Britain to help boost energy efficiency of Pakistan’s SMEs

The UK has committed over £15 million to assist Pakistan’s push for increased energy efficiency and renewables in its Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector.

Karandaaz, which is part of the Department for International Development’s (DFID) Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) programme, will promote renewable energy generation and efficiency measures in Pakistani businesses, with the scheme hoping to increase the amount of renewables in the country’s energy mix from its current rate of 4 per cent.

The SEED programme aims to work with firms, businesses, and financial institutions to demonstrate the financial viability of enhancing investments in clean energy and energy efficiency improvements, with estimates claiming that as much as 14 per cent of the energy used in Pakistan could be saved through energy conservation and efficiency measures, which is equivalent to two hours of power supply each day.

The agreement was signed between Joanna Reid, Head of DFID Pakistan and Ali Sarfraz, CEO Karandaaz Pakistan. Karandaaz Board of Directors’ Chairperson, Dr Shamshad Akhtar was also present at the occasion.

Speaking at the announcement, Joanna Reid, Head of DFID Pakistan, states that the program is looking to change Pakistan’s approach to efficiency and where it sources its power.

“I believe that this investment in sustainable energy will go a long way in promoting energy-efficient and environment-friendly options for businesses, and at the same time help to generate more jobs and achieve greater prosperity,” she said.

Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Chairperson of Karandaaz, added: "Economic and urban development is a national priority for Pakistan. With 39% of the population residing in cities, Pakistan is not only the most urbanised, but also the fastest urbanizing country in South Asia. Pakistani cities’ contribution to its GDP growth however, is much lower than in peer countries.

"This grant from DFID will help bridge the financing gap and enable the emergence of sustainable and efficient energy for Pakistan’s private sector, resulting in more vibrant and economically friendly cities, more competitive businesses and more jobs all leading to Pakistan moving closer to its targets as set under SDGs."

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