The Asian Development Bank will assist Pakistan in generating 5,204 MW electricity by setting up hundreds of micro hydro power plants in off grid areas of Khyber Pakthunkhwa and 2,330MW solar capacity in Punjab by 2026 under its project “Access to Clean Energy Investment Programme”.
“By 2026, under a results-based lending approach, the project will have supported the construction of micro hydropower (small run-of-stream or canal plants) totaling 5,204 megawatts (MW) capacity in off-grid communities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the installation of solar facilities in schools (of which 30% will be girls’ schools) and primary health care facilities (including 500 used by women for delivery or antenatal care) totaling 42 MW of solar capacity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 2,330 MW in Punjab,” according to a report launched by the ADB.
The 2018 ADB Sustainability Report, which was released to mark World Environment Day, documents ADB’s work to promote economic, social, and environmental sustainability in its operations as well as its corporate activities and facilities in 2016 and 2017.
The report said that the Access to Clean Energy Investment Program , approved in 2016, is anticipated to benefit about 240,000 households and 2.6 million students by increasing access to clean energy and more reliable electricity services in these areas. It will also help women and girls, by providing them with increased opportunities to access these electricity services.
The ADB approved a $325 million loan to help enhance Pakistan’s energy security by helping install clean energy sources and improve people’s access to electricity in KPP and Punjab.
The proposed ADB assistance will contribute to Pakistan”s national goal of enhanced energy security.
The program will be implemented over a period of 5-10 years and will support the provincial governments of KPK and Punjab to achieve increased access to sustainable and more reliable electricity services for vulnerable communities.
This outcome will be achieved through four components including expanding access to renewable energy, notably micro-hydropower (MHP) plants in rural off-grid areas of KPK, and decentralized solar plants for education and primary health care facilities (PHFs) in KPK and Punjab; providing women and girls with increased opportunities to obtain energy services and benefits; enhancing institutional capacity to foster sustainability; and promoting public sector energy efficiency in Punjab.
KPP, with a population of over 28 million, is one of the poorest provinces in Pakistan and in some of its districts the electrification rate is below 20 percent.
Meanwhile Punjab, a province with the largest population in Pakistan, consumes around 68% of the country’s electricity and gas.
The economy is based largely on agriculture and industry, and depends heavily on a reliable electricity supply.
Geographic constraints make extending the national grid to such remote areas costly and technically difficult.
In these areas, the least-cost option is off-grid renewable energy sources.
The program will install renewable energy power plants including the construction of 1,000 micro-hydropower plants (MHPs) in off-grid areas of KPK.
It will also provide and install rooftop solar plants for 23,000 schools and over 2,500 primary healthcare facilities in two provinces and a university in Bahawalpur, Punjab.
The MHPs and solar plants will provide electricity to around 1.5 million people in rural areas and to more than 2.6 million students, including 1.2 million girls.
The program will strengthen the capacity of provincial governments to improve the program sustainability, through enhanced monitoring, procurement and internal audit capacities, and promotion of public sector energy efficiency.
The loan is part of ADB’s commitment announced last year to double its annual climate financing to $6 billion for Asia-Pacific by 2020. Out of the total project loan, $16 million will be dedicated for climate change adaptation activities and $247 million for climate change mitigation activities.—APP