Islamabad: Pakistan has received a record USD 3 billion investment in renewable energy sector over the past one year as the government seeks to ensure energy security in the country. Pakistan has become a choice destination of investors because of the potential in this sector, robust policy framework, lucrative tariff structures and bankable security documents, said Amjad Ali Awan, CEO Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB).

“The government is taking steps to harness the potential of renewable energy, diversify energy mix and ensure energy security,” Awan was quoted as saying by the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).

Awan cited promotion and development of renewable energy technology as the main factor behind record investment in the sector. He said that resource assessment of wind, solar and biomass had been carried out in the country with the assistance of the World Bank’s energy sector management assistance programme.

The AEDB has so far issued over 25 letters of interest to solar energy projects having an accumulative capacity of 663 megawatts, Awan said, adding that the projects would start commercial operation by 2018.

Pakistan has been grappling with acute energy crisis for a long time. In July, the country’s financial capital Karachi plunged into darkness twice due to power failures at multiple sites. The blackouts along with heatwave had claimed over 1,000 lives in the country.

Pakistan is currently importing 35 MW of electricity from Iran to meet requirements of Gwadar. India has expressed its intent to export electricity to the tune of 500 MW to Pakistan if infrastructure for transmission of power is made available.