KARACHI: The UK-funded Karandaaz on Wednesday announced to invest over £15 million for the promotion of renewable energy generation and efficiency measures in Pakistani businesses, a statement said.
This initiative is the part of the Department for International Development (DFID) Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) programme. The SEED programme will work with firms, businesses, and financial institutions to demonstrate the financial viability of enhancing investments in clean energy and energy efficiency improvements, it said.
Joanna Reid, head of DFID Pakistan, and Ali Sarfraz, chief executive officer of Karandaaz Pakistan, signed the agreement. Karandaaz board of director’s chairperson, Dr Shamshad Akhtar was also present on the occasion.
Reid said that less than four percent of Pakistan’s electricity is generated from renewable sources. “We are working to change that. I believe that this investment in sustainable energy will go a long way in promoting energy-efficient and environment-friendly options for businesses, and at the same time, help generate more jobs and achieve greater prosperity.”
Dr Akhtar said that economic and urban development is a national priority for Pakistan. With 39 percent of the population residing in cities, Pakistan is not only the most urbanised, but also the fastest urbanising country in South Asia. Pakistani cities’ contribution to its GDP growth; however, is much lower than in peer countries, she said.
“It has been estimated by the IFC that as much as 11-14 percent of the en’ergy utilised in Pakistan could be saved through conservation and efficiency measures, which is equivalent to two hours of power supply each day,” she added.
“This grant from DFID will help bridge the financing gap and enable the emergence of sustainable and efficient ene’rgy for Pakistan’s private sector, resulting in more vibrant and economically friendly cities, more competitive businesses and more jobs all leading to Pakistan moving closer to its targets as set under SDGs,” she added.
Sarfraz said, “Karandaaz is proud to have established itself in a short span of time as a trusted partner of DFID to implement this additional focused financing programme for sustainable energy and energy efficiency in Pakistan.”
(This news/article originally appeared in The News on August 8th, 2019)