Government of Pakistan is putting key emphasis upon the harnessing of renewable energy (RE) resources in the country through Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB). While on grid projects renewable energy based projects are rapidly being developed, the government is actively pursuing the off grid options. In this regard, Distributed Generation and net metering are already part of the overall Renewable Energy policy, where consumers are encouraged to deploy solar energy at their residential, commercial and industrial premises. The National Electric Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) announced the net metering regulations in September 2015. As per these regulations, any customer of the electric grid can draw additional benefits from the grid connection through feeding electricity back into the grid after meeting their own demand. The electricity supplied into and received from the grid will be calculated and net of this will be reflected in the consumer billing.
The Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) held a meeting on net metering in Islamabad on November 28th, 2016. The event, to which all Distribution Companies (DISCOs), Secretary Energy Department of Punjab Asad Gilani and other important stakeholders were invited, constitutes an important milestone in the promotion of net metering.
Regarding promotion of net metering in Pakistan, AEDB had been very proactive since the very start of this concept. In this regard AEDB took lead in conducting several consultation sessions with the DISCOs, NEPRA and other stakeholders in cooperation with German International Cooperation organization (GIZ). Based on these and further efforts, IESCO has already approved 16 net metering applications with NEPRA, while LESCO recently added one of 135 kW. The key purpose behind the current meeting was to seek feedback and views from DISCOs and provide them an opportunity to exchange experiences to replicate the net metering success stories throughout the country.
Further to above, it was anticipated to synchronize the efforts of various stakeholders as well as to discuss future roadmap for the promotion of net metering and assisting the DISCOs to cope up with the desired technical and administrative challenges. The presentations in the meeting also revealed the outcomes of different business models (residential, commercial and industrial consumers) as developed and presented by CEO AEDB, Mr. Amjad Ali Awan. This followed open discussion with the DISCO’s on concerns and challenges. This was resolved that a full scale awareness and advocacy campaigns shall soon be launched subject to preparedness on the part of Distribution Companies to execute applications for net metering. It was also agreed that AEDB and NEPRA will provide all kind of training and other support to DISCOs staff.
CEO AEDB Amjad Awad closed the event by emphasizing that current proactive initiatives from the private sector constitute a system response, showing that it is a live and growing system in which upcoming turnkey solutions will help move it forward. The environment is set for Net Metering and we should welcome this new dawn in the energy sector of Pakistan.
Pakistan is set to benefit from 1000-2000MW capacity from solar-based net metering in the next 3 to 4 years alone. The spread of net metering will result in further benefits for the DISCOs like reduced line losses and the population at large because of reduced load shedding. The utilization of RE sources will reduce dependencies of the imported fossil fuel hence reducing the trade deficit in long term.