Recording and presentations: Launch of the World Bank´s Pakistan Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) Locational Study

23 February 2021

Organized By:


1.Could you comment on the prospects for electric vehicles in Pakistan?,Maha Qasim

Electric Vehicles is not a subject coverable here

2.»»we need grants for power projects, as a third world countey we dont have money for power projects»»,Shahzad Shahid 

This is not the responsiblity of IFIs to take our burden. We must focus on our internal structural adjustments,»»I don’t agree with this statement. There are plenty of potential investors (Pakistani and foreign) for developing power projects in Pakistan, and much interest in solar and wind.»»,»»exactly my point Oliver. I was refering that we should not be relying on grants from WB, ADB etc»»»

3.»»Does NTDC has the enough gas peaking plants to compensate for fluctuating wind and solar in the power grid? In talking with different Technical experts in NTDC, there is a conception that our grid is very fragile to compensate for Renewable energy»»,khalid 

The generation from solar systems need to be stablized before allowed to run through the national grid.,respondida en vivo,We analysed the volatility induced by the additional solar and wind plants in detail. Interestingly the portfolio of 100+ plants needed to get to 30% share give a relatively stable production profile. Also PV production is nicely correlated with the expected demand. We found that even at 30% VRE the volatility of the net supply after subtracting VRE does not change from the non-VRE scenario.,»»For portfolio optimisation – did the study look into offshore wind developments, close to the urban load centres I.e. off the coast of Karachi?»»,pump storage hydropower is the answer,we have land availability issues»

4,We are promoting solar panels but is there any chance to consider recycling of e-waste into the projects?,Muhibullah Khan

Sure that is desierable. But it is not part of this study,Thank you

5,How to stabilise the solar generation? Solar generation is frequently fluctuating with respect to weather condition. What’s the way forward to avoid such fluctuation? Is there any technicality exist to control such fluctuations?,Dheeraj Sharma

Yes bro,»»pump storage «; «hydropower is the answer»»,»»Solar generation is depending on availability of light. The good thing is that deman is also correlated with light. We found out that solar production compensates for demand spikes quite nicely. Up to 30% VRE the volatility to be managed does not increase due to this fact. After 30%, so in distant future, large scale storage solution are probably useful.»»»

6,How can the private sector play a part in making the government’s 2030 vision of 30% RE in Pakistan’s energy mix?,Rehan Mazhary

«»Off course, there are models of PPP available.»»,»»According to Government policy the private sector will be responsible for developing, financing and operating all VRE capacity»»,can you be a bit more specific on how that would work?,Read it. The details are available on NEPRA»

7,Do you reference international standards in the reports that Oliver highlighted,Leon Drotsche 

8.Jhimpir Corridor was an average location for creation of wind energy. I don’t know why we promote that corridor so much?,Muhibullah Khan

Because the wind avalability is very good compared to other locations. The expected cost are lowest and also the grid utilization factor is very good,»»Gerwin, thats not true. There is average wind available in Jhimpir»»»

9.What about Transmission of the Renewable Energy?,Tanvir Ahmad

Could you be a bit more specific in your question? This report covers this issue but of course it is not a Transmission Masterplan

10.How about Energy Storage in the Grid to accomodate variable renewable energy?,Jehanzeb Nasir

«Yes this may be needed over time, and the balance between battery energy storage and other forms of reserves will depend on the relative costs. This may need further study, but there are higher priorities right now such as improved forecasting.»»,»»I am a Ph.D. Scholar at USPCAS-E NUST. «;My research topic is Pumped Storage Hydropower as a source of Energy Storage for the Integration of Variable Renewable Energy in the Grid.; «Can I get your help in this regard?»»,How will you find land and water both at a same location?»

11,»»In our system , we have problem that when Power is transmitted from long distance even from 220kV system, there is lot of voltage drop. So in Baluchistan we should not consider solar through National grid. It should be distributed through local network.»»,Mehdi ,answered live

12,»»DId you look at floating solar on large reservoirs? Related question, what was feasibility of joint hydro solar operation to improve dispatchability?»»,Anil Cabraal

«»Actually the World Bank is separately financing floating solar at Tarbela. For the rest of the country it is definitely worth exploring, either in the context of the substation capacity outlined in this report, or for specific opportunities such as on reservoirs in urban areas.»»,»»I believe these are all in Punjab or northwestern areas, but none are identified in the site identification map of the study.»»»

