Capitalizing the potential of CPEC crucial for expanding clean energy and access to green finance, Experts
Islamabad: Leveraging time-tested diplomatic ties with China can mobilize the much-needed investment for expanding affordable and clean energy access in Pakistan, stressed Chinese and Pakistani experts, at a seminar titled “High Level Symposium on “Renewable Energy Collaboration under CPEC: A Diplomatic Discourse”. The seminar was organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Pakistan-China Institute here today.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI remarked that climate crisis amplified by consistent use of dirty fuels impacts global community without any distinction of geography and economic conditions. While countries are responding to climate crisis by embarking on renewable energy transition, the energy inflation emanating from Russia-Ukraine conflict manifests itself at domestic level in the form on energy price hikes and disgruntled masses as witnessed currently in Pakistan. 6.1Million units of electricity theft has been detected recently and Pakistan must bank on China’s expertise of promoting clean and green energy initiatives with doable and practical solutions.
Dr. Hassan Daud Butt Research Fellow SDPI highlighted that BRI has already generated US$ one trillion worth of economic activity emerging as a beacon of hope for global collaboration and growth. He said that under BRI, Pakistan was proposed as a test case for expanding the country’s energy portfolio, with a goal to achieve 30% growth in the renewable energy sector by 2030. The government should proactively present proposals to China, creating conducive policy environment for renewable energy promotion, he urged. He stressed the need for pragmatic approaches, policy resilience, and making CPEC launching pad for large-scale clean and green energy initiatives.
N. A. Zuberi, Senior Advisor, China Three Georges South Asia Investment, Ltd informed that through Community Investment Plan (CIP), 655 million in Punjab and AJK regions was invested by Chinese firms. The company has also developed three wind power projects with an installed capacity of 49.50 MW, with tariffs below 5 percent. He highlighted payment delays from CPPAG for CSAIL renewable projects, circular debt, major annual losses of 250 million due to non-operational projects, delayed shipments and substantial payments for damages as major challenges faced by Chinese investors in Pakistan.
Xiao Pang, Senior Specialist, BRI International Green Development Coalition, stressed on leveraging CPEC to accelerate adoption of renewable energy and substantially reducing carbon emissions. He emphasized on pre-feasibility analysis to attract investors, capacity-building initiatives and forming a coalition of experts dedicated to advancing green initiatives.
Dr. Liaqat Ali Shah, Executive Director, CPEC Centre of Excellence, stressed the need for building institutional capacity, policy integration, by aligning industry and energy policies with green industrial policies. He emphasized that the focus in renewable energy should extend beyond generation to energy conservation and efficiency, pointing out that outdated facilities can lead to increased costs.
Taimur Adil, Founding Partner of Impetus Advisory, stressed on exploring financial mechanisms such as private equity for green energy projects and tapping the investment potential in the Gulf region. He urged for enhancing capacity of government departments, particularly through the use of metrics and dashboards to identify bottlenecks and streamline energy development efforts.
Dr. Khalid Waleed, Research Fellow SDPI, addressing affordability crises, advocated for energy transition solutions including establishing JETPS to mobilize finance. He urged for investment in transmission systems over generation and strengthening regional and bilateral diplomatic ties. He also highlighted the potential for China to shift manufacturing to Pakistan, China, with its abundant capital resources, could benefit from utilizing Pakistan’s labor-intensive workforce, creating a mutually advantageous trade relationship.