation capacity is based on oil which is imported as high cost. Setting up renewable energy projects will remove the cost of fuel from the high tariff the end user is currently paying, shielding it from the fluctuations in international crude oil prices.
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