ISLAMABAD - Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Chief Operating Officer Asjad Imtiaz Ali said Tuesday that up to 1,000 megawatt wind power would be added to national grid by March 2015, while another 1,000 megawatt solar energy will be added by 2016.

In an interview with The Nation, he admitted that Alternative Energy Development Board was not doing its job according to its mandate but he claimed that PML-N-led govt was taking every possible step to expedite such projects so that electricity shortfall could be reduced and masses could get some relief from long hours of power cuts. He said policies of government would determine future of any project.

“The approach of the government is pro-project, for example recently Nepra facilitated investors by extending tariff time till 24th April, this will give investors enough time to complete their deals with the banks,” Ali said.

Nepra recently extended the date for wind power companies to achieve financial closure by March 2015. The previous date to achieve financial closure was September 30, 2014. Investors have been requesting to extend the date. According to investors, it was impossible for the projects, which got their tarrif determination on 24th April, to complete financial closure in five months.

Ali hoped that this decision of Nepra would help execute more wind projects.

“There are so many projects we are working on, collectively I can say, up to 1,000 megawatt wind energy will be added to national grid by March 2015.

Talking about other alternative energy projects, he said renewable energy mapping was going on and this project would be completed by next year.

“Energy mapping will be very helpful for investors in getting finance from the banks,” he said.

World Bank is executing renewable energy mapping project. Solar energy mapping has been completed whereas wind energy mapping is in final stage.

“In renewable energy, mapping meters are installed which exactly tell how much solar or wind energy can be harnessed at a particular place and on the basis of this data it is quiet easy to get bank loans,” Ali explained.

He said work on 100 MW solar energy pilot projects in Cholistan Bahawalpur has been started and by 2016 solar park will start generating 1,000 MW electricity.

Investors appreciated ambitious plans of AEDB and recent decision of Nepra but opined that in order to execute AEDB plans timely, bureaucratic procedures must be minimised. “For alternative energy project you have to get energy purchase agreement from NTDC, whereas IA is issued by AEDB, if both documents are issued from one office say AEDB, three to four months can be saved, an investor expressed his reaction to The Nation.