PROFILE Mr. Kashif Mateen Ansari is a Harvard alumnus and he has served as a member of the executive board of Harvard Club of Pakistan in 2012. Kashif brings along more than 20 years of diversified experience of leadership and management. He held the position of Director Finance and CFO of Askari Group , a diversified business group of the country and then attained the position of Chief Operating Officer there. As COO, he was the business head of the Askari Group , which owned more than 30 companies with total staff strength of over 13,000 in Cement, Banking, Investment, Insurance, Leasing, Pharmaceutical, Aviation, Oil and Gas, IT and Agriculture sectors. In this capacity, he modernized and transformed the group. As a consequence, Askari Group made a tremendous turnaround. He has served at the Board of Directors for many companies. He has travelled extensively and has represented his organizations around the globe for multiple assignments. He has presented papers on various national and international forums. Currently, he is CEO of Sachal Energy Development , which is a wind power IPP in Pakistan . His professional interests include his work as a trainer and a freelance consultant at the international level. Apart from being a practicing negotiator, he is a very respectable trainer of negotiation and change management. He is actively engaged in philanthropy. He is part of a team that has developed residential and educational facilities for special children in Rawalpindi and Islamabad . Currently, he is raising funds for a campus for special children in Islamabad . He is actively involved in education and in collaboration with "Thinkers Forum Pakistan". He has institutionalized a scholarship programme for professional students from low income areas of Pakistan . PAGE: DO YOU THINK ENERGY CRISIS COULD BE SOLVED IN A YEAR OR SO IN PAKISTAN ? KINDLY GIVE YOUR VIEWS: KASHIF MATEEN ANSARI : I think the energy crisis in Pakistan is one of the big challenges facing this nation. It is indeed a great crisis having emanating from the inaction of past governments and a lack of coherent strategy. Though we have been self-sufficient in the policies that have been formulated but the will to execute those policies with sincere efforts had been missing. I am quite hopeful that this energy crisis can be tackled in a fairly short span of time provided actions are taken on war footing. There are many issues at the heart of this problem and the foremost is the inaction and red-tapism. The irony is that corruption is punished but inaction resulting in total stagnation of the whole economy goes without any accountability. Then there are issues related to financing and availability of funds. Further we have to take into account the obvious reasons of law and order, which include the threat of terrorism. These issues are hindering the proper development of new projects in the power sector. The reasons that are at the core of this crisis also provide an answer to the question. If we notice that sincere efforts are done to address these serious issues then we can hope that a resolution of this crisis is at hand. If we take into account what has been done in the recent past then we can hope that the situation will be alleviated to a considerable level in a yearís time but to expect that energy crisis will be over in a year will be a highly optimistic view. PAGE: HOW WOULD YOU COMMENT ON GOVERNMENT`S ACTION ON TACKLING THE ENERGY SHORTAGE AT PRESENT? KASHIF MATEEN ANSARI : By this time one thing has been clearly evident and that is the great will and earnest desire of this government to overcome the present energy crisis. As of now the government has come up with energy policy and it has also announced various projects, which include coal-based projects, solar energy projects and wind power projects. All these plans and announced projects point towards a great desire of the present government to bring an end to the suffering of common people and the businesses. But in a country as diverse and as populous as Pakistan , only setting out the right policies or announcing a few projects can be termed as a good start but obviously this will not be the finishing stroke in itself. I think the government has to concentrate even further on the energy conservation side of this problem. Also the government has to kick start the mega hydel projects, which are obviously dependent on foreign financing but I am quite hopeful that with current governmentís good image on the investor community abroad and also equally on the funding agencies in the international market, this government has much better chance to start and bring to completion the mega hydel projects in Pakistan . I think the current government has to further look into democratization of the energy production. The government has to look into the options of distributed grid and distributed generation of electricity at the household level or small business level with the help of various alternative energy resources. Initiatives like "net metering" and household generation of solar power that can be tied to grid have to be undertaken. Coal gasification for small and medium industries has to be encouraged. Government is already encouraging biomass and bagasse based power project. By and large, I would summarize the current governmentís actions so far have been right spirited and in the right direction. PAGE: COULD YOU COMMENT ON PROSPECTS OF INVESTMENT IN ALTERNATE ENERGY IN PAKISTAN ? KASHIF MATEEN ANSARI : I feel that renewable energy sector is very important for energy security of Pakistan because we cannot have an economy in which the energy mix is totally skewed towards the thermal production. Renewable energy is the energy of the future because in the future every economy has to move towards cleaner and greener ways of producing energy. Specifically in Pakistani context where we have to import almost all our needs of oil, diesel, and coal from the international market, it becomes all the more important that we reduce our dependence on the fossil fuel thus reducing the strain on the foreign exchange reserves. This will also enhance the energy security of Pakistan . A number of developed countries including those which are oil and gas rich and have no problem in generating energy