ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had fulfilled its obligation of ending severe power load shedding and added 10,000 MWs of reliable, sustainable and cheap electricity to the national grid.

Addressing a ceremony to launch consumer-friendly Net-Metering Framework here at the Comsats Institute of Information Technology, the prime minister said, before 2013, the various governments were only able to generate 20,000 MWs of electricity in 66 years however, in only a period of four years the PML-N government had added 10,000 MWs of electricity.

He said that projects to add another 15,000 MWs of electricity were in the pipeline, adding this generation capacity would be enough to meet the needs of the country till the year 2030.

Under the formal launch of an upgraded consumer friendly Net-Metering Framework, even domestic consumers would be able to sell their surplus solar energy to the local power-distribution companies and earn up to 14 per cent profit to enable them recover their investment and help the country meet its energy needs. The Comsats Institute of Information Technology has become the first public-sector university to add 100 KW of solar power to the national grid.

Prime Minister Abbasi said the streamlined system of net metering would provide incentives to the common people to not only generate solar energy for their personal use, but also sell it to the government and get good returns.

"The potential is vast and would lead to better returns on their investments," Abbasi said, and added that the country was now utilising a healthier diversified energy mix of hydel, nuclear, coal, LNG powered besides solar and wind generation. The prime minister said that today the quantum of loadshedding had drastically reduced as the demand-supply gap had diminished and the only issues were related to transmission and distribution constraints that were being addressed.

"Now our challenge is to make the system more efficient, reliable and cheap," he added. The prime minister termed the launch of the improved net-metering system, a milestone, and said though not new, yet it would go a long way in helping the government provide cleaner energy to those consumers who were not generating their own power.

He said Pakistan would now be a step closer towards achieving its global climate change commitments. Minister for Energy (Power Division) Sardar Awais Ahmed Leghari described the new concept as a bold step by the government, and said it was exploring all avenues of power generation.  He said that in this regard a new legislation was in the final stages to come up with a new five-year National Electricity Plan that would provide a roadmap for future power generation projects, pricing issues and set highest standards for power consumers.

Leghari said net metering was a successful international phenomenon and was financially viable for household users.

He said the processing time had now been cut from around six months to less than a month and had been simplified.

The energy minister said the quality of services and products for the system through certified vendors had also been standardised and the information was available from the website of the Alternative Energy Development Board.

He said Pakistan was playing its due role in the global efforts to reduce overall green house emissions and combating the serious challenge of climate change.

Leghari was optimistic that net metering would help add around 2,000-3,000 MW of electricity to the national grid.

He said the new process had now been streamlined to enable the small consumers get a net metering connection in around a month's time, instead of the earlier cumbersome over six-month long period.

Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain said the use of renewable energy was part of the country's Vision 2025 for diversifying the energy mix initiative.

He was appreciative of the Comsats Institute for Information Technology for taking a leading role, and said it had seven fully-functional campuses across the country and was one of the leading universities of the country.

Hussain also mentioned the role of Rector Dr Raheel Qamar and its founder Dr S M Junaid Zaidi.

The net metering system can now be installed by any domestic or commercial consumer by submitting a simplified form to the local SDO and the term for the contract has now been extended to seven years from the initial three years.