13,»»khushal khan (You): For portfolio optimisation – did the study look into offshore wind developments, close to the urban load centres I.e. off the coast of Karachi?»»,khushal khan

«»The World Bank Group has a global program on offshore wind. Unfortunately the technical potential in Pakistan is quite limited, so while it may be worth exploring in the future we do not believe it to be a near-term priority when compared against the excellent onshore wind potential. You can see the map here:«»»

14,Why is the kP potential is less when we have too much potential for solar,syed Babar

«»KP potential is good. However, in other regions the potential is even better. More sunshine hours, so lower cost for the same investment. On the other hand KP is very good for electricity from hydro.»»,Thats a good answer Gerwin,»»Thank you Mr. Gerwin, but the South of KP has more potential for solar and cost is not on high side due most baren land availible. Did anyone work on the wind corridor up in the North or south in KP»»,Thats not true. The wind potential is very low in South of KP»

15,»»Have you evaluated the cost of the inteconnexion necessary to connect all the new clusters? Given the actual financial situation of NTDC and the energy sector in general, does that plan seem realistic?»»,Andre.Larocque

A key conclusion of this report is that no major grid reinforcement is needed to reach 20% VRE capacity. So this is a very significant result!»

16,»»Hi Mr. Hassan, thanks for the presentation – Can you share about possible weak grid issues and mitigation proposed due to 20%/30% penetration of RE?»»,Zulfiqar Memon ,answered live

17,»»The concentration of VRE in some targeted clusters will enhance the need for a strong ancilary services availability, especially short term reserve to maintain the network integrity and stability…what mechanism is expected to be used to cover this nevralgic need?»»,Andre.Larocque ,answered live

,Hello Oliver. We can chat later this week if you want. I’m the COP for Sustainable energy for Pakistan. please contact me whenever you can.»

18,»»There is a surplus of produced electricity in Pakistan right now – without going into pricing or distribution issues – how do you see the required transformation from the existing fossil fuels (especially industrial PP) to VRE could happen? It will be about replacement processes and 5-10 years is quite short time after all. And if we assume it should be the private players to build it, these replacement process becomes even more complicated – financially, I mean. I know this is a big issue but would be nice to hear some thoughts around it.»»,Wille Eerola

Pakistan now has more capacity than demand for some time. That is good. But you do not need to run the capcity. Then you can save on fuel cost. And the fuel cost for the oil plants is very high. Thats you will save. This is cost efficient and was analysed in another study by WB.,»»True. But at the same time a lot of that total capacity is built by private companies, so the capacity is there with a certain cost. So switching into any more massive LRE supply in just 5-10 years, means that those equipment would be replaced. And furthermore, some of that energy is needed anyway – it’s not all-electricity only.»»»

19,»»I noticed there are no batteries involved, but cound that not utilize the grid capacity better if there where batteries to shift the load?»»,Bent

Yes battery storage may be needed in the longer term but it does not come up as a near-term viable option in the VRE Integration & Planning Study published in November. Available here:«

20,»»Panjgur is not on the national grid, I guess. What are the balancing options you considered for the Mekran regional grid.»»,Imran Ahmed

«For makran regional grid, QESCO and NTDC are making a master plan to connect all Gwadar and Makran area with the National Grid. The plan is already in the construction phase and is hopefull to be in place by end of 2022. As the first spot year is 2023 so the assumption is the connection would be available by that time.»»,»»Noted, thanks!»»»

21,»»In Punjgore study, in kw or mw»»,Bhatti 

22,what changes in existing grid infrastructures required to integrate 20% solar and wind and how must investment required.,Faiz Bhutta

«»None, as answered»»,»»Actually a key conclusion of the report is that 20% VRE can be quite easily accommodated if located near to substations with existing capacity. But there are also some recommendations in the report (and the previous report published in Nov 2020) on how to better incorporate solar and wind – for example, improved forecasting and investment in SCADA.»»»

23,While projecting for next 10 years have you assumed any efficiency gains in the Solar or Wind production?,Shahood Alam ,,»»We were more focused on the regional distribution and best cost, so it was not of concern to us if CAPEX for solar comes down by 10% or 5%.»»»

24,»»What is the status of the Wind & Solar hybrid policy for existing wind power plants? «; «who generally have the annual capacity factor of 30% to 35%.»»,Aitizaz Ahmed Malik

This is certainly possible assuming you mean the additional of solar around/near to existing wind parks. A very obvious opportunity.»

