Solar Power Can Energies 60 Million Homes, Nepra Suggests

Solar power is like a ray of hope for some 60 million people of Pakistan who don’t have electricity in their households, as the abundantly available renewable energy should be used to energize thousands of off-grid homes in the country.

Solar Power Can Energies 60 Million Homes, Nepra Suggests

This was suggested by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) Chairman Tauseef H Farooqui while addressing the first international conference and exhibition on solar energy.

He urged the companies dealing in solar power to provide innovative solutions to energise the houses of 30 percent of the electricity-deprived Pakistani population.

“Do come up with an innovative solution to provide electricity to these off-grid people, as it is a huge untapped electricity market for you,” Farooqui said.

The Nepra had been doing its best to promote the usage of the net-metering system for greater reliance on renewable energy resources in the country, he said, adding that owing to the efforts of the regulatory authority, hydroelectricity, as per the global norm, would also be counted as a renewable energy resource in Pakistan.

After this inclusion, Pakistan would be in a position to generate up to 60 percent of its national electricity mix on the basis of alternative means of power in the years to come. He said owing to the Nepra efforts the power sector companies had been motivated to do welfare activities for the disadvantaged people in their respective licensed areas.

In his keynote address, Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) CEO Shah Jahan Mirza said that the renewable resources of electricity still accounted for only 6 percent of the national energy mix. So, more efforts have to be made to increase this ratio to 30 percent by the year 2030 in accordance with the revised Renewable Energy Policy of Pakistan.

The AEDB had completed the formalities to introduce the system of competitive bidding to facilitate the installation of solar and wind power projects in the country, Mirza said, adding that the board had also been working on the project to operate 14,000 tube-wells through solar energy in the agricultural lands of Balochistan.

Addressing the conference as its chief guest, Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh said that solar power could play an important role in curbing harmful carbon emissions in the country in accordance with the Paris Agreement of which Pakistan is a signatory.

Sindh was blessed with the only functional wind corridor in the country, as the entire area of the province was also most suitable for the solar power generation, he said, adding that the Sindh government had also launched the World Bank-assisted project to provide solar home systems to 200,000 off-grid households in the province.

The same project would be used to install solar power systems at 35 big government-run hospitals in the province, he added. The Sindh government had also allocated 55,000 acres of land of the province exclusively for renewable energy projects.

The relevant federal authorities should not impede the efforts of the provincial government to install new wind energy projects for overcoming the countrywide electricity shortage, the minister said, adding that Pakistan surely needed more renewable energy projects to overcome the issue of grave energy shortfall equally affecting both urban and rural areas.

Robin Xing, country manager of Huawei Pakistan, and Naeem Qureshi, chairman of the organizing committee of the conference, also spoke on the importance of solar-based electricity for resolving the energy problems of Pakistan.

Originally published at Bol news

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