Chinese RE potential can help Pakistan overcome energy crisis: Experts
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
China’s potential in renewable energy generation can drive a massive shift in Pakistan’s energy sector and serve as a viable solution for the crisis looming large in the country, say at a workshop on ‘Green Financing Guidelines for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Energy Projects,’ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
Shahjahan Mirza, the Managing Director of Private Power and Infrastructure Board, highlighted that currently 400 MW electricity is being generated in Pakistan through rooftop solar panels. Soon, nine off-grid districts in Balochistan will be shifted to solar power through public-private partnerships. “Alternative Energy Development Board is also working on capitalizing the wind corridors in Pakistan,” he said, adding that a 1000 MW solar park is under construction in Cholistan.
Dr Hasan Daud Butt, Chief Executive Officer, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment & Trade was of view that CPEC can provide stimulus to Pakistan’s economic growth. He said this could be done by developing infrastructure, improving intra-national connectivity and creating opportunities for investment and employment. However, he added, the youth of the country face low skill development and low productivity challenge, which has reduced their job prospects in the CPEC projects.
Dr Vaqar Ahmed, SDPI’s Joint Executive Director, termed the green financing guidelines extremely critical to design a pathway for achieving targets of Nationally Determined Contributions for Pakistan. He stressed the need to design a predictable and certain fiscal policy for increased international investments, particularly under CPEC. He suggested that private banks should introduce innovative financing models and rating mechanisms to ensure loaning for greener initiatives.
Dr Christoph Nedophil Wang, representing Fudan UIniversity, China, informed the participants that regulatory and business sector in China is mandated to uphold the national commitment of green financing through the CPEC projects.
Dr Hina Aslam, SDPI Research Fellow, SDPI in partnership with Pakistan China Initiative, aims to build capacity through dialogues and deliberations with various stakeholders.
Ms Najia Ubaid, Additional Director, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), said that SECP provides green bonds for all projects with an environmental cause, including sanitation, waste management and renewable energy and any asset can be fractionalized to finance such projects.
Dr Sajid Amin, SDPI’s Deputy Executive Director, emphasized that SECP can play a critical role in supporting this shift to sustainable green finance through green bonds and green shares.
Mr Muhammad Irfan, representing the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), pointed out that so far 1500 projects have been funded by the SBP under its Renewable Energy Scheme and deliberations are being made for the extension of this scheme.
Among others who shared their views with the participants on the occasion included: Ali Hasan, Head of Sustainable Initiatives, JS Bank; Dr Liaqat Ali Shah, Executive Director, Centre of Excellence for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor; Mr Anees Khawaja, Chief Executive Oficer, Mahmood Group Apparels; and Ms Nisma from SDPI.