LAHORE: In what can be termed a matter of pride and privilege for the country, Pakistan ranked 3rd in the world for newly installed hydropower capacity.
International Hydropower Association (IHA) has declared in its recently issued report titled “2019: Hydropower Status Report – Sector Trends and Insights”.
Formed under the auspices of UNESCO in 1995 as a forum to promote and disseminate good practice about hydropower, IHA champions continuous improvement and sustainable practices across the sector.
Listing down top 20 countries by newly installed capacity, the IHA states in its report that Pakistan manages to add 2487 MW of environment-friendly hydel electricity in 2018 following China and Brazil at the first and second rung that added 8540 MW and 3866 MW to their systems respectively.
Turkey with an addition of 1085 MW and Angola with an addition of 668 MW remained at 4th and 5th positions respectively as far as newly installed hydro capacity is concerned. The neighbouring India stood at the 8th position that could succeeded in adding 535 MW hydel electricity to its system recently.
Pakistan Hydropower Projects
As far as recent addition of hydropower in Pakistan is concerned, Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) steadfastly moved ahead during the year 2018 to regain glory of its past, as it successfully completed and commissioned three long-delayed mega hydropower projects with cumulative generation capacity of 2487 MW. With commissioning of the 108 MW-Golen Gol, the 1410 MW-Tarbela 4th Extension and the 969 MW-Neelum Jhelum hydropower projects in 2018, the installed generation capacity of WAPDA hydroelectric power surged to 9389 MW from 6902 MW, registering an increase of 36 percent in just one year. Prior to this, WAPDA could manage to take its hydel generation to 6902 MW in 59 years of its inception from the year 1958 to 2017.
It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan has an identified potential of generating 60000 MW of low-cost hydel electricity. In order to harness this potential, WAPDA plans to add 828 MW hydropower generation capacity up to 2025 in short term, another 5653 MW power generation up to 2030 in medium term and 6245 MW generation capacity up to 2050 in long term with completion of its various projects.