IFIs, MFIs should invest in Pakistan: speakers

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Speakers and participants in a roundtable session stressed on the need for financing macro-level projects of renewable and alternative energy in Pakistan by International Financial Institutions (IFIs). The roundtable held on Saturday was the inaugural session themed ‘Deployment of Alternative and Renewable Energy Technologies in Pakistan Opportunities, Obstacles & Way Forward’ of a conference on alternative and renewable energy sources titled “Towards an Energy Secure Pakistan” being held under the auspices of Institute of Policy Studies in collaboration with Renewable Energy Association of Pakistan (REAP) and Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB). Speakers and participants in a roundtable session stressed on the need for financing macro-level projects of renewable and alternative energy in Pakistan by IFIs at the generation and supply end; and by MFIs at the consumer end in order to meet the growing demand of electricity, which would reach around 100,000 MW by 2050. The session was addressed by Arif Alauddin, CEO, AEDB, Khalid Rahman, DG-IPS, Asif Jah, chairman, Islamabad chapter of REAP and a number of experts on ARE technologies such as biogas, solar, micro hydel, biomas, wind, etc. The participants discussed various opportunities and available ARE technologies that have rich potential to meet the increasing demand of energy in Pakistan and urged the government to provide an enabling environment to attract FDI and facilitate and encourage the local manufacturers and help them get adequate financing and latest technology to develop reliable and economically viable solutions on a large scale for the consumers. Arif Alauddin in his concluding remarks said that one should not compare Pakistan with countries like US, Canada, Germany or even India, which were providing subsidies to the extent of US$0.50 to US$0.70 per unit to the consumers. He informed that India had allocated US$18bn to provide subsidies on electricity to its people, adding that we have to discuss implementable solutions to meet the energy crisis. He further informed that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) offer to the government of Pakistan to obtain up to US$500mn through multiannual financial framework (MFF) facility for renewable energy projects in the public sector was being utilized through setting up of 10 micro hydel projects across Punjab worth US$140mn and other projects were also being planned.