ISLAMABAD– Chief Executive of the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Arif Alauddin hoped that 500 MW of electricity will be added to the national grid during next few months.

Talking to PTV, he said that a number of projects were in the pipeline to overcome energy crisis in the country, giving relief to the people.  He said his board is mandated only to attract private sector investment while the government sector was meant only to regulate and facilitate the process. He said Pakistan was relying heavily on fossil fuels to meet its energy requirements and the nation is spending more than 11 billion dollars on import of petroleum products every year.    It will increase to 38 billion dollars by the year 2015 but Pakistan still remains at the strategic risk because it remains heavily dependent even for its vital services, he added.

He said after establishment of AEDB in 2003, Pakistan has made considerable progress in this field. To a question, he said that Pakistan Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) recently approved New Park Energy Phase I, a 400-MW wind project, near Port Qasim. With the help of China 3 Gorges Corporation, 50 MW wind energy plan at the point of Jhimpir in Sindh will be completed next year.  The wind power pilot project has been made operational by installing a wind turbine at Daman-i-Koh in Islamabad, he mentioned.

Chairman AEDB said that recently, an MoU has been signed at a two-day second Pak-China Joint Energy Group (JEWG) for setting up wind energy projects of accumulative capacity of 550MW initially. Moreover, the government has also created a fund to mainstream and implement alternative energy technologies in the country.

As per breakup, 340,000 MW could be generated from Wind, 2,900,000 from Solar, 50,000 MW from Hydro (large), 3,100 MW from Hydro (Small), 1800 MW from Bagasses Cogeneration, 500 MW from Waste while 550 MW could be generated from Geothermal, he added. To another question, he said that a number of countries have successfully developed renewable energy sources based on wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, oceantides and bio-fuels to minimize dependence on fossil fuels.

He said currently 11 wind projects of 556 MW cumulative capacity have reached advanced stage of completion and some of these would start supply electricity by December this year whereas the others would start working by 2013.

The government is determined to overcome the energy crisis in the country and has taken several measures in the past and has been carrying on several others to provide relief to the common man and help boost industry in the country, he added.

He said the government has initiated a fast track scheme to develop additional 1582.4 MW through private sector which would be commissioned by December 2013, adding that nine solar PV projects of 228 MW were also under development.    The government has also taken measures to promote use of solar applications that include solar systems, solar water heaters, solar water pumps in the country.

   Arif said Pakistan is currently building solar power plants in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan and the program is under development by the International Renewable Energy Agency, China, and Pakistani private sector energy companies.

   In May 2012 Pakistan stepped ahead by inaugurating the first ever solar power on-grid power plant in Islamabad. Over 12,000 solar water heater and 754 solar water pumps were imported to introduce the new technology besides reducing dependency on national grid station, he mentioned.

   Efforts were also being made to convince the owners of sugar mills to use cane waste for power generation and two units of 34 MW were operational and three new projects were in advance stages, chairman said.

   Realizing country’s growing demand of the industrial and agricultural

sectors and growing domestic consumption, the government has initiated several solar power projects to address the power shortfall and energy crisis, he said.