CPEC focuses on tapping Pak green energy ability

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ISLAMABAD: China and Pakistan are increasingly focused on developing greener sources of energy as part of their commitment to offsetting the effects of global warming, reports WealthPK.
Under the second phase of the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Beijing has expressed its commitment to laying a framework for green energy development in Pakistan to help the country achieve environmental sustainability
It is important to note here that the first phase of CPEC addressed the energy problems of Pakistan and also laid out the basic communication infrastructure for stimulating growth. The unique aspect of CPEC projects, notably the power generation, is that they are environmentally benign and did not cause significant damage to environment during their construction and operation.
Talking about China’s focus on developing green energy projects in Pakistan, Adnan Khan, a CPEC Authority official, told WealthPK that Beijing was making significant progress towards green and low-carbon development by launching a number of hydel, wind and solar projects in the country.
According to the official, renewable energy projects launched under CPEC are expected to cut annual carbon dioxide emissions by around 3.5 million tonnes, and will also boost clean energy production mix and optimise the energy consumption structure.
The CPEC Authority official maintained that initially the focus was on power generation through coal to sustain the baseload. However, now the renewable energy initiatives are being given a priority to help Pakistan cut back on its share in greenhouse gas emissions.
The CPEC Authority official told WealthPK that the Sahiwal power plant in eastern Punjab generated 1,320 megawatts of environment-friendly electricity. “It is the first power plant to use the supercritical technology for energy generation to be able to limit greenhouse emissions considerably.”
The official maintained that the Alternative Energy Development Board was also focusing on creating conducive environment for renewable energy development for sustainable economic growth. “This will address the country’s economic and environmental issues and promote sustainable energy production.”
The CPEC Authority official highlighted that such steps reflected Pakistan’s commitment to attaining 30% renewable energy mix by 2030. The official said that tree plantations were also being carried out along the CPEC routes to ensure that industrial expansion did not endanger environment.
It is heartening that the share of renewable energy in Pakistan’s total energy mix has considerably improved under the CPEC. What needs to be done is to further build on the initiatives to make Pakistan greener and cleaner in the years to come.
It is an opportune time for Pakistani authorities to get as much benefit as possible from the Chinese expertise to fend off the environmental challenges the country is facing under global warming. – INP