Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Eversheds and IFC help boost Pakistan's renewable energy programme

Karachi: On September 2nd, law firm Eversheds hosted an event with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, offering Pakistan’s top government officials and energy experts the opportunity to highlight the country’s renewable energy programme to international investors.

Pakistan is one of the most exciting renewables markets globally, with an abundance of potential. Barely on the radar a few years ago, the country is quietly surpassing all expectations and is attracting significant engagement from the international renewable energy community. The country has a long history of successfully implementing private sector power projects inspiring considerable investor confidence in its renewable energy programme. There is debt liquidity throughout the banking sector, and a rewarding Feed in Tariff (FiT) for participants. However developers need to move quickly if they want to take advantage of the higher tariffs.

Amjad Ali Awan, CEO of Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), said:

“Today’s event is important because it helps dispel some of the myths surrounding  investment in Pakistan. Pakistan’s renewable market is relatively new but it provides an attractive investment opportunity with compelling structures which make it bankable as well as marketable.
“The renewable energy programme in Pakistan is not just about solving the current energy crisis but ensuring that there is a long term energy security plan in place. The Government has a shared vision and a commitment to developing a clean energy regime. It is supporting investors and developers through various incentives and has removed certain challenges such as making land accessible and aligning project development with grid capacity.”

The event was attended by Pakistan Government Ministers and officials including AEDB, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), the Government of Sindh and the Government of Punjab and prominent international solar industry figures including leading developers and investors.  By the end of the event, 79% of attendees which included an exclusive list of international solar investors and developers stated an increase in their interest to invest in solar in Pakistan. Additionally, 90% said that the event increased their understanding of developing solar energy in Pakistan.

In addition to the opportunities discussed at the seminar in London which focused on grid based solar as well as investment opportunities in other renewable energy technologies and transmission, Pakistani officials highlighted the opportunities available in distributed and off-grid solar power generation, for example taking advantage of the newly introduced net-metering scheme.

Michelle T Davies, Head of Clean Energy and Sustainability, commented:

“Pakistan presents a huge opportunity for renewable energy investment. We are delighted to have hosted today’s event and are honoured to work with the Pakistan Government and the IFC as it continues to make considerable headway in developing a successful renewable energy programme. We are looking forward to supporting our clients as they make the move into this new and exciting opportunity.”

IFC is promoting Pakistan’s renewable energy program in order to encourage further investment from international investors, other multilaterals and private finance institutions.

Bryanne Tait, Regional Lead, MENA energy and resource efficiency advisory, IFC said:

“Pakistan remains a priority country for IFC and the World Bank Group in the region due to the many exciting opportunities, thanks to the country’s long track record of successful ventures in power sector. Supporting such initiatives would not only reduce misperceptions about Pakistan but would also help international developers gain new insights as well as the confidence to take part in these opportunities.”

Khawaja Muhammad Naeem, Member Punjab, NEPRA, delivered a keynote speech. Hassan J. Zaidi, CEO of M/s Power Planners International (PPI) delivered a speech on Grid Interconnection, highlighting how to secure grid access in Pakistan. 

This event was supported by Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA), the Government of the Netherlands, Australian Aid and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).



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