ISLAMABAD: The United States will explore ways and means to assist Power Division (PD) in establishment of Pakistan’s First Renewable Energy Institute and also share the expertise of the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory to enable it to work as per international standards.

This was indicated by the US Ambassador to Pakistan, David Hale who met Federal Minister for Power Division, Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari on Tuesday. The US will also consider assisting Pakistan in the formulation of National Energy Policy and National Electricity Plan.

On February 15, 2018, Senate Standing Committee on Energy had approved PPIB (amendment) Bill 2017 with slight amendments which will be resubmitted to National Assembly for approval. The establishment of Energy Institute is part of the amended Bill.

During the meeting the federal minister for Power Division informed the US ambassador that the government has initiated the process of interaction with all the provinces and the federating units for formulation of Energy Policy and the National Electricity Plan. In this regard, the government has also decided to take into consideration various proposals of the power sector potential stakeholders including the service providers during the formulation of the policy and plan.

The minister appreciated the US General Electric Company for its repowering initiative proposal that includes conversion or rehabilitation of the existing power generation units across Pakistan. He said that he has asked GE to be part of the process of energy policy and electricity plan.

The federal minister underscored the need for deep cooperation between Pakistan and the USA in the renewable energy sector. He said that renewable energy is the only way forward to meet the energy requirements of Pakistan.

The minister also informed the US ambassador on the progress made so far by the Power Division for establishment of Pakistan First Renewable Energy Institute. He said that LUMS has also shown keen interest to house the institute, and has sent it’s proposal in this regard. He said that HEC and AEDB are finalizing which university in Pakistan to house the Institute.

The US ambassador appreciated the Power Division’s initiative for establishment of the Renewable Energy Institute. He also underscored enhanced cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector.

The US ambassador also assured that a focal person for energy in the US Embassy will be appointed soon who will frequently interact with his counterpart in the Power Division.

The US is extending substantial financial assistance to Pakistan in power sector through USAID.