Sunday, April 14, 2024

Study by PRIED and Renewables First Severely Criticized by Participants for Fundamental Flaws

In what participants termed a closed door, one-sided and biased dialogue, the study by private entities PRIED & Renewables First received massive backlash from the audience for flawed research erroneous methodology with massive gaps in data management techniques. In a heated debate, participants also highlighted the disclaimer whereby both self-proclaimed think-tanks themselves cautioned the readers to not to trust the information being presented, and thereby raised severe doubts over the conclusions drawn in the report. Surprisingly, the disclaimer stated “The information presented in this technical report is based solely on publicly available data and resources. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented herein, we (Renewable First) cannot guarantee its completeness or timeliness. Readers are therefore advised that the conclusions and analyses drawn from the data are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, investment, or professional advice”.

The participants raised the questions on motives behind the effort as shady for the fact that the main stakeholder, in this case K-Electric, was not at all consulted. When contacted by the publication, the Spokesperson KE stated ” KE remains committed to achieving 30% renewables by 2030 in line with our submitted, publicly available plans developed based on ground dynamics, resources, and demand growth. We Cannot comment without review of the white paper by Renewables First which was shared with us only last night after repeated requests. Curiously, KE input or consultation was not sought in developing this study which the organizers have mentioned in disclaimer. We stand by our decision not to participate in events that lack constructive intent and deliberately exclude key stakeholders, including those the study is about, from making a fair contribution.”

What eye witnessed revealed the organizers agenda driven discussion. Based on intense conversation, the organizers also tried to wrap-up the closed-door conversation in haste when media also began to raise pertinent questions and whose responses were termed as totally baseless and unsatisfactory. When one of the participants raised concern about the impracticality of the study regarding completely missing out the angle of base-load for stable power supply, the question was completely ignored by the organizers.
Known industrialist and power sector expert, Rehan Javed also took to social media to unleash the backend malicious agenda behind the conversation, he said “Lack of representation from KE during the research and seminar raises concerns about the fairness of the findings. A unilateral decision without KE’s input seems more like lobbying than a genuine effort to improve the situation.”

He further stated “The portrayal of captive power plants as a solution overlooks their detrimental effects on Karachi’s energy landscape. Those benefiting from such setups are not the saviors they claim to be. Imagine one company generating 60 mw low price electricity which was the right of 25 million consumers of Karachi. It’s time for a shift towards a more sustainable and cost-effective energy mix as outlined in the [KE’s] Investment Plan and GoP should not waste time approving the plan.”

The report posited that Pakistan, with an estimated capacity to generate up to 50,000 MW from wind energy, has not fully tapped into this vast potential, particularly in Karachi. It also highlighted the significant decrease in the global Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) for utility-scale wind and solar projects over the previous decade, a trend from which Pakistan has benefited as well.

Participants at the seminar, however, questioned the report’s claims regarding the total reliance on renewable energy sources. They pointed out the inherent challenges associated with the variability of weather conditions and the absence of power generation during times when renewable resources are scarce, such as nighttime, which aligns with a peak in Karachi’s electricity demand.

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