Pipeline of PV projects in Pakistan reaches 772 MW

Pakistan is on course to add 772 MW of solar power to its national grid by 2016, according to figures released by the country’s Alternative Energy Development Board (AEEDB).

There are currently 22 individual solar power projects either under construction or at various stages of development across Pakistan, with a number of these projects awaiting an agreement on a national FIT – details of which the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) finally announced in late January after months of delays.

NEPRA has now published its final FIT incentives for PV projects between 1 MW and 100 MW. In the north of Pakistan the FIT will be set at $0.18 cents per kWh for an initial ten-year period, halving after that time to just $0.09 cents per kWh for the next 15 years.

In Pakistan’s southern regions, the FIT incentive comes in a little more generously, at $0.19 cents per kWh for the first ten years, but falling to below $0.09 cents per kWh thereafter.

In 2013, the AEDB recommended a FIT level of approximately $0.27 cents per kWh nationwide, but NEPRA has calculated a lower rate on the basis of Pakistan’s current PV pipeline.

AEDB has also revealed that it is pursuing a number of renewable energy projects for the country’s national grid, and has pledged its backing to the solar industry and the wind industry – the latter of which has an estimated 150 MW pipeline in the offing.

For solar, AEDB is set to embark on a campaign to promote the installation of residential rooftop PV systems designed for self-consumption. Currently, Pakistan has no building or licensing restrictions on these types of installations.