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Power tariff hiked by 7.6%/unit w.e.f July 1st

 

http://www.thenews.com.pk/updates_pics/7-1-2010_107669_l.gifISLAMABAD: Complying with deal inked with IMF, the government has yet another time inflated electricity tariff by 7.6 percent per unit to be effective from July 1, Geo news reported Wednesday.
According to the notification issued by Ministry for Water and Electricity, the new electricity price will be effective from July 1, 2010.
This inflation is apart from increase in electricity prices due to shuffle in prices of petroleum products by NEPRA.
The notification stated that this fresh augment was in compliance with NEPRA act, which will be applicable upon eight electricity distribution companies working in Pakistan besides, the consumers of KESC.
The government was bound to make this increment from April 1st; however, declination in electricity production and unabated power outages forced government to put off decision for two months.

Alternative energy only solution to crisis
By Shahid Iqbal (Thursday, 20 May, 2010) at www.dawn.com
The government has accepted the proposal of creating a Renewable Energy Development Fund for the promotion of the alternative energy in Pakistan, which can actually invest and be a partner to the private sector. Energy crisis could be overcome with the help of alternative energy resources already available in the country. This was the focus of the energy exhibition began here on Wednesday.
The 8th international exhibition for the energy industry “POGEE-2010” at the 6th International Fire and Security Exhibition and Conference began with hopes, opportunities and potential for the growth in this particular sector. For the first time special emphasis was given to alternative energy in the exhibition projecting the potential for the growth of solar energy and wind energy.
“Pakistan ignored its energy sector in the recent past and as a result we paid about $12 billion for energy imports in 2008 and in 2009, our oil import bill increased to $13 billion but the country continued to experience energy shortages,” said chief executive officer (CEO) Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Arif Alauddin, while talking to media at the inauguration of the exhibition.
“Only 63 per cent Pakistanis have grid connected electricity, and 80 per cent of the population is without piped natural gas forcing these deprived rural poor to pay 3-5 times more for their energy supplies compared to those of us living in the urban centres,” he said.
The AEDB is signing an agreement with the telecom companies, which will help energise more than 600 telecommunication towers through renewable energy enabling the companies to provide uninterrupted service to people in many parts of the country.
The government has agreed to offer preferential rate of return to all alternative energy investments — and the new rate is expected to be 17 per cent ROE. Further, Nepra is expected to announce incentive of up to 1 per cent ROE on the projects that come on early.
Additionally, the government is working with the Asian Development Bank for counter guarantees to the guarantors of the energy purchaser in order to bring the comfort to the lender, reduce the perceived country risk and lower the project cost.
The AEDB has also developed a programme with key stakeholders for accelerated deployment of 400,000 solar water heaters in the country by 2015. These solar water heaters would be provided at a concessional rate.
The government has accepted the proposal of creating a Renewable Energy Development Fund for the promotion of the alternative energy in Pakistan, which can actually invest and be a partner to the private sector. Special proposals for the 2010 budget suggesting subsidies, fiscal and financial incentives for off-grid products are under active consideration.
A number of solar energy products were displayed in the exhibition but the prices were, too, high for a common man. For example a lamp may cost up to Rs 4,500 to 5,500 for 5 to 10 watt light. A roadside light could cost up to Rs70,000. A house may use two fans and two bulbs of energy savers at a cost of Rs125,000 for four to five hours during the day light. For storage energy batteries are used that will add more cost to any small project.
However, many experts in the exhibition viewed the situation differently and said that once the use of solar energy products will be on large scale the price may fall even less than 50 per cent of the current level.
The energy experts said the lack of awareness is the biggest hindrance in the progress of alternative energy resources, while the government itself did not take interest to promote it as a real alternative solution to the deepening energy crisis.

Pakistan pledges solar energy for communities
Source: Qatar English Daily Islamabad: Pakistan | May 22, 2010
President Asif Zardari has finally done something to lead Pakistan. He's decided that the President House should have solar panels providing its electricity. And he said the country needs to do more to tap the one resource it has no shortage of: sunshine.

