Renewable energy solutions for Punjab’s industrial sector: Evaluating the NAMA approach in Sialkot City, Pakistan
Sialkot City is one of Pakistan’s largest industrial hubs with a largely export-focused industry. However, many of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operate below maximum capacity due to high energy prices and irregular energy availability. To supplement low energy availability, diesel generators are often used. These generators are both more expensive than electricity from the grid when it is available and emit more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than grid electricity.
In addressing its energy shortages and climate goals city officials looked at deploying more solar and renewable resources. To find funding and financing for these projects the officials looked at the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) structure. However, NAMAs had not been implemented in the city before, so officials had to build expertise and capacity to construct the NAMA program. Officials and stakeholders reported lessons learned to building a NAMA program which included:
- Inviting industry to participate in the decision-making process. Program administrators held workshops for both industry leaders and policy makers and visited industry leaders personally before-hand to build engagement. This engagement also helped to remove industry barriers such as misconceptions about renewable energy.
- Make use of existing political structures. By assigning tasks to existing government authorities the program was able to use existing government programs instead of developing new ones. This reduced the overhead of the project leadership and built trust in governmental agencies among stakeholders.
- Ensure stakeholders have ownership in the debate. This was achieved by identifying clear gains and clear losses that could occur to the stakeholders with the success or failure of the program. This required engaging financial institutions to understand the opportunities and risks.
- Develop a stringent monitoring, reporting, and verification system. Sharing the data early and often increased stakeholder feedback and involvement as well as influenced continued policy making.
Government engagement was challenging. In the course of developing the NAMA it was revealed that industry leaders believed the government was responsible for solving the energy crisis. But government leaders expressed that they felt industry leaders were better equipped and strong enough to tackle energy problems. By developing this NAMA Sialkot City was able to build a better relationship between industry and government leaders to achieve economic growth and climate goals.