from fossil fuels are moving towards enhancing the proportion of alternate energy in their energy mix from the security and environment point of view. So I think we need to work more and more on the alternative energy. Another important point in the Pakistani context is about the nature of this country in itself. We have large swaths of land, which cannot be served by a centralized grid. The amount of money which we will spend on bringing the grid to all those remote areas will be too much to bear for an economy like ours. Whereas alternative energy in the form of wind where wind is available and also in the form of solar which is available abundantly almost all across the country can solve the problem of the energy requirements in the remote areas without its dependence on laying down the expensive grid. This will also reduce the costs borne by line losses and theft. Alternative energy holds a great promise of development for the poor people of the far flung areas. PAGE: THERE IS COMMON PERCEPTION THAT ALTERNATIVE ENERGY IS STILL NOT TECHNOLOGICAL MATURE AND IT CANNOT BE USED A MAINSTREAM SOURCE OF ENERGY. WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT THAT? KASHIF MATEEN ANSARI : I think this is not very correct. Alternative energy technologies are very much technologically mature and primarily speaking about wind and solar they have been proven as a viable energy source globally. Now renewable energy is fulfilling the total energy need of various countries up to almost 50 percent. Let me give you some examples; Denmark as a country is producing 47.6 percent of its energy from renewable resources and this I am talking about renewable energy excluding the hydroelectric power generation. Then we have countries like Portugal and Iceland where almost 30 percent comes from the renewable resources in their total energy production, then there are Spain, New Zealand and Germany falling in the range of 20 percent and then above 15 percent we would find Finland , Ireland and Italy . With these examples it is quite clear that renewable energy is producing quite a substantive portion of the total energy mix of many advanced countries. However, we may like to look at examples from our own region. Now in India they are producing almost 162 Terra Watt Hours per year from renewable energy. So I think with these figures we can safely say that renewable energy is playing a very important role in the total energy mix globally and it has proven itself as technological mature and viable source of power. PAGE: CAN YOU PLEASE GIVE YOUR VIEWS ABOUT THE MAJOR SOURCES OF RENEWABLE ENERGY AND THEIR GLOBAL IMPACT ON THE TOTAL ENERGY GENERATION IN THE WORLD? KASHIF MATEEN ANSARI : First of all let me tell you that renewable resources or the alternative energy is not confined to wind and solar alone. We have other sources of renewable energy such as the energy, which is produced through biomass and also an energy, which is produced through municipal solid waste etc. I would restrict myself to wind and solar which are far more advance and globally they are playing a far bigger role in the energy production. First of all let me give you some information about the wind energy at the global level. I will quote the figures, which correspond to the end of 2012. At the global level almost 300,000 MW of wind power have been installed and which is up and running. To be precise this figure is 282,582 MW. On an absolute capacity basis China is leading with more than 75000 MW followed by USA and Germany with 60000 MW and 31000 MW each. Among the other countries in the list India is quite high at 5th position with 18421 MW of power generation from wind which has been installed till the end of 2012. In the last ten years, the total cumulative installed wind capacity has increased from 31000 MW in 2002 to almost 300000 MW by the end of 2012. In the last decade wind has really taken hold and there had been monumental rise in the installed wind power capacity.The forecast for the next five years is quite good with almost every year 50,000 MW to 60,000 MW of new wind capacity that is projected to come online globally. I think these figures would give a fare idea to us in Pakistan as to where the wind industry is going in the world. Let me now put forward a few facts about solar energy. Solar as a source of energy has also increased its foot print. By the end of 2012, December, 12,156 MW has been the installed capacity of solar globally. This is obviously quite an impressive number. On acumulative basis Germany is in the lead with almost 32,000 MW produced from solar and then followed by Italy that is producing more than 16,000 MW. China has more than 8,000 MW whereas USA has more than 7,700 MW and so on so forth. Even India has more than 1,200 MW energy produced by solar. PAGE: COULD YOU EXPRESS YOUR VIEWS ON THE WIND POTENTIAL OF PAKISTAN ? KASHIF MATEEN ANSARI : Allah has bestowed Pakistan with ample resources of wind power. Let me quote the figures from a study which has been conducted by USAID in collaboration with NREL. NREL is the National Renewable Energy Laboratories of USA . According to these studies for the utility scale wind power projects, on a cumulative basis wind power potential is more than 132,000 MW. Now this figure appears to be too good to be true. As we see today Pakistanís total installed capacity is somewhere closed to 20,000 MW and we are looking at a potential almost 132,000 MW of energy that can be produced from wind alone. We can say that this is theoretical potential so let us bring it down by 25 percent. Still we are looking at a potential of more than 40,000 MW of wind power. Pakistan has tremendous potential for wind power and main corridors of wind power include the one where certain projects are coming up including our project Sachal Energy. This corridor is called GHARO - KETI BANDER corridor. There is another huge corridor in Balochistan apart from smaller pockets having very good energy potential elsewhere in the country. PAGE: COULD YOU PLEASE TELL US ABOUT SOLAR POTENTIAL OF PAKISTAN ALSO? KASHIF MATEEN ANSARI : I will refer to studies conducted by NREL of USA in collaboration with USAID. Pakistan has been endowed by Allah very generously by the solar power resource also. The theoretical