THE government’s decision to prepare a policy framework to encourage the local manufacture of solar panels and related equipment, with the aim of expediting the shift to solar energy, is consistent with Pakistan’s clean energy commitments.

Renewable energy plan

The policy, which is expected to be formulated this month, will also help the government move towards the goal of boosting the share of renewable sources in the energy mix to 30pc by 2030, decrease its reliance on expensive imported fuels for generation, and overcome the growing power shortages. When compared to its regional competitors, Pakistan is lagging behind in terms of deployment of Renewable energy plan sources wind, solar and biofuels for power generation, despite an increased emphasis on this in recent years. India and China, for example, have significantly augmented the share of renewable fuels in their electricity supplies over the last decade. It is not just global warming concerns that are pushing nations towards the adoption of Renewable energy plan sources; the growing burden on developing countries’ external sector and weakening balance-of-payment positions, too, are proving to be a major incentive in the shift to solar and wind energy and biofuels.

If there is one lesson that Pakistan should learn from the ongoing turmoil in the international energy markets, it is to look for cheaper and reliable substitutes to the expensive import-based fuels so that it can tackle power sector challenges, ranging from shortages to affordability and accessibility. Like other regional nations, Pakistan should also plan to boost its generation from renewable sources to at least 50pc over the next 10 years in order to decrease its reliance on fossil fuels and lighten the burden of expensive oil and gas imports on its fragile external balance-of-payments position. Thus, the policy to push local production of solar equipment is the right step but it is not enough. The proposed plan should also incorporate strict quality control parameters for manufacturers, pass on the price benefit of local production to consumers and make cheaper financing available for rooftop solar systems.

Source: This news is originally published by Dawn

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