STAFF REPORT IBD: The German energy company Conergy is working with Hong Kong-based Ensunt to build a 50-megawatt solar plant in Bahawalpur, in the Cholistan region of Pakistan.

According to a Conergy press release, when completed, the plant will be the biggest solar facility in the country; it will be owned by the Pakistani government and the DACC Power Generation Company Limited.

Pakistan relies heavily on hydroelectric generation, and is thus at the whims of variable river flows.

“Presently only 63 per cent of the country’s population even has access to electricity, and those that do face frequent blackouts,” said Marc Lohoff, a Conergy board member, citing that in recent days the power shortfall had risen to the figure of 8300MW.

The new 50-MW plant will eventually supply power to more than 30 000 households in Pakistan. Says Conergy’s Lohoff, “Due to the decentralized character of this form of energy and the high insolation levels, solar energy is ideally suited to narrow the gap and to supply the population with safe, clean, and affordable energy. At the same time, solar power can support the economic development of the country, he said.

Conergy says that Pakistan gets about 8 to 9 hours of sunshine per day, with an annual insolation rate of over 1700 kilowatt-hours/m2.

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