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PIAF asks govt to add hydropower projects to renewable energy scope


Image: File

KARACHI: The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) chairman Mian Nauman Kabir has urged the government to include hydropower projects in the scope of renewable energy, as the country cannot afford costly and anti-environment fossil fuels.

PIAF senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed and vice chairman Javed Siddiqi in a joint statement, demanded the government to prioritise the whole industry in energy supply at competitive rates on the pattern of regional countries of India, China and Bangladesh.

The government has increased the average power tariff by over 40 per cent during the last three years, followed by the proposed hike in gas price by withdrawing subsidy for the industry, they added.

The PIAF chairman requested the government to focus on the industry which can generate foreign exchange, contribute to local taxes and create jobs, he added.

PIAF officials emphasised on the importance of dam development, stating that as much as 20 million acres of barren land can be brought under plough, if water is provided by developing water storages in the country.

Hameed said that with the construction of dams, the country can strengthen its agriculture to attain food security and cope with the fast growing needs of water in domestic and industrial sectors, besides injecting sizeable low-cost hydroelectricity into the national grid to stabilise the national economy.

While quoting a report of various government agencies, he observed that contrary to the definition and standards used worldwide, hydropower is not being considered under the scope of renewable energy in the country.

Hydropower is the most advanced and mature renewable energy technology and provides some level of electricity generation in more than 160 countries worldwide including Australia, Norway, Brazil, Canada, Vietnam, Sweden, United States and China etc.

It is an attractive renewable option given the low-cost of electricity it produces, low greenhouse gas emissions and the flexibility it provides to the grid, he added.

PIAF vice chairman while commenting on the water and hydropower sectors in the country, observed that the situation can be improved by putting a robust development mechanism in place and exercising prompt decision making.

All stakeholders including the business community are ready to play their due role to implement the National Water Policy for water, food and energy security of the country, he said.

The Kalabagh dam should not have been ignored in the federal budget at any cost, as water scarcity is heading towards the point of no return. Those opposing the Kalabagh Dam are unaware of the ground realities, Siddiqi added.

The PIAF fully supports the voice of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), advising the public sector organisations to consider adding hydropower in the scope and definition of renewable energy in various energy policies, rules and regulations.

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