By Ijaz Kakakhel

SOLAR ENERGY generation is the real time solution to Pakistans growing energy scarcity problem whereby environment-friendly renewable energy can be produced in the shortest possible time.

According to experts, if renewable energy generation options are not adopted, the power shortage will become more acute – to 19,000 megawatts (MW) by 2020. In this regard the government is active in promotion of solar energy in the country. The Ministry of Science and Technology, Water and Power and Ministry of Climate Change and Higher Education Commission (HEC) through public and private universities are involved in promotion of solar energy and biogas so as to overcome the acute energy shortage in the country.

The steps taken by the Ministry of Science and Technology to produce and use of solar energy and biogas in the country during the several years and their results achieved are for the promotion of solar energy in the country, Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) an organisation of Ministry of Science and Technology has taken following steps during the period.

Installed Solar Photovoltaic Power Units of 62 KW capacity for electrification of mosques and remote area houses mostly in Balochistan and Sindh provinces for demonstration purpose to raise awareness among public.

Disseminated 215 solar cookers (Dish Type), 653 solar cooker (Box Type) of family size and 13 solar dryers (seven solar dryer of 50 kgs per day capacity) three in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and four in Punjab, remaining are used in the country as a prototype.

The PCRET carried out research and development reverse engineering and developed various solar energy products indigenously such as high intensity low powered solar lights, solar desalination units, flat plate solar collectors for solar water heaters, solar dryers etc.

Established Solar Test Lab for provision of services to test the solar thermal products, batteries and invertors etc for private and public sector organizations/companies for quality assurance of solar energy products in the country.

During the last several years, the PCRET started mega project (at a cost of Rs 418.498 million) for production of solar photovoltaic panels up to 80 KW per annum. This project is near completion. The panels produced under this project will be installed mainly for remote village electrification.

Biogas: The PCRET has installed 1,705 domestic biogas plants on cost sharing basis, during the last several years for demonstration purpose.

Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) has developed small scale portable Biogas plants at PCSIR Laboratories complex Lahore and process for compression/filling of methane gas has also been developed.

Solar Energy Centre of the PCSIR at Hyderabad (now named as PCSIR Laboratories Hyderabad) had developed solar water desalination plants for coastal areas and solar dehydrators for fruit and vegetable dehydration especially for dates and chilies.

PCRET collaborated with various national, international and private organisations for imparting training, conducting seminars and workshops, exchange visits and other solar technology and biogas related activities for their promotion in the country.

Courtesy: Daily Times

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