Working Towards a Safer Future – Introduction

Energy is central to the climate crisis – and crucial to its resolution. A major portion of the greenhouse gases that wrap the Earth and trap the sun's heat are produced by energy production, namely the combustion of fossil fuels to generate electricity and heat. Coal, oil, and gas are by far the most significant contributors to global climate change, accounting for more than 75% of world greenhouse gas emissions and almost 90% of total carbon dioxide emissions.

The Evidence Is Clear

To avert the worst effects of climate change, emissions must be cut in half by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050. To do this, we must abandon our reliance on fossil fuels and invest in clean, accessible, inexpensive, sustainable, and dependable energy sources. Renewable energy sources, which are abundant all around us and are supplied by the sun, wind, water, waste, and heat from the Earth, are renewed by nature and produce little to no greenhouse gases or pollutants into the atmosphere. Although fossil fuels continue to account for more than 80% of worldwide energy output, cleaner energy alternatives are gaining headway. Currently, renewable energy accounts for around 29 percent of total power production.

  • 90% of the world’s energy can come from renewable sources by 2050
  • $4.2 trillion potential annual savings due to reduced pollution.
  • 85% decrease in cost of electricity due to solar power from 2010-2020.
  • 99 million + of the population breathes polluted air todays
  • 30 million new jobs can be created in the renewable energy sector.

Pakistan – Putting It into Action!

According to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority's (NEPRA) 2021 yearly report, Pakistan's total installed power production capacity is 39772 MW, with thermal (fossil fuels) accounting for 63% of energy, hydro accounting for 25%, renewable (wind, solar, and biomass accounting for 5.4%), and nuclear accounting for 6.5%. Renewable energy (RE) resources have the potential to help close the shortfall in the current scenario. With the current government's emphasis on renewable energy, the Ministry of Energy has amended the existing Renewable Energy (RE) Policy 2019. According to the updated RE strategy, the government of Pakistan plans to obtain 60% of its energy from renewable sources, including hydro, by 2030, reducing Pakistan's reliance on imported petroleum products.

About Solar Energy

Average daily sunshine in Pakistan is nine and a half hours. After the government implemented a set of support policies to encourage the growth of renewable energy, solar power entered Pakistan's energy mix in 2013. According to the Pakistan Economic Survey, six solar power facilities with a combined capacity of 430 MW started operating commercially during the past five years and are presently supplying electricity to the grid. More businesses and industries in Pakistan are resorting to captive solar solutions as a result of increased power prices and an unstable grid supply. Larger cities have seen a sharp increase in the household installation of rooftop solar panels. Regulations for net metering for installations smaller than 1 MW went into force in September 2015. The GOP is aiming for at least 1 million subscribers and adding about 3000 MW of solar electricity through net metering, therefore this industry is headed towards rapid expansion shortly. The World Bank has provided Sindh Solar Energy Project with $100 million in financing to help independent power producers develop 400 MW of new solar power projects and provide partial grants to private sector companies for the commercial provision of Solar Home Systems to 200,000 households. This will increase renewable energy's share of Pakistan's energy mix.

About Wind Energy

Wind energy has significant potential in Pakistan's coastal belts of Sindh and Baluchistan (in southern Pakistan). The Pakistani government has created a wind energy corridor along the southern coasts of Sindh and Baluchistan. According to wind statistics published by Pakistan's Meteorological Department, Pakistan's coastal belt is 60km long (Gharo-Keti Bandar) and 180km long, with an exploitable potential of 50,000MW of energy generation via wind turbines. There are now 26 private wind farms in operation, totaling around 1335MW. In addition, ten wind projects totaling 510 MW have reached financial closure and are now under development. As the Government of Pakistan has adopted a RE Policy that aims to generate 60% of electricity from renewable resources by 2030. Wind is mapped by the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratories. Wind energy potential in Pakistan at 50 meters above sea level (ASL). Satellites and on-the-ground sensors provide this data. Wind studies conducted by the World Bank as part of ESMAP in Pakistan assisted in identifying the most essential places. Pakistan has a 300 GW wind energy potential.

About Hydro Energy

With a revamped RE Policy, there is potential for the growth of small-mini-micro hydro power in addition to large hydro. GOP sees modest hydropower projects as a clean and affordable source of electricity. Small hydropower projects are mostly found in rural parts of Pakistan, notably in the north. GOP recently announced the Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP), which defined new generation requirements based on capacity, fuel technology, and the use of indigenous resources for power generation. This plan calls for the development of hydropower projects that will provide an extra 13000 MW of hydropower capacity by 2030, from a current capacity of 9000 MW - a 25% part of the whole mix.