By Saurabh Mahapatra
Pakistan expects $1 billion investment in its renewable energy sector this year with about half of it likely to come from China.
The director of Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board, Syed Aqeel Hussain Jafri, recently stated that China is expected to invest around $500 million to develop renewable energy projects in Pakistan. China will make the investments through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor – a $45 billion agreement between the two countries to build infrastructure projects in the latter.
According to Jafri, Pakistan targets 800 MW renewable energy capacity addition this year, apart from hydro power capacity. This is around double the renewable energy capacity currently operational in Pakistan.
According to the Alternative Energy Development Board, 308 MW of wind energy capacity is already operational in the Sindh province. Punjab province hosts 100 MW of solar power capacity in the Quaid e Azam solar park. An additional capacity of 300 MW is expected to be aded to the solar power park.
Foreign investors poured $3 billion over the last year into the renewable energy sector in Pakistan, according to officials from the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB). The largely untapped resource potential and a feed-in tariff regime has made renewable energy an attractive investment avenue, Chief Executive Officer of AEDB had stated last year.
Pakistan is looking to increase the share of renewable energy in its overall energy mix substantially and has announced a roadmap that will see around 3.5 GW wind energy capacity operational by 2018.
The Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) announced that over 40 wind energy projects are in various stages of development and are likely to contribute around 2,050 MW capacity to the national grid by 2017-18.