PM Seeks Ambitious Renewable Energy Strategy to Cut Oil Bill

PM Seeks Ambitious Renewable Energy Strategy to Cut Oil Bill

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in a directive issued on Monday, urged authorities to implement robust management strategies for renewable energy. The aim is to alleviate the burden of the country’s hefty $27 billion oil import bill and enhance the efficiency of the existing electricity distribution network.

Highlighting the significance of tapping into renewable energy sources, the prime minister emphasized the need to break free from the grip of the crude oil tanker mafia, which he described as parasitic entities draining the nation’s resources. He emphasized that the country’s substantial oil imports, primarily for power and transportation, could be substantially reduced by transitioning to alternative energy sources.

Commending the efforts of the Punjab government in combating power theft, Prime Minister Sharif expressed optimism that other provinces would follow suit in addressing this challenge. He instructed the energy ministry to seek guidance from renowned consultants to devise strategies for enhancing the country’s power transmission infrastructure.

During a separate meeting, the prime minister urged officials to implement decisive measures, including the relocation of coal-fired plants dependent on imported fuel to utilize local coal resources. Additionally, he emphasized the importance of improving the power supply system, establishing cost-effective renewable energy plants, and accelerating the implementation of solar projects to reduce the cost of electricity for consumers.

The meeting also focused on expediting the progress of a 600 MW solar power project and accelerating the auction process for dysfunctional power plants owned by Power Generation Companies (Gencos).

Attendees were briefed on the current power generation capacity, supply infrastructure, and the government’s initiatives and plans. It was highlighted that transitioning coal-fired power plants from imported fuel to local coal would not only conserve foreign exchange reserves but also lead to a potential reduction of Rs2 per unit in electricity prices for consumers.

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