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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Renewable Energy/Clean Fuels.

Bioenergy and Sustainability in South Asia

Duration: April 2013 – December 2013

Locale: South Asia region


The study examines and evaluates bio-energy potential for South Asia in terms of production capacity amid its huge demand and need for food crops with profound consequences of shifting trends from food to cash crops for the purpose of renewable energy.

South Asia is an agri-enriched region in global parlance where sustenance and livelihoods mainly depend on agriculture sector. People have been toiled for many years in making their country prosperous in terms of agriculture, which is predominant sector of regions’ economies. The region is not only facing the challenge of food insecurity but also growing energy demand for which it depends heavily on imports.

Recent alternate energy trends have been predicting extensive significance of promoting bio-energy in South Asia. Undoubtedly, Sustainable renewable energy is one of the practical and viable solutions in order to meet energy demands of South Asian region. In view of different energy scenarios, the study has been designed to provide rationale for alternate solution with long-term sustainability vision.


  • Darft paper on the basis of data collected through primary and secondary source
  • Dissemination of policy recommendations


Bioenergy and Sustainability Initiative (BSI)


Year: 2011


The advent of the modern environmental and energy discourse is usually considered to date back to the early 1960’s. Energy is considered an important prerequisite for the economic growth and sustainability of a country. On the one hand it is used for industrial and agricultural purposes and on the other hand it is required for domestic use. The available non-renewable energy resources are being depleted at a higher rate and also they are too expensive to buy or are already acquired by countries. The efforts of the exploration sector have not so far come up with a satisfactory reflex in order to ensure our future energy needs with the present technological solutions. There is an urgent need to explore an alternative and renewable energy solution. Bioenergy can be instrumental in ensuring the future energy needs of mankind with a low carbon solution. At the same time Bioenergy may pose negative impacts / threats if not addressed properly. The threats may include Food insecurity issues, Habitat loss, sustainability of the ecosystem for certain endangered species, Weak Energy Governance set-ups in South Asian countries, GHG emissions through supply chains, Low level awareness on the technical issues behind the technology involved and Capacity building of all stakeholders including public, private, producers and civil society.

In March 2011, SAWTEE, Swedish Standards Institute (SIS) and Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) selected SDPI to act an expert member organization for the development process of new standard for Bioenergy Sustainability Criteria (ISO/WD 13065). S researcher from SDPI was nominated, by PSQCA and representative of all other Asian Countries, for the membership of ISO/PC 248/ WG-3 Resolution Committee member and got elected unanimously during the ISO meetings in Nairobi, October 2011. The participation of SDPI is critically important so as to influence the standard development process to watch the interest of South Asian countries especially for Food insecurity and sustainability of the ecosystem.

Marketability of Renewable Energy Resources in Pakistan

The depleting world fossil fuel reserves, very high environmental pollution levels, and high import bills for fossil fuels are factors compelling enough to look for renewable energy resources utilization. SDPI’s Renewable Energy/Clean Fuels program seeks to provide constructive interventions in the framing and implementation of policies for adoption of renewable and environmentally clean energy resources, and hence to sustainable development. The program advocates that energy policies in Pakistan be reformulated and aimed at stretching the useful life of local resources through energy conservation and improving energy sector performance, managing energy demand and switching to cleaner and renewable alternatives. The program also places great stress on demonstrating the effectiveness of renewable technologies.

Renewable energy systems are expensive in terms of installation costs. The power from them is also available intermittently – when the renewable source (for instance, wind or solar energy) is available. On the other hand, they are free of any input fuel, and hence their ever rising costs. They also incur much less operation and maintenance costs and are supposed to have a longer lifetime. Thus, using renewable power looks uneconomical in the short term, but may turn out profitable in the long term. Therefore, the key question is what can make investment in renewable power generation acceptable? The Energy Group at SDPI is conducting research to find answers to this question through a financial analysis, which looks at the costs involved in setting up renewable power businesses in Pakistan and in identifying factors that can help attract investment in the renewable technologies. The research especially focuses on finding out the cost of renewable power generation and then on determining a suitable tariff that is acceptable both to the prospective investor and electricity purchasers in the country.

Thar Coal

The Government of Pakistan is strongly emphasizing a wide use of the vast deposits of coal found in the desert of Thar. It is planning to provide incentives to independent power producers to set up production plants at the mine sites and to sell electricity to the national grid. It is also urging cement industries all over the country to use this coal. However, the coal, low quality lignite, is known to contain significant sulfur concentrations. Extensive use of this coal is, therefore, likely to substantially increase environmental degradation, particularly when used in cement plants situated near cities and towns. Any future use of the Thar coal demands schemes for removing pollutants, particularly sulfur, and reducing ash contents. There are several ways of doing this, one among them being the conversion of coal to Di-methyl ether (DME) or any other compound of higher energy content. The project will investigate the technology and economics of pre-combustion conversion of the Thar coal and will advise the government on the best use of it.

Liberalization and De/regulation of Power sector in Pakistan

Pakistan’s power sector was liberalized in mid 1990s. Since then WAPDA, the state utility has seen an increase in its losses and has gone bankrupt. The nature of agreements inked with Independent Power Producers (or IPPs), drained out WAPDA. Consumers, on the other hand, have constantly suffered rising tariffs since the inception of private power in Pakistan. WAPDA’s own conditions have deteriorated to an extent that the utility’s annual losses hovers around Rs. 40 billion. Its old and outdated infrastructure only adds to its woes. The utility’s line losses lie between 27-30 percent. The Government of Pakistan has taken steps to revamp WAPDA, foremost of which is the unbundling of the utility into distribution and generation companies. The Energy Group of SDPI is preparing a report, which tries to address the problems/controversies generated by liberalization and deregulation of power sector in Pakistan. The report is in its final stages and would come out soon.


For more details on our Renewable Energy/Clean Fuels program please contact Dr A.H. Nayyar (