The Great Debate on Net-Metering “Net-Metering can supplement the grid with additional power that can reduce the energy supply-demand gap”
To bridge the energy supply-demand gap, the Government placed the Net-Metering policies into effect in 2015, yet the country still awaits the execution of these policies. The Net-Metering concept allows private and industrial clients to produce their own Solar power and share their surplus electricity with the national grid. This concept has not yet been implemented because the electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) – who are the buyers of this electricity – are still working on some technical and commercial concerns.
Inam ur Rahman, CEO, Reon Energy Limited stated, “Net-Metering can supplement the grid with additional power that can reduce the energy supply-demand gap and will also bring down the cost of energy for the consumer. It will also decrease the load on the overall transmission and distribution system. Each rooftop and open space can act as a solar generator. Pakistan is one of the best countries in the world for rooftop solar – almost 1.5 times better than Germany.” Reon is a part of the Dawood Hercules Limited – the single largest and most diversified private sector energy provider in Pakistan. “As soon as the DISCOs finalize their net-metering requirements, we will all observe a rapid implementation of Solar on rooftops all over the country. However, we all have to be careful that only the right quality infrastructure and equipment is used for faultless and immediate integration of solar technology.” Inam further added, “We are working with banks to come up with financial solutions that will allow everyone to have the solar generation on their rooftop. It will soon become as common as leasing a motorcycle or buying a refrigerator on installments. The saving on energy bills will be enough to pay back the cost.”
The recently held convention at the ‘Institute for Policy Studies’, on “Net Metering – An Alternate Source of Power for Electricity Consumers” discussed the very reasons of having this policy fulfilled. The discussion underlined the need for energy supply-demand gap study and short & long term financial benefits for DISCOS to expedite the implementation process.
The experts suggested some regulatory changes, provision of clear guidelines for installation, and also urged the authority to conduct an in-depth study of the effects of net-metering on the national grid. Net-metering in Pakistan is currently going through an experimental phase. Each region and individual DISCO will have to adopt a customized policy, according to the requirements and commercial dynamics of the region, to ensure the success of net-metering across the country.