ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government and World Bank have signed a financing agreement worth US$100 million for Sindh Solar Energy Project to increase solar power generation and access to electricity in the province.
The project will support deployment of solar power in Sindh spanning three market segments: utility scale, distributed generation, and households.
Utility-scale solar includes development of solar parks to support private sector investment and launching of Pakistan’s first competitive bidding for solar power production, starting with an initial 50MW pilot solar auction.
Distributed solar includes at least 20MW of distributed solar PV on the rooftops and other available spaces on and around public sector buildings in Karachi, Hyderabad and other districts of Sindh.
The project will also aim to provide solar home systems to 200,000 households in areas with low or no electricity access.
The total cost of the project is $105 million.
The International Development Association (IDA) will extend financing of $100 million for the project while the Sindh government will contribute the remaining amount.
Public funding will be used to leverage private sector investment and/or expertise in the three segments, with an emphasis on long-term sustainability, development of domestic solar PV experience, and emergence of self-sustaining markets.
The project will introduce and showcase international best practices with renewable energy auctions, reduce the headline cost of solar deployment, create sustainable business models for potential replication, build institutional and private sector capacity, and identify opportunities for future renewable energy deployment that address issues of grid integration.
The project is designed to help steer Pakistan toward a lower-carbon path to development.
Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Noor Ahmed signed the financing agreement on behalf of the Government of Pakistan while Musadiq Ahmed Khan, Secretary Energy Department, Government of Sindh, signed the project agreement on behalf of Government of Sindh.
World Bank Country Director Patchamuthu Ilangovan signed the financing and project agreements on behalf of IDA.
Secretary EAD thanked the World Bank for extending its continuous support to Pakistan in its efforts to achieve sustainable economic development.