Pakistan Electricity Crisis
The latest and perhaps the most troublesome crisis faced by the Pakistani nation these days is the shortage in supply of electricity. The country is facing a huge electric power crisis these days. Though it has been more than a year since when the country is facing this crisis, but till now no proper solution has been made to this problem neither any proper planning has come into existence since the symptoms and begging of this short supply of electricity. While rolling blackouts or load shedding as it is locally known has always been a staple of daily life in Pakistan, the problem has become acute in the last couple of years.
This crisis appears insurmountable in the near or even long-term future, unless proper understanding and correct implementation is undertaken on priority basis. At present total power production capacity in the country is about 19,500 MW, out of which Hydel Power is only 6,500 MW, balance of 13,000 MW is thermal either using Natural Gas or Furnace Oil. Small capacity of 450 MW is Nuclear and only 150 MW is through coal.
It is very important to understand the consequence of the prevailing situation. Current price of furnace oil is about Rs.49,000 per ton, which amounts up to Rs.49/- per kg. On an average one kg of furnace oil produces 3.8 kWh of electricity. Thus, the cost of furnace oil for generating one unit of electricity is about Rs.13. On top of this the fixed cost of a thermal plant works out to be about Rs.3 per unit. Therefore, one unit (kWh) of the electricity produced by all thermal plants using furnace oil is Rs.16 per unit. According to WAPDA/IPP agreement, the private power producers will charge WAPDA the actual fuel cost for which they have a direct contract with PSO. As we all know that WAPDA tariff charged from the consumers is about Rs.5 per unit (kWh). 
The production cost of furnace oil electricity is Rs.16 per unit, add to it the transmission, distribution cost (including loses), “the total cost of such electricity works out to approximately Rs.22 per kWh. The difference between WAPDA tariff and the furnace oil electricity is Rs.17 per kWh.” It is estimated that the country consumes at least 25 billion units of electricity produced annually through furnace oil, which amounts to the total deficit of Rs.425 Billion. If WAPDA has to balance its books it would require a subsidy of Rs.425 Billion. This deficit is somewhat reduced due to cheap power produced through hydel energy and natural gas, but the deficit cannot change substantially, unless bulk of electricity is produced through hydel energy. Obviously, a deficit of Rs.300-350 Billion cannot be sustained, the government does not have resources to pay such a huge subsidy, and it is also not feasible to increase the power tariff very much. Therefore the power crisis is far greater than what is being perceived. In the absence of extremely heavy subsidy, WAPDA is delaying payments to IPPs and also to the oil companies. The result is that IPPs are now producing much less electricity than their capacity.
In the second half of December last year, the situation got so bad that WAPDA & KESC (power generation entities in Pakistan) resorted to draconian levels of load shedding. The power cuts during this time amounted to 20-22 hours a day in most small cities and even cities like Karachi were seeing 18+ hours of load shedding.
To any planner, it should be obvious that the country cannot afford electricity produced through oil. Indigenous fuels like coal, gas, atomic will have to be developed and developed quickly.
Way Forward: Notwithstanding the systemic issues such as the failure to build new dams and previous Government’s inability to add even a single megawatt of new power to the grid during 9 years of its rule, it seems that the present crisis is a result of bad management and the lack of foresight. The total installed capacity of WAPDA and KESC totals around 19,500 megawatts. Almost two third of this power comes from thermal power plants (fossil fuels), one third is generated by water and about 2% comes from nuclear power plants.
In the short-term, the shortages have to be somehow met. The foremost immediate action which can give some relief is the conservation of energy. The government has already announced certain measures like shutting down power on billboards, hoardings and neon signs. Recently in Lahore super size televisions have been installed on important traffic points. In order to keep the temperature down air conditioners are installed behind these sets. In spite of government directions, the energy saving measures are not being implemented. Shops use excessive lights, which can be conveniently reduced. A suggestion that cities be divided in zones, and the market on these zones be closed on different days, can also save peak time energy usage. In order to implement conservation measures, the nazims, naib nazims should visit the areas and try to convince and negotiate with the people, shopkeepers etc. requesting them to cooperate in the individual interests as well as of the society at large.
At present the IPPs, and WAPDA owned thermal plants are averaging about 50 percent plant factor, which means that they are not being used to their potential level, 70 to 80 percent plant factor is quite feasible; this would require better maintenance of such plants. A higher plant factor on these power stations can provide 20 to 30 percent more energy, which will circumvent the present shortages to a certain extent. Improving the plant factor of the existing plants is far more economical then setting up new plants, although new plants will still be needed. One of the reasons for low plant factor is that the funds are not made available for the purchase of oil; solution for this factor will help in short term increase in energy production. The government has announced that immediately 1200 MW of additional plants will be set-up. At present the country has about 28 Trillion cft of recoverable gas available, the yearly consumption is about 1.2 Trillion cft, which means that even if gas consumption is increased, the existing recoverable gas will be sufficient for the next 15 years. Therefore the additional thermal generation should be based on gas, but in order to make additional gas available, the gas pressure and its transmission system will have to be enhanced. For hydroelectric projects, the large ones can only be built on the Indus River, where not only hydroelectricity can be produced, but highly needed water storage can also be a by-product. Some legitimate objections on the environment and social impacts of large dams are there, but solutions for such objections can be satisfactorily found.
The current power crisis is grossly due to very high oil prices, and the country has to prepare itself at least for the next several years to somehow cope with it, since no immediate cheaper alternate solutions are available. It has been a big set back that new Hydel Projects have not been undertaken, neither the indigenous coal mining has started, investments in the existing as well as new gas field have been lacking. The policy orientation needs a drastic modification and indigenous resource like hydel energy production as well as development of coal mining and new gas fields should be the top priority. 

