The Pakistani Government’s push towards expansion of renewable energy infrastructure and direct negotiations with foreign governments has yielded results in terms of increased investment.
Foreign investors have poured $3 billion over the last year into the renewable energy sector in Pakistan, officials from the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) have said. The largely untapped resource potential and a feed-in tariff regime has made renewable energy an attractive investment avenue, Chief Executive Officer of AEDB stated.
The World Bank, through its Energy Sector Management Assistance Program, has supported resource assessment in wind, solar, and biomass energy sectors. The Pakistan Government has also received support, following direct negotiations, from European companies that have expressed interest in setting up renewable energy projects.
Amjad Awan, CEO of AEDB stated that letters of interest have been issued for 25 solar power projects representing 663 MW of cumulative capacity. All these projects are expected to be commissioned by 2018. The provincial government of Punjab has also issued letters of intent for 600 MW solar power capacity.
The largest investor in the Pakistan’s renewable energy sector is probably China. Several Chinese companies are working on a number of wind energy and solar power projects in Pakistan. The largest of them is the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park. The project currently has an installed capacity of 100 MW and is expected to be increased by another 300 MW soon. The project will eventually have an installed capacity of 1 GW by 2017.