Evaluating the emissions impact and economic feasibility of coal power plants under CPEC in Pakistan

  • File ACJCE
  • File Apr 1, 2020 - May 31, 2020


Pakistan has always been known for the immense renewable energy potential it possesses. The technological revolution for solar and wind energy worldwide has reduced the costs of generating electricity from renewable means immensely, making them competitive with traditional forms of cheap energy generation such as coal and natural gas and that too without any form of financial subsidy. Yet the decisions of the previous government have forced the country to rely on expensive coal-based power generation which will be locked in for years to come. What is more concerning is that planned capacity additions for the future would be following the same direction. This study carries out an economic and environmental comparison of the coal fired power projects to be added through the China Pakistan Economic Corridor with solar and wind-based energy generation in Pakistan to gauge the economic comparability of renewable energy against coal-based generation and argue against bringing on additions of fossil-based generation technologies to the national grid. In addition, the study also maps out a future business as usual power generation scenario for the country based on the Integrated Generative Capacity Expansion Plan (2018-2040) used by the national electricity regulator for power planning and capacity additions to the grid. Alternate generation scenarios are then worked out for the country where coal based generation is replaced with solar and wind energy or natural gas and the economic implications of such swaps are calculated. The effect these changes would have on the carbon emissions portfolio of the country are also mapped out to put into perspective the environmental sustainability of each of these generation scenarios for public policy makers.

  • CPEC
  • CPEC emissions
  • Pakistan
  • Renewable coal parity in Pakistan
  • Renewable energy
  • Thar Coal