solar energy potential for solar power in Pakistan has been estimated to be almost 2.9 million MW. This figure has been based on the studies conducted by NREL in collaboration with Alternative EnergyDevelopment Board and USAID. Although as an argument one can say that this theoretical potential so it may not be treated as something practically achievable. Taking this argument as correct that the figure is so high so we reduce it by 100 times. Still the potential would be 29,000 MW of energy. I think it will be very fair for us to say that when we reduce the theoretical potential by 100 times then the projected figure of 29,000 MW is a very plausible and practically possible potential of solar energy in Pakistan . However, this also indicates that solar resource is distributed almost all over Pakistan . We all know that in Pakistan we have no dearth of sunshine and we have very long spell of sunny days. Days which are totally cloudy where we don't see proper sunlight are very limited and then there are areas in Pakistan where sunshine is there on a daily basis. I think solar potential is practically much higher than what I am indicating here. Further as this resource is distributed all over Pakistan it gives rise to various other opportunities also. PAGE: YOU HAVE BEEN TALKING DEMOCRATIZATION OF ENERGY. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS CONCEPT? KASHIF MATEEN ANSARI : Yes, democratization of energy is a term, which I am using to bring into the equation of power generation the general public of Pakistan . This can be done in a number of ways and has already been tried in Germany , Austria and many other countries where general public pool their money in the form of cooperatives to invest in sources of power generation serving their own community and also feeding back to the grid. But here I am trying to put forward something simpler than that. As we already discussed that solar potential in Pakistan is huge and that solar resource is distributed all over the country. So this doesn't give rise to the requirement of coming up with power production farms at one place and taking away the electricity through the grid lines to some other area where the load requirement is there. So basic concepts is that government should induce the general public through various policy and incentives measure that they should put up small scale grid tied solar production unit on their roof tops to produce electricity. Now in solar, the problem is that electricity can be produced during the day only. To keep cost of this system lower, I do not propose having any storage mechanism in the form of battery bank with those small scales solar power units installed at residential areas or in the small or medium industries at their roof tops. Rather they should be connected to main grid through the meters, which are meant for this purpose. These meters will work in a manner that if there is load requirement within the home or the factory the solar power will be utilized there thus reducing the load from the main grid but if there is no requirement then instead of storing the power it will be fed back into the grid. Obviously through the grid it can be utilized elsewhere. The mechanism should be that either the meter moves both ways, which means once we are using power from the grid it is recording spent units and when we are giving back to the grid it starts reducing the number of units, which we have used with equal number of units that we feed into the grid. Or this can be done through two meters one is meant to count number of units utilized from the grid and other is meant to count the number of units, which are supplied to the grid and ultimately the billing should be done on the basis of net units consumed by that house hold. Now the beauty of this measure is that public can be involved in the generation of power. Another advantage is that the bulk of the capital investment will come from the public and obviously benefit will also go to the public, for the government obviously it will reduce the load from the main system. Here let me tell you, in Pakistan if we distribute the utilization of power in various sectors the highest utilization is by the domestic sector, which utilizes almost 45.4 percent of the total power produced. So this democratization of energy which I am proposing is going to reduce the power load from the same very sector which is the heaviest user of power at the moment. The incentive which the government has to give for such a scheme can be in the form of giving some grant in the initial installation phase of these solar panels on the roof tops and government can come up with the scheme of providing financing through the banks or the leasing companies for these solar units. The government can give some portion of the upfront cost directly to the financial institutions thereby giving an incentive to individual consumers to install solar units at their roof tops PAGE: WHAT MUST BE DONE TO DEPEND ON INDIGENOUS RESOURCES? KASHIF MATEEN ANSARI : We need to develop all the available resources of energy in Pakistan . The renewable potential of Pakistan is immense. According to the studies I quoted earlier that Pakistan has identified cumulative potential to generate millions of MW from renewable energy resources including: 132,000 MW from wind 2.9 million MW from solar 1,800 MW from biogases cogeneration 500 MW from waste Let me further indicate here that hydel is a great source of energy with more than 50,000 MW of potential. So it is high time we develop our indigenous resources. This can be achieved by involving the private businesses in the development and construction of power plants. Government has to create an enabling environment by removing the bureaucratic hurdles in the development process. Various institutions that are responsible for regulating and facilitating the energy sector must be reorganized on a business friendly footing. Government must ensure the availability of required infrastructure like the presence of adequate grid for evacuation of power. I think such measures will induce the private sector to put in the required investment in the indigenous energy resources and result in the development of our local resources.
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