August 28, 2017
A technician checks on solar power generation equipment
Expo 2017 is being held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The theme is “Future Energy,” and the Japan Pavilion is full of exhibits with the theme "Smart Mix with Technology." They are letting the world know about such Japanese initiatives as promoting energy saving and adopting alternative energy.
JICA is working to support these sectors in various countries, and in Pakistan, its initiatives have accelerated the spread and entrenchment of solar power generation.
Pakistan has depended on imported fossil fuels for its power supply. However, the amount of power it produces cannot keep up with demand and it has been experiencing constant planned power outages lasting for many hours.
On the other hand, Pakistan is viewed as having among the highest solar radiation intensity in Southeast and South Asia. In Balochistan and Sindh provinces in the south and in southern part of Punjab province, solar radiation is between 4.5 and 7 kilowatts per square meter per day*.
JICA carried out the Project for Introduction of Clean Energy by Solar Electricity Generation System, which began in 2010. JICA provided a 365 kilowatt solar power generation system set up at the premises of Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) and Planning Commission (PC) in the capital city of Islamabad, and supported the training of technicians for it.
The solar power generation system installed on the grounds of PEC
Up to then, solar power generation in Pakistan consisted entirely of small systems in which all the power was used inside the facility where the equipment was installed. This plan, on the other hand, is aiming to be the first (grid-connected) system supplying excess electric power to other offices and homes through the power grid, which increases the power supply capacity in Pakistan.
After the project was completed in 2012, major results become apparent. A net-metering rule was adopted in 2015 that allows for electricity from solar power generation to be bought back by electricity distribution companies. And in 2016, a sales contract for the system was concluded between the PEC and the capital metro area electricity distribution utility company. This is the result of the PEC’s proactively spreading information about the solar power project and accepting visitors, and thereby increasing interest in solar power generation within Pakistan. According to the PEC, this has led to the opening of multiple solar power generation projects in Punjab province.
JICA Pakistan Office Chief Representative Yasuhiro Tojo explains JICA initiatives
As interest grew in solar power generation, energy stakeholders gathered at the "Second Renewable Energy and Electric Power Infrastructure Investment Meeting" held in the capital of Islamabad in April, where JICA Pakistan Office Chief Representative Yasuhiro Tojo gave a presentation on JICA's initiatives in this field.
"From the spread of solar power generation in Pakistan, we can expect not only a contribution to solving this country's social problem of electricity shortages, but also a steady contribution to solving the global issue of climate change," said Mr. Tojo, to great applause.