Govt Committed To Promoting Renewable Energy: Leghari

Govt committed to promoting renewable energy: Leghari

LAHORE, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 19th May, 2024) Federal Minister of Energy Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari has said the government is all committed to promoting renewable energy, especially encouraging solarisation. If needed, the policy in this regard will be revised after thorough studies and taking aboard all stakeholders within next two months.

Addressing a press conference along with Minister of State for Finance, Revenue and Power Ali Pervaiz Malik here at LESCO (Lahore Electric Supply Company) Headquarters on Sunday, he said that 13,000 domestic connections operating on solar energy were on net metering in the power system, which accounts for 0.3 per cent of the total power consumption of Pakistan. He also refuted all fabricated news reports regarding net metering, assuring that the government would protect those investors' interests by making no changes in their agreements with respective companies. Around one-and-a-half years ago, the solar panels were costly and the investors (of domestic connection) had been recovering their investment for around three years but today, the solar panels' prices are low and the investment recovery time is reduced to one and a half years.

He mentioned that on Saturday, the total power demand in the country was around 20,000 megawatts (MW), while the power distribution companies drew up to 16,750MW out of it and 3,250MW spoiled into economic load-shedding because of the feeders making losses from 70 to 90 percent due to electricity pilferage, subsequently affecting the power tariffs. The incidence of power theft by any quarter is a matter of grave concern and 'we are thankful to the police and revenue departments for assisting the distribution companies in their anti-power theft campaign, and we are committed to ensure zero power theft across Pakistan."

On this occasion, Minister of State Ali Pervaiz Malik said that PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif are well-aware of the fact that the power sector is the pivotal for economic revival and overall development of the country.

The Prime Minister is all committed to bring durable and viable reforms in the energy sector, while shielding the common man and provision of electricity to the industry on regionally competitive rates.

He expressed the resolve that he along with the Federal Minister Awais Leghari would reform the energy sector so as to provide full relief to all sorts of energy consumers. "Our two key areas to be worked out on  war footings- the one is effective planning to cope with the heatwave that is expected next week, and the other is encouraging the renewable energy as per vision of the Prime Shahbaz Sharif, as it would help reduce substantially the cost of power generation," he maintained.

He added that circular debt is around Rs 30 to 40 billion per month, and the IMF demands to overcome this debt as it is also in the best interest of the country to eliminate the incidence of power theft by tightening noose around the electricity pilferers, besides curbing the over-billing that would ultimately ensure a big relief to the consumers but also help reduce the circular debt.

Later responding to reporters queries, the Federal Minister Awais Leghari said that Pakistan's energy mix has much improved than other countries as Pakistan has already invested a lot in the hydel generation that will not only proved highly beneficial for the consumers but also save our precious foreign reserves being spent on costly fuels for electricity generation.

He said that there is an issue of over-billing in the distribution companies (DISCOs)and now a surveillance mechanism has been put in place in the DISCOs to overcome this problem.

Ali Pervaiz Malik said that the government is aware of the hardships of the industrial consumers, assuring that goverment under the able leadership of Prime Minister would bring forth such a strategy that would be welcomed by the industrialists.

Secretary Power Division, LESCO Chief Executive Officer Engineer Shahid Haider and other officers concerned were also present.