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Socio-Economic Prospects of Solar PV Uptake in Energy Policy Landscape of Pakistan

1Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

2Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad, Pakistan

Received: 24 Apr 2022; Revised: 8 Jun 2022; Accepted: 16 Jun 2022; Available online: 28 Jun 2022; Published: 1 Nov 2022.
Editor(s): H. Hadiyanto
Open Access Copyright (c) 2022 The Author(s). Published by Centre of Biomass and Renewable Energy (CBIORE)
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Citation Format:
Despite global calls for climate change and its impacts in past decade, energy sector of Pakistan has remained highly dominated by high-cost carbon-intensive resources. Although a significant number of policies have been put forward by both provincial and federal government in last three years, the ground-level implementation of these policies is non-existent, and Pakistan’s progress is still far behind the developed countries. This study therefore performs a socio-economic analysis of solar PV potential in Pakistan and how recent policies can be mobilized to upscale the utilization of solar PV both as an on-grid and off-grid generation source. This also links to solar potential for corporate sector engagements in their Net-Zero Pathways. The methodological approach uses a Low Emission Analysis Platform (LEAP) model designed for Pakistan’s Power System supplies under three different scenarios i.e., Energy Transition Scenario, Conventional Generation Scenarios, and Business as Usual Scenario. Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP 2021) along with recent policies is used as the leading data source for driving the capacity additions. The results obtained from the model indicates that despite having a large potential, under currently policies the share of solar in total grid power generation will remain under 2% by 2030. Under Energy Transition Scenario, the model runs under a least cost optimization plan leading to a higher uptake of solar power. As per this scenario, the share of renewable increase beyond 2030 to achieve a share of around 50% by 2045. This can lead to cumulative carbon reductions of around 2000 Mt by 2030 and economic savings of around $ 5 billion. Based on the model results, this study also identifies the possible pathways for upcoming iterations of Pakistan IGCEP plan that builds around solar PV
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Keywords: Solar Energy; Energy Planning; Energy Policy; LEAP; Energy Generation

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