The News reported that World Bank signed a financing agreement with Pakistan to extend USD 100 million for “Sindh Solar Energy Project” with the objective of enhancing renewable generation and availability of power to the people in the province, where electricity accessibility rate was alarmingly lower at 37 percent. An official statement said the project would support the deployment of solar power in Sindh spanning three market segments, which are: utility scale, distributed generation, and households.
Utility scale segment 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 50 MW pilot solar auction, the statement said.
It added that distributed power included at least 20 MW of distributed solar photovoltaic panels on the rooftops and other available space on and around public sector buildings in Karachi, Hyderabad and other districts of the province.
The project, which aims to provide solar home systems to 200,000 households in areas with low or no electricity access, will cost USD 105 million.
It further said International Development Association would extend financing of USD 100.0 million for the project, while the government of Sindh would contribute USD 5.0 million.
The project is said to introduce and showcase international best practice 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, it said, had been designed to help steer Pakistan toward a lower-carbon path to development.
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