NEECA Launches Groundbreaking Prefeasibility Study on Pakistan’s Green Hydrogen Energy

Islamabad: The National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA) marked a historic moment with the launch of a Prefeasibility Study on Pakistan’s Green Hydrogen Energy at the NEECA building. The event, held on January 18, 2024, saw the participation of key stakeholders, experts, and representatives from public and private sectors, as well as donor agencies.

Dr. Sardar Mohazzam, Managing Director of NEECA, provided insights into the motivation behind conducting the green hydrogen energy study in Pakistan. International expert Mr. Stephen B. Harrison and former chief economist Dr. Nadeem Javed presented crucial aspects of the prefeasibility study. Esteemed personalities such as Senator Dr. Musadik Malik, Mr. Masroor Ahmed (Chairman OGRA), Mr. Yousuf Siddiqui (CEO Engro Energy Limited), and Mr. Nadeem Javed Bajwa (MD ISGS) also shared their expert opinions during the launch ceremony.

The study emphasized the urgent need for Pakistan to diversify its power mix, currently dominated by thermal sources dependent on imported fossil fuels. With approximately 64% of the energy mix relying on RLNG, Coal, and RFO, Pakistan faces challenges in managing reliable and cost-effective energy supply. This heavy dependence on imported fuels not only contributes to elevated global energy prices but also results in higher greenhouse gas emissions.

Highlighting the abundant indigenous Renewable Energy (RE) resources in Pakistan, including solar and wind power, the study positioned hydrogen as a pivotal energy vector. Due to its high energy content, environmental compatibility, and ability to address the intermittency of RE sources, hydrogen emerges as a crucial element for ensuring reliable and cost-effective utilization of Pakistan’s RE potential.

The prefeasibility study conducted a detailed analysis of thirteen (13) value chain cases, assessing their economic viability under various scenarios. Three (03) most plausible value chains were identified, encompassing hydrogen electrolysis from hydroelectricity, solar-powered hydrogen production, and a remote micro-grid with hydro power for hydrogen production during winter months.

However, the study acknowledged that the current capex costs and higher electricity expenses make these projects financially unfeasible at present. Policy interventions such as a tariff review, low or zero power cost for potential hydro power, and attributing a cost to CO2 emissions were suggested to make these projects economically viable.

The launch of this prefeasibility study is a crucial step towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future for Pakistan. As the country gears up for the opportunities presented by Green Hydrogen, NEECA, in collaboration with key stakeholders, will continue working towards policy development and implementation for a low-carbon economy. The government’s commitment to addressing climate change challenges aligns with the potential shift to Green Hydrogen, subject to international financing availability, as a catalyst for clean and low-carbon development.

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