Solar and wind energy can produce 70,000MW in Pakistan within the next 10 years: German Think Tank
According to a German think tank, Agora Energiewendie, its analysis of the IGCEP (Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan) 2021-22, stated that Pakistan has the capability of producing at least 33,000 megawatts of sunlight and wind power, or more than 48% of the goal of raising scheduled power generation to nearly 70,000MW over the next ten years.
The study investigates VRE (Variable renewable energy) scenarios beyond 2022 and examines Pakistan’s 10-year generation expansion planning, assessing the feasibility and perks of advancing a much more ambitious solar and wind power target by 2030-31. Premised on the hourly delivery of 2030, the research concluded that minimal grid infrastructure components can boost the intended overall VRE potential.
“Improving VRE to 33,000MW by 2030 or 60pc higher than the IGCEP arranged 21,000MW seems to have substantial benefits and is secure under all circumstances. “The yearly tender potentials of solar and wind can be adapted dynamically in the future for any unforeseen demand fluctuation or others,” it adds.
The study also suggests including this somewhat ambitious plan in the next version of the IGCEP, which will be set to be released in June of this year. It moreover implies trying to pursue strategic transportation infrastructure strengthening (including the high-voltage direct current link to Chaghai in Balochistan), concentrating on the flexibility of hydro and coal unit operation, and incorporating a rigorous and regionalised yearly tender strategy for selling out the 33,000MW of solar and wind power over the life of the NTDC (National Transmission & Despatch Company) strategy.
The NTDC arranges the IGCEP annually, as needed by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority law, to foresee the country’s power supply and demand instances for the following decade and to provide proposals for boosting energy production from various fuels to satisfy the demand growth.
According to the IGCEP executive summary, the best estimated demand and generating capacity for the entire country would be 41,338MW and 69,372MW, respectively, by 2031.
The IGCEP base case highlights aggressive VRE incorporation, limited dependence on imported fuels such as coal, RLNG (Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas), and Residual Furnace Oil (RFO), and an increased share of hydroelectric power in addition to regional coal, with all streamlined generation based on indigenous resources.
The country’s overall deployed power production is 41,239MW megawatts, which include 3,319MW generated by KE. The highly dedicated developments are expected to have a potential of 14,159MW, whereas the candidate initiatives will have a total capacity of 17,812MW.
Pakistan has traditionally relied heavily on hydroelectric power. Huge capacities in thermal plants based on coal, heavy fuel oil, gas, and nuclear were provided over the years to meet requirements. All petroleum products are imported, with the exception of some national coal and gas. Solar and wind are in their early stages, accounting for 1 percent and 4 percent of the overall energy mix, respectively.
According to the Agora study, which was handled by energy specialists in Pakistan’s energy industry, the IGCEP is significantly more dynamic than the previous iteration in terms of wind’s 7,000MW and solar’s 14,000MW power. It does, nevertheless, encompass significant additional investments in regional coal and other power plants for fossil fuels.
Based on the Agora study, a rise in VRE doesn’t quite necessitate the construction of emergency capacity in energy infrastructure. “The envisioned VRE potential is situated all across the country at various voltage levels, enabling the utilization of current infrastructure. Feeder-based and net metering plants need not necessitate transmission grid infrastructure; additionally, 1,000MW of PV nameplate capacity is typically connected to 0.8-0.9GW of evacuation capacity with negligible diminishment,” the report states.