- Chaghi, Panjgur potential to produce thousands of MW renewable electricity: Speakers
Chaghi, Panjgur Potential To Produce Thousands Of MW Renewable Electricity: Speakers
Umer Jamshaid Published September 04, 2023 | 08:11 PM
Balochistan's Chaghi and Panjgur districts have the potential to produce thousands of megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity (RE) from wind and solar energy but financial, administrative and political problems are hampering this potential from becoming a reality
QUETTA, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 4th Sep, 2023 ):Balochistan's Chaghi and Panjgur districts have the potential to produce thousands of megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity (RE) from wind and solar energy but financial, administrative and political problems are hampering this potential from becoming a reality.
These views were expressed by speakers while addressing a consultative conference held in Quetta on Monday.
They highlighted various electricity problems faced by the people of Balochistan, such as low levels of access to electricity, high electricity costs and long hours of load-shedding, and said that the most effective option to address these problems is to produce electricity from renewable sources close to where people need it.
They also underscored the fact that Balochistan-based electricity projects in general and renewable energy projects being planned in the province, in particular, get neglected because of the fragile law and order situation, lack of policy preparation and policy planning at the provincial level and the absence of coordination between the provincial and federal authorities.
The conference, titled Balochistan's Renewable Energy Journey: Making accessible, affordable and sustainable power in the Province, was organized by the Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP), a non-governmental organization working in Balochistan since 1998.
It was helped in this endeavour by two Islamabad-based think tanks, Renewables First and Policy Research Institute for Equitable Development (PRIED).
Rabia Mirani and Zubair Khan, two young researchers working with ISDP on a draft renewable energy policy for Balochistan, told the participants of the conference that the governments as well as the private sector are highly reluctant to invest in the province's electricity sector.
"This reluctance owes to many factors including extremely low recovery of electricity bills, especially from the owners of agricultural tube-wells, and the requirement to lay very long transmission and distribution networks to take electricity to the highly dispersed and sparse provincial population," they said.
Ammar Qaseem, a researcher associated with Renewables First, briefed the conference on how the federal government's planning document for the energy sector, Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP), is made and how its low focus on renewable energy is hurting Balochistan's interests.
"Not a single renewable energy project from Balochistan has been included in the latest edition of IGCEP. This means that no renewable energy project will be installed in Balochistan in the next ten years unless the makers of IGCEP change their policy focus and prioritize renewable energy over other sources of energy," he said.
Fayyaz Chaudhry, director of LUMS Energy Institute and a former managing director of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), informed the conference that Balochsitan could start its renewable energy journey by setting up wind and solar power plants in Chaghi district.
"Two major mining projects � Reko Diq and Saindak are located there. Both of them have a very high electricity requirement which can be easily met by installing wind and solar power plants in the same district," he said.