25,»»Where we are with the recommendations vs. current reality? It’s a provincial issue after all, I guess.»»,Wille Eerola ,,»»I would say that this is an issue that requires strong collaboration between federal agencies such as NTDC, the provincial energy departments, and the DISCOs. All need to play their part.»»»

26,i would like to ask question by voice,Shahzad Shahid

Unfortunately we don’t have that option on this webinar but if you put your question here we will do our best to answer it.

27,we hear frequent blowing up of gas pipelines in balochistan. what additional costs will be involved in installing RE in balochistan and maintaining/protecting them,Javeria

«»Those blowing up has reduced tremendously, if not completely eliminated, i guess.»»,Yes you are right muhibullah. The security situation has improved tremendously in Balochistan.»

28,»»Waseem Sb, why the blackout happened?»»,Muhibullah Khan 

29,»»What are NTDC’s plans to make the necessary grid upgrades to enable uptake of RE as per the VRE study? There is excess generation capacity right as per the GoP, so how will that be dealt with in the context of advocating for VRE investments as well as investments to enable 2030 targets?»»,Saima Qadir

«»There is no excess energy available. This feel has come out as the industries have closed down. Once they come up and running, the shortage will be evident.»»,We agree with Mr Khan that it is very risky to focus too much on short-term considerations. Electricity sector planning must look out 5-10 years since projects take a long time to come online. In that time horizon there is likely to be significant growth in demand.,thanks Oliver»

30,Have you ever considered using Passive Solar Energy Systems in the Construction industry to save on energy consumption at a National Level?,Shahood Alam

31,»»Would be great to let the audience know what are the results on dynamic stability of the system, specially reactive power balance of the system. Are these Aspects analysed in this first study of location of VRE. Thanks»»,Enrique ,answered live

32,Why is NTDC only looking at RE only within the context of new demand? Given power sector circular debt why isn’t fuel switching with RE being considered to lower cost of eletricity compared to current high cost fossil fuel imports?,Saima Qadir

,the objective is to meet 30% of total forecasted demand in 2030

33,»»Why we are not including Sindh in this study, NTDC ??»»,Abdul Basit

thats included,Sindh is included,»»Please refer to Annex 4, which goes into extra detail on Sindh province»»»

34,»»why world bank choose floating power in tarbela 5 project, when a lot of land is available»»,Shahzad Shahid

«»Actually floating solar has some interesting benefits compared to solar on land, and the cost differential is increasing very small. You may wish to refer to this report published by the World Bank on floating solar:»»,»»sorry, in real time, floating power plants are much expensive and thier maintenance is quite difficult»»,worldbank is not keeping in view the coat and maintenance of tarbela 5 floating power.»

35,»»My question to Mr. Waseem, can you please explain a little bit more on recommendation of removing category III projects from the report?»»,Fozan Waheed ,answered live

36,what does Category 3 means? and it’s capacity in term of power generation?,Asfand Ali

«»yes, it is an average capacity hence not highly recommended. Jhimpir is one of those.»»,The Cabinet Committe has divided the Renewable projects based on their status into 3 categories. Out of which category 1 and 2 are already given go ahead. But category 3 would go for competetive bidding. The Quantum is about more than 6000 MW.,Thanks Umair for clarification :)»

37,We need to upgrade the tramission lines,Muhibullah Khan

Definitely the upgradation of the transmission lines would be required to integerate these VRE with the grid system. So as such all the grid updates planned by DISCO and NTDC has already been considered and over and above new reinforcements has also been proposed wherever required.

38,»»Did the grid study include the hosting capacity approach , by analyzing the running loads at grid stations and distributed captive generation being added in the system (Solar PV) ?? You have more and more captive solar PV being added in industries ?»»,Samir Ahmad

39,Please let us know if NTDC is sharing the network model (raw file) to Investors who are interested to re-analyse the location of a future VRE power plant.,Enrique

NTDC shares the files with the consultant carrying out the studies for the specific power plant and not with the investors. So far this practice has been adopted.

