Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) has approved the extension of short term renewable energy policy till December 2009, The News reported. Earlier the policy was to be replaced by a more comprehensive medium term policy under formulation. The short term policy was approved by the government in December 2006.

It was meant for successful business and technology demonstration, appropriate regulatory framework, market and resource assessment, rural energy program design, pilot testing of decentralized energy provision, capacity building, development of renewable energy financing and market facilitation measures.

The board decided to approach provincial governments for provision of wasteland for bio diesel plantation. Several private sector organizations have shown interest in bio diesel production and have sought land for plantations.

It is expected that Pakistan may cut its oil import bill by PKR80 billion if only 10% of the diesel consumed in the country is switched to bio diesel. AEDB decided to facilitate provision of land to private firms interested in biodiesel projects.

AEDB also reviewed the progress on wind energy projects and directed that all problems in the expeditious completion of the projects be removed.

AEDB would carry out a survey in the areas proposed by parliamentarians for rural electrification through solar energy.