Electricity Crisis in Pakistan
Posted on January 6, 2009
 Jauhar Ismail, Economy & Development
The latest crisis that has Pakistani’s from all walks of life up in arms is the lack of electrical power throughout the country. While rolling blackouts or load shedding as its locally known has always been a staple of daily life in Pakistan, the problem has become acute in the last couple of years. In the second half of December, the situation got so bad that WAPDA & KESC (power generation entities in Pakistan) resorted to draconian levels of load shedding. The power cuts during this time amounted to 20-22 hours a day in most small cities and even cities like Karachi were seeing 18+ hours of load shedding.
http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m237/owaism1971/ls.jpg
Notwithstanding the systemic issues such as the failure to build new dams and previous Government’s inability to add even a single megawatt of new power to the grid during 9 years of its rule, it seems that the present crisis is a result of bad management and the lack of foresight. The total installed capacity of WAPDA and KESC totals around 19,500 megawatts. Almost two third of this power comes from thermal power plants (fossil fuels), one third is generated by water and about 2% comes from nuclear power plants.
The demand for electricity in Pakistan during the winter months actually goes down and this winter has not been an exception. Throughout the month of December, the electricity consumption in Pakistan hovered around 11,000 MW, down from the peak levels of 17,500 MW seen in summer. This demand was well within the installed capacity of WAPDA & KESC yet they were only generating a meager one third (6500MW) of their maximum capacity during this period leaving a huge gap between supply and demand. Their are two main reasons for this:
1. The water flow from all major dams was halted starting mid December to allow the annual cleaning of canals in January. This action effectively took all the hydro power off line.
2. The thermal power plants were working far below their potential due to the lack of money caused by the circular debt between various government agencies reaching a staggering 400 billion Rupees.
http://pakistaniat.com/images/kesc/kesc4.jpg
None of these issues could have possibly come as a surprise to the present government yet they choose to do nothing until violent anti government protests erupted in all major cities. A couple of days ago the President of Pakistan finally convened a summit of all stakeholders and since then the situation has improved somewhat but this fiasco provides another example of the misplaced priorities of our democratically elected leaders.
Instead of issuing stamps and coins bearing Benazir’s logo and dedicating existing airports to her name, they should focus on the plight of everyday people and try to make their lives a little bit better. Everyone understands that Pakistan is facing serious problems requiring long term solutions and the present government can’t be expected to make significant headway in the short term, yet there are things where it can make a difference. Eliminating load shedding during the winter months could just be one of them.

