Solar, Wind, Coal Power Costlier Than Oil; Hydro Power Cheapest: Data

BE2C2 Report: Jul 2, 2016 — Hydroelectric power is the cheapest, cleanest and the most environment-friendly source of energy that plays a pivotal role in stabilizing electricity tariff in the country, it has emerged.

According to data available from the Central Power Purchasing Agency about per unit cost of electricity generation from different sources in March 2016, the cost stood at only Rs1.94 for hydroelectric power, which was far less than the cost of other sources – renewable and non-renewable.

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The cost was Rs8.71 per unit for gas, Rs11.41 for residual furnace oil, Rs18.60 for high-speed diesel, Rs8.98 for IPPs, Rs12.13 for coal, Rs7.27 for nuclear, Rs16.37 for wind, Rs11.90 for bagasse, Rs22.03 for solar and Rs10.53 for electricity import from Iran.

Wapda said it owns 19 hydel power stations with cumulative generation capacity of 6,902 megawatts – one-third of the total installed capacity in Pakistan.

Hydroelectric power plants all over the world have average life span of 30 to 35 years, but Wapda says it is still successfully operating its power stations, majority of which are far older than their average life.

In a press statement, Wapda said these hydro power stations supplied 33.154 billion units of low-cost electricity in fiscal year 2015-16, which is the highest-ever generation level from this source in the country.

It eclipsed the previous record of 31.5 billion units achieved in 2014-15, says a press release.

Statistics show the hydroelectric power produced and supplied by Wapda stations to the national grid in FY16 was higher by 1,600 million units, or 5%, when compared with the electricity generated in FY15.

Apart from increased water releases from Tarbela and Mangla reservoirs, effective operation and consistent maintenance of the hydel stations were the main contributing factors behind the record electricity production, it said.

250 mini hydropower projects to be functional in KP by end 2016

About 250 mini and micro hydropower projects (MHPs) will become fully operational and functional to provide electricity to around 245,000 people in hilly areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through community-based local institutional mechanisms by the end of 2016.

This was announced by heads of various NGOs/firms working on the construction of MHPs while speaking at a joint press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Sunday.

They said that people living in the remote localities in Chitral, Dir and Battagram districts have welcomed launching of the MHPs as they did not have power supply since inception of the country. Though power supply lines passed through different localities, some villages in these districts were not given electricity for unknown reasons,” they said.

(Based on reporting in Dawn, Express Tribune)

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