Pakistan has been ranked 3rd in the world for newly installed hydropower capacity.
This was declared by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) 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 practices about hydropower, IHA champions continuous improvement and sustainable practices across the sector.
Listing the top 20 countries by newly installed capacity, the IHA states in its report that Pakistan managed to add 2487 MW of environment-friendly hydel electricity in 2018 following China and Brazil at the first and second place 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.
India stood at the 8th position, successfully adding 535 MW hydel electricity to its system.
As far as the recent addition of hydropower in Pakistan is concerned, Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) moved ahead during the year 2018 to regain the glory of its past, as it successfully completed and commissioned three long-delayed mega hydropower projects with a cumulative generation capacity of 2487 MW.
With the 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 had managed to take its hydel generation to 6902 MW from 1958 to 2017.
It is pertinent to mention here 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 by 2025 in short term, another 5653 MW power generation by 2030 in the medium term and 6245 MW generation capacity by 2050 in the long term with completion of its various projects.