40,»»only mega solar power plant Quaid-e-azam solar power Bahawalpur, is providing only 34MW in summers whereas Expected power was 100mw»»,Shahzad Shahid

This ni not correct. Wiht good sunshine QA planst is producing 85 MW. The missing 15 MW are conversion losses which have been factored in right from beginning,even it gave 17MW at times»

42,whats the current capacity of the grid to absorb current levels of VRE already installed in the country? and whats the maximum level that can be absorbed without increasing investments in transmission?,Rehan Mazhary

«This is exactly what this study answers, combined with our report published in November 2020:«»»

43,which source has high diversity of generation technology in pakistan as per VRE survey,naeem.anwar

44,»»oliver, when u have ample space of land in pakistan, why WB choose floating power plants in tarbela, trist me their maintenance is lot difficult from land settled solar module arrays»»,Shahzad Shahid

«»Please see the other answer I just provided on this issue. Actually there are good reasons to explore floating solar. For example, the efficiency is often higher due to the cooling effect of the water.»»,The existing transmission infrastructure as well as complementary flexible hydropower resource also makes floating solar a good option for Pakistan.»

45,Any BESS system is consider in the VRE locational Study?,Omer Iqbal

Please see the other two answers I have provided on BESS.

46,What is the input energy density (in kW per meter square) in Baluchistan incident from the Sun during Summer days? What is the conversion efficiency (output / input) of the plants you are considering for installation?,Shahood Alam, answered live

47,»»if solar will be added to existing wind power plants, then how the hybrid tariff will be decided?»;
«because the existing wind power plant has a very high tariff compared to the current solar tariff?»»,Aitizaz Ahmed Malik

«»I don’t think the proposal is to combine them in that way. The idea is to co-located them. With competitive bidding it is possible that bids could be received for a project that includes solar and wind, and the tariff proposed could combine them into a single offer. With competitive bidding such issues become a lot easier to deal with.»»»

48,»»As RE are mostly integrated by 132kV managed by DISCOs, Do you think that DISCOs have the capacity to manage and conduct studies to integrate renewable energy?»»,khalid

You are right. DISCOs needs some capacity building to carry out all such studies and have the capacity to review and analyze these studies. DISCOs have been trained several times but still capacity building is reqiured.»

49,What is the Return On Investment on these renewable energy projects and how it will relate to the tariff in the coming years,HKarim

«»Tariff in coming years will hopefully be subject to competitive bidding, so cannot be predicted. But bidding developers will set their desired RoI and then bid accordingly.»»»

50,This study took 18 long months!?,Gary

«»Yes, such studies always take a long time (unfortunately!). The work itself is perhaps 9-12 months but then there is a lot of consultation needed, plus preparation of the final report. But of course we share the results with key stakeholders while the work is ongoing so the work is able to inform policy even before the report is published.»»,»»I have read the study and it is amazing, Gary. You may read it too.»»»

51,How much reserves are currently avaiable in NTDC System?,Omer Iqbal

«Currently the reserve is avalable at a few power plants, mostly on Hydel and newly added thermal power plants in the Mid Country and in South.»»»

52,»»if solar will be added to existing wind power plants, then how the hybrid tariff will be decided?»;
«because the existing wind power plant has a very high tariff compared to the current solar tariff?»»,Aitizaz Ahmed Malik , answered live

53,we have today generation of 35000 MW and demand is 8000 to 9000 MW. how generation and demand gap will me managed.,Faiz Bhutta

«»Generation is not always 35000 MW and so with the loads that it will remain at 9000 MW. As its winter, load is lower and so is the Hydel Generation. So the installed capacity and the available capacity should be dealt accordingly. As against 35000 MW in summer the demand is around 26000 MW.»»»

54,»»With competitive bidding, one of the VRE may be preferred over the other? is that true?»»,Muhibullah Khan

«»And, that might not be a good idea, i believe.»»,»»This is a policy decision. The Government could decide to just do competitive bidding for solar or wind, or they could keep it open. These issues will be explored in our upcoming VRE Competitive Bidding Study.»»,Thanks Oliver»

55,»»what are the key pros and cones of the solar energy generation on environment, what will be impact of domestic level inclusion on economic sustainability?»»,WB545013

«»In both cases solar (and wind) are very positive. They have zero greenhouse gas emissions and are likely to be cheaper than the basket cost of power. With competitive bidding very low costs could be achieved, as seen in UAE and India.»»»

