Pakistan approved 280 MW of solar in 2021-22


Nepra says in its newly published annual 2021-22 report that it granted 12 generation licenses with a total capacity of 211.42 MW. Nine of those approvals were granted to solar projects with a total capacity of 44.74 MW.

The three remaining licenses were granted to natural gas, hydro, and coal projects. Hydropower has the largest approved project, with a 152.12 MW capacity, whilst the largest PV project accounted for 20 MW. According to the report, Pakistan’s power sector has grown to over 40,000 MW of installed capacity.

The regulator also issued 7,032 net metering licenses, likely only for solar projects, totaling 243.43 MW of installed capacity. The move came after the federal government issued a notice that net metered distributed generation facilities for solar and wind, up to 25 kW, no longer require generation licenses. Overall, Pakistan approved 288 MW of new solar capacity in 2021-2022.

Nepra is also set to raise the price paid by net-metered households to inject excess electricity into the grid from PKR 19.32 ($0.089)/kWh to PKR 9/kWh.

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In May, the government authority launched a new model for Pakistan’s wholesale electricity market, the Competitive Trading Bilateral Contract Market (CTBCM) model. The aim of the model “is to introduce competition in the electricity market and provide an enabling environment where multiple sellers and buyers can trade electricity,” according to the website of the national Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA).

“The current market structure followed in Pakistan is the single-buyer model in which CPPA (as a single-buyer) purchases electricity on behalf of … distribution companies,” the authority said. “In CTBCM, there will be multiple buyer[s] and multiple seller[s], and the hourly electricity price will be determined by the economic forces of supply and demand.”

Nepra approved four power purchase agreements in the 2021-22 period, one of which was for a solar company. The report also notes that the regulator approved licensing regulations for microgrids, “with a vision to give access of electricity to the remote, far-flung areas of the country.”

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