Pakistan’s future in clean energy: Renewables are the way forward.

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By Shabbir Hussain

Apart from political instability, Pakistan is facing multifaceted challenges like economic, energy and inflation and its climate is deteriorating with each passing day.

It is high time to review the country’s energy policy to take into account its challenges and explore opportunities to transition to a low-carbon future.

Snow is melting in Pakistan, every year floods, destruction, temperature is rising rapidly. The reality is that the disastrous consequences of floods in Pakistan are very high.

These are warning signs for the country’s legislators, politicians to think about the future risk of out-of-control energy needs of the country.

Climate change and energy crisis are becoming the biggest obstacles for Pakistan. In our global economy, the changes required in the nature of our work, our consumption habits and modes of transportation will be significant.

In this clean energy transition, humanity will ultimately be the winner if we integrate the principles of a truly just transition.

It is more important to address two dimensions of energy and climate actions – ensuring the protection of potential negative impacts on people, and a robust framework for maximizing the benefits transferred to people.

A just transition is about integrating and integrating energy goals with social and economic goals. It is understood that equity considerations cannot be ignored.

At a renewable energy seminar organized by the Information Service Academy (ISA) and the Alliance for Good Governance Foundation, Caretaker Energy Minister Muhammad Ali said that the future of renewable energy in Pakistan holds great promise as the country seeks to increase energy consumption, besides wanting to reduce environmental pollution.

“We will need to look beyond climate policies – labor, social security, retraining, green industrial, and trade policy will all have an impact on the ability to implement a just transition,” he said.

In addition, he noted that the challenges and opportunities associated with just transitions are inherently contextual, reflecting the place and the people affected, and their involvement and ownership at the local, regional and national levels. There is a need. .

“We need to move away from greenhouse gas-intensive economic activities through financing, policy engagement, technical advice and knowledge sharing according to country priorities,” he said.

The energy transition mechanism is expected to be one of the key delivery mechanisms to ensure the successful implementation of the Just Energy Transition Partnerships, an umbrella for international cooperation on just energy transitions in which he believe the AEDB plays an important role.

He remarked that these important initiatives can help developing countries in the region plan, implement and finance only transition strategies in energy and other sectors as well.

The minister said that with abundant resources of sunlight and wind, Pakistan has significant potential to generate solar and wind energy.
Muhammad Ali said that the government’s commitment to increase the share of renewable sources in the energy mix with international cooperation and investment is paving the way for a sustainable energy future.

Initiatives like the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) and implementation of supportive policies and incentives for renewable energy projects are driving the transition, he said.

He added that a diversified renewable energy supply not only enhances energy security but also contributes to reducing carbon emissions, which is in line with global efforts to combat climate change.

A renewable energy future in Pakistan represents an important step towards a cleaner, more sustainable and resilient energy landscape.

The Minister said that the Government of Pakistan has recently approved the National Electricity Plan 2023 which provides guidelines, implementation mechanisms and tools for the power sector to meet the goals of the National Electricity Policy.

Muhammad Ali emphasized on decarbonization and electrification, saying that these are important components of Pakistan’s energy strategy for the future.

The minister also discussed a possible plan to expand sustainable energy, focusing particularly on wind and solar energy.

He said that the power sector plays an important role in mitigating climate change and accordingly the government is giving top priority to energy transition in Pakistan.

He said that the real success of the transformation is to make a real impact in the sustainable energy sector. The aim is to gradually reduce tariffs and move towards local resource utilization.

He outlined three key priorities for the energy sector: first, addressing exploration challenges by improving data availability, removing payment barriers, and revising policies; second, increasing the supply of natural gas; And third, focusing on the power sector, including transmission investment, promoting renewables, and addressing cyclical debt to ensure stable power supply and payment solutions,” he said.

Other speakers also highlighted the importance of renewable energy for Pakistan Managing Director Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) ,Shah Jahan Mirza said that clean energy is the top priority of Pakistan.

He said that one scenario would be the green scenario where the development of wind and solar energy would be discussed and the other scenario would be the economic aspect.

“Pakistan did not pay much attention to decarbonization in the past but now it is getting a lot of attention,” he said.

He said Pakistan is working to develop renewable energy projects, improve energy efficiency and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. He said that Pakistan is also looking to partners in the Middle East to help it achieve its decarbonization goals.

“Renewable energy sources are all around us,” he said. Because of that they are insecure. For geopolitical shocks and crises.

Shah Jahan added that renewable energy is actually the cheapest electricity option in most parts of the world today. The costs of renewable energy technologies are falling rapidly.

Between 2010 and 2020, the cost of solar power has dropped by 85 percent. The cost of marine and offshore wind energy has decreased by 56% and 48% respectively.

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), about 99 percent of the world’s people breathe air that exceeds air quality limits and endangers their health, and every year worldwide. 13 million deaths are caused by avoidable environmental causes, including air pollution.

Another energy expert, former Chairman NEPRA Dr Irfan Yusuf said that renewable energy is healthy, affordable and environment friendly.

Dr. Ifran said that the importance of renewable sources in the sustainable development of the future is due to the important challenges of sustaining human and economic development in Pakistan and access to electricity services, economic activities, employment opportunities and other incentives such as renewable sources. It will need to play a key role in coping. It is the only convincing and cost-effective solution to provide communities that are currently off-grid with access to modern energy services.

He said that Pakistan has a business-as-usual development scenario based on the existing energy system.
The unsustainable use of conventional biomass and the development of petroleum-based energy have many social impacts.
and economic decline.

Dr Yusuf pointed out that the main challenge in Pakistan is to foster an environment that allows investors to assess and manage risk.

Well-Coordinated efforts are required to enhance the knowledge and human resources capabilities, to help them better understand the renewable energy technologies.

It is the high time to maximum facilitate the renewable developers to advance clean energy projects in the country.​