56,What’s source was used for the hourly wind and solar resource data?,Kim Keats

backround data on global wind atlas and solargis

57,»»We were involved quite deeply with hybrid (solar-wind) talksand proposals in Pakistan years back and in those times the challenge was the price of unit produced vs. the average price of the whole energy basket. Obviously the price of electricity produced especially with solar has come down quite dramatically but how do you see this profitability issue? Yes, there are all the climate and sustainability related issues too but (unfortunately) money (often) talks after all….»»,Wille Eerola ,answered live

58,By looking in to only grid availability could mislead the analysis because it would not pinpoint the exact potential of the area for VRE. As already mentioned by the panelist that only energy resource could not be the only criterion to select a site for VRE Plant installation then how could someone will justify only grid avaiability for potential site identification?,Anwar Zeb

Good point. We actually included both in the analysis; using grid capacities as the overall constraint and irradiation etc for determining the financial attractiveness / LCOE.

59,What is realistic timeline for category 3 bidding?,Harris Zaman

60,»»in real time floating solar is very expensive and maintenance is difficult, so why worldbank choose floating instead of rigid solar array modules, alot of land available in pakistan»»,Shahzad Shahid

I have already answered this question.»

61,Thanks Mr. Gerwin & Mr. Oliver,Abdul Basit 

62,The peak demand may change as soon as we have more energy in the system? So the model will essentially fail?,Muhibullah Khan 

63,»»The hosting capacity at a connection point for a VRE plant can be increased by de-coupling LV from MV by using an On-Load Tap-Changer for example. Does this study cover technological solutions for short-term VRE goals, that could be implemented on plant level, without requiring grid reinforcements?»»,Waqas Hussain

64,Thank you. Can we quantify in numbers please. Also how much reserves are considered in VRE locational study.,Omer Iqbal

Please refer to the report we published in November 2020:

65,What is the best approach to hook up VRE (Solar) within facility (small distances) with LV or MV.,WB545013 ,answered live

66,Have you evaluated the possibility of reflectors used to heat-up a large reservoir and run a heat turbine from the heated water as compared to the photo-voltaic cells?,Shahood Alam

«»Not in this study. However, the solar thermal technology has expected cost of some 8-10 cts US /kWh at bets locations. pv and wind are 50% of that. but solar themal has dispatchable power that might justify the additional cost»»,»»Thank you, Gerwin.»»»

67,»»Can you please explain that based on what load growth level (GDP) you have recommended Short term, MEdium Term and Long term Scenario? IF the load growth isnt as per your assumptions then all the number will certainly change delaying the inclusion of RE into the system due to T&D upgradation»»,Faizan

It was around 7% on average up to 2030″

68,How do you see the potential of minigrids and microgrids impacting on the penetration of VREs?,Hayden

69,»»‘@Oliver, what is the view of World Bank Group on funding additional RE projects in Pakistan in the coming decade ?»»,Umair Ahmed ,answered live

70,Are the utility processes (Disco) and standard agreements (for net metering) are in place to support smaller Distributed Generation?,Gunjan Gautam 

71,»»30% of the population is not connected to the grid in Pakistan, how can we bring electricity to those ~60 Mn people ?»»,Umair Ahmed ,answered live

72,Do we have any idea of probable auction prices for solar projects? And when should we expect reverse auction happening in future?,khalid ,answered live

73,»»Considering there is no mention of any upcoming VRE technologies e.g. hydrogen etc. in the forecasted energy mix, please provide clarity on why is that the case ? Probably because those will not be cost competitive with existing, mature VRE technologies?»»,Umair Ahmed 

74,»»For Oliver: How realistic are government expectation of the PPA prices. Govt expects 2-4 cents/kWh PPA prices with such high country and political risk etc, what are your comments»»

75,Government has reduced tarrif and involved competitive bidding. Even energy plant owners are asked to reduce their existing prices. Do you see growth of wind projects with such small tariff rates or Govt focus on increasing tariff is more beneficial?,Adeel Khan 

76,»»a considerable population is under the dark at any time of day due to revenue load shedding. from 2 to 12 hours load shedding in these areas despite the excess capacity, revival of these areas through game changer renewable energy is under consideration?»»,Amjad

Short answer: yes!»

77,»»WB, PPI, 8.2″;» Good session and effort.»»,Salman Nazir 

78,»»Hi, this is Hasssan from Tekcellent Pvt. Ltd. How do you think we can address climate change disasters and the affect that it can have on installed renewables? a recent example is the unprecedented snow in Germany and all panels were covered.»»,Hassaan 

79,Thanks for really informative Presentation and expected more in Future.,Zulfiqar Memon 

80,thanks for the webinar,Rehan Mazhary

81,good job,Rehan Mazhary

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