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The Government of Pakistan promotes the exploitation of renewable energy (RE) sources through Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB). Distributed generation (by small-scale plants and even residential consumers) and net metering are part of the overall Renewable Energy policy. The National Electric Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) announced the net metering regulations in September 2015. As per these regulations, any customer of the electric grid can draw additional benefits from the grid connection through feeding electricity back into the grid. The electricity supplied by the consumer will be calculated against that provided and any excess electricity provided by the user results in quarterly remuneration.

The Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) held a meeting on net metering in Islamabad on November 28th, 2016. The event, to which all Distribution Companies (DISCOs), Secretary Energy Department of Punjab Asad Gilani and other important stakeholders were invited, constitutes an important milestone in the promotion of net metering.

The AEDB had been actively promoting the net metering regime since 2012 in discussions with relevant stakeholders, with several consultation sessions already having taken place. These took place during three expert missions organized in cooperation with the German International Cooperation organization (GIZ). Based on these and further efforts, IESCO has already successfully approved 16 net metering applications with NEPRA, while LESCO recently added one of 135 kW.

The purpose of the present meeting was to synchronize the efforts of various stakeholders, discuss the next steps in the roadmap to promote net metering and assist the DISCOs with the technical and administrative challenges. The presentations on status and next steps according to the roadmap, included one on various business cases of economic feasibility for the different sectors (residential, commercial and industrial consumers) as developed and presented by AEDB.

The information round was followed by an open discussion with the DISCO’s on concerns and challenges and rounded off with the setting of follow-up steps. Coordinated awareness campaigns for various groups will be launched soon along with capacity building for DISCO staff.

CEO AEDB Amjad Awad closed the event by emphasizing that current proactive initiatives from the private sector constitute a system response, showing that it is a live and growing system in which upcoming turnkey solutions will help move it forward. Nobody can stop an idea whose time has come and net-metering’s time has come.

Pakistan is set to benefit from 1000-2000MW capacity from solar-based net metering in the next 3 to 4 years alone. The spread of net metering will result in further benefits for the DISCOs like reduced line losses and the population at large because of reduced load shedding. The utilization of RE-sources will also reduce dependencies of the imported fossil fuel hence reducing the trade deficit in long term. 


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