The CPEC 2022 project will end with positive spillover effects supporting Pakistan’s 2030 goal of increasing the share of renewable energy in its electricity supply to 30%.
The CPEC energy mix has gained constant momentum thanks to the blossoming romance between China and Pakistan over the past year, sparking the ongoing spark. Upcoming hydro, wind, solar, and other energy sources projects will change Pakistan’s perspective on the environment. Green power bonds between Pakistan and China, which would serve as the centerpiece of the new green corridor between the two countries announced in 2022, will also help Pakistan achieve its climate targets and UN sustainable development goals.
When it comes to advancing the green revolution, China’s Belt and Road Initiative is not lagging when it comes to renewable energy. Similarly to this, China’s CPEC 2022 energy investments increasingly prioritize green energy. Saying that Sino-Pak cooperation in renewable energy entered a new era in 2022 would not be an exaggeration, given the incredibly positive developments we have seen in the green energy industry between the two friendly countries.
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To date, Pakistan’s overall power generation mix has only a relatively small amount of renewable energy sources. In a recent report, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority stated that of a total installed capacity of 43,775 MW, wind and solar power account for approximately 4.2% (1,831 MW) and 1.4% (630 MW), respectively.
China is already Pakistan’s largest green energy investor. Currently, $125 million, or over 87% of the $144 million in foreign investment in Pakistan’s solar PV installations, comes from China.
With the help of Chinese investors, Federal Power Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan recently unveiled two new wind energy projects in Sindh’s Jhimpir, Thatta District, to generate more affordable, clean electricity from domestic sources.
The Chinese capital has recently invested in several renewable energy projects, including wind turbines in this area. Jhimpir, located around 90 kilometers from Karachi, is at the center of the nation’s largest “Wind corridor,” which can generate 11,000 megawatts (MW) of energy from renewable sources.
Another significant advancement in the promotion of wind energy was the opening of Pakistan’s first-of-its-kind solution factory by Beijing-based Goldwind Corporation, a multinational maker of wind turbines. The Solution Factory seeks to create customized answers for Pakistani wind farms.
Solar Power & Climate Change Issue
To reduce the nation’s reliance on foreign fuel, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif recently announced the rapid installation of 10,000 MW of solar energy across the nation. Due to the prior installation of the massive Quad-e-Azam Solar Park, experts predict that China will play a significant role in installing solar power projects.
China also manufactures the least expensive solar panels. Thus home and business customers in Pakistan favor Chinese solar panels. “We will focus on the distributed solar power in Pakistan by supplying more solar panels on roofs for homeowners as well as industrial and commercial structures,” said Li Xiaoping, Regional Sales Manager of Longi Solar. To adapt its products to the rising climate change, the corporation is also adapting the use and maintenance of solar equipment in the high temperatures that plagued Pakistan this summer.
Following the forecasting and notification of extreme weather conditions, precautions will be take to protect the solar devices in the event of a flood. Power Division of Pakistan decided to withdraw the 300MW imported coal-based power station at Gwadar and replace it with a solar project in the middle of 2022.
For the past few years, China has also made investments in Pakistan’s hydropower industry through CPEC and outside. According to a recent story in Pakistani media, China is preparing to help Pakistan clean its Tarbela Dam using steel straw. Chinese companies will use a 120-meter steel rod to remove silt from the country’s largest reservoir. According to Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority, Tarbela Dam is one of the world’s biggest earth and rock-filled. reservoirs and the biggest water resource development project.
The start of the massive CPEC hydropower projects’ operations in 2022 also represented a breakthrough. The Karot hydropower project, the first hydroelectric joint venture under CPEC 2022, was launch by China Three Gorges Corp in June 2022. The project, located on the Jhelum River and has a total installed capacity of 720 megawatts, is the first substantial hydropower investment project under CPEC. It is estimated that the hydroelectric power plant, whose construction start in April 2015, will generate roughly 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of clean electricity annually and provide Pakistan with dependable and affordable energy to meet the needs of its population of about 5 million people.
Kohala Hydropower Project, Suki Kinari Hydropower Project, and Azad Pattan Hydropower Project are other hydropower initiatives connect to CPEC 2022. Additionally, the Diamer Bhasha, Neelum Jehlum, Mohmand, and Dasu Dams are helping China fulfill its promise to Pakistan to supply cheap and clean electricity.
The establishment of a waste-to-energy facility in Lahore is also being help by China, which discovered that Pakistan has a huge. Potential to generate electricity from garbage by applying cutting-edge technology. It is projected that the proposed facility will have an install capacity of 40MW. It will have two turbine generators, each with a 20MW capacity.
Government Commitments and Future Plans
The Chinese side appreciated the Pakistani government’s efforts to vigorously develop renewable energy projects, including solar projects, which are in line with the energy sector’s green, low-carbon, and environmental development, during the recent visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to China. The Chinese side also encouraged the participation of Chinese companies in this endeavor.
During the visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Beijing, top Chinese businesses demonstrated. A significant interest in investing in Pakistan’s solar, water, and other infrastructure projects. The government’s extensive solar power scheme, which aims to produce 10,000 megawatts of electricity, has receive. Funding from Chinese business leaders who have been encourage by the prime minister to invest in Pakistan.
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Researchers and thinkers from Pakistan are also contributing to strengthening Sino-Pak green energy cooperation. In the middle of 2022, the Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) and Sustainable Development Policy. Institute unveiled the “Green China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC 2022) Alliance” (SDPI). The Alliance was establish to foster and hasten this development in Pakistan and the BRI. Investors, members of civil society, and environmental specialists all belong to the Alliance.
In a similar vein, Pakistan’s Energy Minister, Mr. Khurram Dastgir, is confident that the country’s future energy landscape will be built on the use of domestic renewable sources. Such as hydro, solar, wind, coal, and nuclear power, and says China is its most important and valuable partner in developing its clean energy potential.