Pakistan in one of the best solar zones

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ISLAMABAD:
Solar power is the way forward for Pakistan to safeguard its energy security and to lower the basket price of electricity for consumers, said Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) CEO Dr Rana Abdul Jabbar Khan.

Speaking at the first virtual conference on Solarisation of Pakistan, organised by Energy Update, Khan said Pakistan should take massive advantage of its presence in one of the best solar zones in the world.

He stated that lately solar energy had become the cheapest source of energy among the low-cost options for generating electricity. “This has happened due to a steep decline in solar electricity rates.”

He declared that the AEDB would fully support full exploitation of solar power potential in the country so that by 2030 Pakistan could generate up to 30% of its electricity from clean sources of energy.

He said the AEDB had been conducting solar resource mapping of Pakistan with support of the World Bank and for the purpose nine solar stations had been established in different areas.

Moreover, the board is taking required measures to introduce competitive bidding for the upcoming alternative energy projects in the country.

He said solar power projects would also be introduced for remote off-grid areas of the country.

Speaking on the occasion, PM Housing Task Force Chairman Zaigham Mahmood Rizvi emphasised the need for using superior quality equipment to generate solar electricity for long-term benefit of the energy sector.

He said solar equipment of superior quality could last up to 40 years for maximum benefit of the energy system.

Rizvi said quite soon export-oriented industries would have to install alternative energy plants as their products manufactured with the help of conventional sources of energy would not be accepted by the developed countries.

He said India had done much homework to switch its industries to clean resources of energy. He was of the view that utilisation of clean energy resources had a massive impact on the environment and carbon footprint of the country.

Sindh Solar Energy Project Director Mehfooz Qazi told the conference that the Sindh government had been working on $100 million worth of projects to extensively promote the use of solar energy in the province.

He said Sindh had the potential to generate up to 10 GWs of electricity based on solar power as such a clean source of energy was enough to make the province self-sufficient in its electricity needs.

Qazi hoped that the new Alternative Energy Policy introduced by the government would help implement the World Bank-assisted solar project in Sindh.

Senior energy consultant Faiz Bhutta said commercial banks in the country should be encouraged to launch loan facility for the upcoming clean energy projects.