The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) hydropower stations delivered as many as 4.731 billion units of low-cost hydroelectricity to the national grid during the 3rd quarter of the current fiscal year.
The improvement is believed to be because of the better hydrological conditions and efficient operation and maintenance of hydropower stations by WAPDA.
The power generation registered an increase of 722 million units (18%) if compared with the generation during corresponding period of the last fiscal year. This increase in hydropower generation has been achieved at a time when the country is in dire need of electricity.
The WAPDA delivers more than 31 billion units of hydroelectricity to the national grid every year on the average. It is the cheapest, cleanest and environment-friendly source of electricity generation, which plays a pivotal role to stabilize electricity tariff in the country.
According to the data of Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) regarding per unit cost of electricity generated from various sources in February 2016, it is PKR 1.83 for hydropower, which is far lower than per unit cost of electricity generated form all other sources.
In comparison to hydroelectricity, it is PKR 8.16 per unit for gas, PKR 11.67 for residual furnace oil (RFO), PKR 18.62 for high speed diesel (HSD), PKR 9.01 from IPPs, PKR 12.16 for coal, PKR 7.53 for nuclear, PKR 14.40 for wind, PKR 11.79 for bio-gases, PKR 22.55 for solar, and PKR 10.50 per unit for electricity imported from Iran.
At present, hydropower generation capacity of WAPDA is 6902MW, which is about one third of the total installed capacity in the country. Despite some of WAPDA hydropower stations being as old as 50 years, their generation capacity has stayed intact due to their proper maintenance and efficient operation by WAPDA, says an official.