Microgrids: Key to lighting up Pakistan’s rural areas

In Pakistan, the penetration of microgrids, except in the northern part of Pakistan, remain low as business models for commercially viable operations of off-grid RE projects are not well established. Very few microgrid projects were found to be sustainable in the long run as they relied heavily on grants and subsidies from the government and/or donor agencies falling into problems of inadequate operation and maintenance and lack of cost recovery.

Saadia Qayyum

Governments, private developers, and NGOs throughout the world are increasingly pursuing micr grids to electrify communities that are unlikely to be served in the near or medium term by extension of central grid. These microgrids provide a range of services, from residential lighting alone to entertainment, refrigeration and productive commercial uses like milling. Their flexibility in terms of sizing, resource utilization and management makes them highly adaptable to local needs and conditions.

In Pakistan, the penetration of microgrids, except in the northern part of Pakistan, remain low as business models for commercially viable operations of off-grid RE projects are not well established. Very few microgrid projects were found to be sustainable in the long run as they relied heavily on grants and subsidies from the government and/or donor agencies falling into problems of inadequate operation and maintenance and lack of cost recovery.

Notwithstanding these issues, increased deployment of microgrids in…

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