Kick Off Meeting in Dubai for Reviewing Afghanistan's Net Metering Concept

Yesterday, the first of three meetings for reviewing Afghanistan’s net metering concept was held in Dubai. Net metering allows utility customers who generate their own electricity to export excess energy to the grid in return for credit. The eleven attendees, men and women included, comprised of government officials and stakeholders from the private and public sector. The group discussed existing net metering regulations as well as suggestions for improvement, clarity, and acceptance. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Energy Sector Improvement Programme (ESIP) supported the event.

The Minister of Energy and Water (MEW), Mr Mohammad Gul Kholmi, explained, ‘Net metering regulations benefit the Afghan people and the government of Afghanistan as a whole. The vision is to provide the Afghan people with electricity by using net metering or other instruments, and through this, create gradual changes in the country.’

Net metering is an effective method of reducing electricity bills. It also encourages consumers to play an active role in clean energy production, engaging them in Afghanistan’s environmental protection and the preservation of its natural energy resources. Allowing and compensating homeowners and businesses to produce their own energy takes pressure off the grid, especially during periods of peak consumption.

Topics of discussion included meeting net metering regulations and technical standards, understanding Afghanistan’s solar market, and examining potential risks and mitigation. Furthermore, an economic and financial analysis of net metering in Afghanistan was discussed as well as capacity development for its long-term success.

The net metering concept meeting ran alongside ESIP’s weeklong workshop – that also took place in Dubai this week – on determining the feasibility for installing 15MW solar panel systems on public buildings in Kabul City and Afghanistan. ESIP is providing technical expertise to MEW to help develop the required documents for the project’s implementation. If carried out, the project would cut energy costs and connect more consumers to the electricity grid.

A participant affirmed, ‘The workshop was fruitful and valuable for us. It provided insight and gave us an opportunity to gain basic knowledge on the feasibility study.’

By promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, ESIP’s work is helping boost economic growth in Afghanistan, provide stability, and promote independence while protecting the environment.

On behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements the Afghanistan Energy Sector Improvement Programme (ESIP). ESIP aims at promoting renewable energy generation and energy efficiency in Afghanistan to boost economic growth and protect the environment. To achieve this goal, ESIP closely cooperates with key actors at national and provincial level to establish an institutional framework that enables a reliable energy supply. It also supports the private sector in adopting market-based quality standards and maintenance concepts for photovoltaics and solar thermal energy to attract investments. At the same time, ESIP implements capacity-building activities for staff in the public and private energy sectors and at universities.