The hydel power stations of the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) cumulatively generated 37.147 billion units of low-cost and environment-friendly electricity during the fiscal year (FY) 2020-21 which ended on 30 June.
The hydel generation by the WAPDA is almost equal to that of FY 2019-20, and 3.08 billion units more if compared with the average annual hydel generation during the last decade.
According to the data of the WAPDA hydel power generation for 2020-21, the Tarbela Hydel Power Station had generated 12.61 billion units, the Tarbela 4th Extension had generated 3.42 billion units, Ghazi Barotha had generated 6.89 billion units, Mangla had generated 5.40 billion units, and the Neelum-Jhelum Hydel Power Station had generated 4.79 billion units, while the remaining generation of 4.03 billion units was contributed by other the hydel power stations of the WAPDA.
Hydel generation is the cheapest electricity produced in the country, which is why it plays a pivotal role in development in the economic and social sectors by stabilizing the overall power tariff for consumers.
The impact of hydel electricity on the national economy can be gauged from the fact that the generation cost of hydel electricity by the WAPDA is merely Rs. 2.82 per unit, while the generation cost from thermal sources had been Rs.13.14 per unit on average during FY 2020-21.
The WAPDA currently owns and operates 22 hydel power stations (including Neelum-Jhelum) with a cumulative installed generation capacity of 9,406 MW. It is also vigorously implementing a least-cost energy generation plan to enhance the share of hydel electricity in the National Grid.
A number of mega projects are being constructed in the hydropower sector, scheduled to be completed between 2023 and 2028-29. The WAPDA projects will double the installed hydel power generation capacity from 9,406 MW to 20,591 MW.
Likewise, the WAPDA’s contribution of green and clean hydel electricity to the National Grid will also increase from the existing 37 billion units to more than 81 billion units per annum.