AEDB plans wind power plant
Updated at: 1015 PST, Friday, May 28, 2010, The News International  
http://www.thenews.com.pk/updates_pics/5-28-2010_105598_l.gifISLAMABAD: Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) will launch wind power plant with the assistance of US to generate 50 MW of electricity.
Minister of Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf chaired the 20th meeting of AEDB here. The meeting informed that financial issues for the generation of 200 MW have been finalized.
Talking to media after the meeting, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said President House and Prime Minister House will also avail solar energy. He said government is working for elimination of load shedding and positive results will be emerged soon.

 

AEI buys 67% stake in NBT to continue expansion into wind
AEI’s subsidiary, AEI China Power Limited, bought the stake from a subsidiary of NBT AS, a Norwegian wind farm developer focused on the Chinese market. NBT AS is a renewable energy development company with operations in Norway, China, Cyprus, Hong Kong and Pakistan. NBT is currently developing 200MW of wind farms in China with a pipeline of another 1 gigawatt, a 60MW biomass power plant in Jilin Province, China and 100MW of wind farms in Pakistan.

Sun is not just a Star, it`s Tremendous Energy Absolute Electricity, Ultimate Blessing!
Wednesday May 26, 2010, paktribune.com
Pakistan energy crisis stands at a very critical point in history and if not debated today it shall definitely threaten our survivals and our generations shall suffer badly in the decades to come. Act and act in the living present is all that is needed to overcome the grave energy crisis, unless new generation capacity is installed on war footing basis with a visible shift to Alternate Energy sources including Solar and Wind, the situation will severely affect socio-economic conditions. Therefore Private and Public sector both should devise alternatives to meet the current requirements and provide future solutions in order to get away with shortage of power and build an illuminated Pakistan. The world has chosen the new showground where Power Generation shall be done using renewable energy resources ensuring ultimate safety for public and reasonable protection of environment. Renewable energy sources are Solar, Wind, Hydro and BioFuel which replenish themselves while non renewable are coal, gas, HFO etc. which diminish with time.
Solar energy can be particularly suitable for developing countries such as Pakistan. In rural and remote areas, transmission and distribution of energy generated from fossil fuels can be difficult and expensive. Producing renewable energy locally can offer a viable alternative. Solar energy can directly contribute to poverty alleviation by providing the energy needed for creating businesses and employment. It can also make indirect contributions towards reducing poverty by providing energy for cooking, space heating, and lighting. It can also contribute to education, by providing electricity to schools.
Solar energy is the energy derived from the sun; solar powered electrical generation relies on photovoltaics and heat engines. Solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, daylighting, solar hot water, solar cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.
Solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. And without any ambiguity it can be said that solar energy projects are most feasible for Pakistan as its geographical location on the map makes it ideally suited to make most advantage of the blessed plentiful sunshine by using Solar Energy Technologies. Solar energy has great potential to provide 5 MWh per meter square per annum and at this rate solar energy has the potential to supply over 1,000 times the total consumption of energy and shall no doubt become the dominant energy source in a few decades. As solar radiation is intermittent, solar power generation is combined either with storage or other energy sources to provide continuous power, although for small distributed consumers, net metering makes this transparent to the consumer.
The world has moved on to energize through this abundant source and literally whole cities are enlightened through it. The solar thermal power industry is growing rapidly and 13.9 GW announced globally through 2014. Spain is the epicenter of solar thermal power development with 22 projects for 1,037 MW under construction; while in the United States only, 5,600 MW of solar thermal power projects have been announced.
It is also mentionable that Kenya is the world leader in the number of solar power systems installed per capita. More than 30,000 very small solar panels, each producing 12 to 30 watts, are sold in Kenya annually. For an investment of as little as $100, then why cant us? What is abstaining us? Solar Photovoltaics Modules factory must be setup so that reduce cost per kWh, it is also notable that this plant does not require big initial investment but the raw materials may require little cost for production which can also be reduced if solar cell manufacturing plants are installed.
It is genuinely evident that solar energy can provide sustainable, clean, cost effective, and localized energy to our people. Authorities must stand up to politicians and oil companies that want to hamper our emergence by relying on foreign oil. Alternative energy solutions and especially solar can have a realized advantage; taxpayers, engineers, scientists and philanthropists are the ones to compel government to change policy and redirect our collective energies to beneficial results. We have to work together as wise citizens, to establish a prosperous enlightened Pakistan.