Solarisation of govt offices to help mitigate energy crisis in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The decision of the authorities to solarise the government buildings will mitigate the energy crisis in Pakistan to a great extent, WealthPK reports.
The energy crisis is one of the main hurdles to the process of development in the country. Electricity is essential for every sector. The government offices, private sector, houses and shops all need electricity to run their day-to-day affairs. The shortage of power affects all sectors.
Pakistan has been facing a shortage of energy for almost the last 20 years. The limited hydropower plants are unable to meet the requirements of all consumers. Many private power plants have been set up in the country but they are unable to meet the requirement of the country due to high fuel prices. The energy crisis in the country promoted the authorities to solarise the government offices.
Federal Secretary of Housing and Works Iftikhar Ali Shallwani told WealthPK that the solarisation of government offices would be very beneficial for the country. He said that preparation of a short-term plan was underway to shift the government offices and small consumers to solar energy.
He said that it is the vision of the prime minister for promoting sustainable and green energy. The prime minister has constituted a task force on solar energy comprising federal ministers, federal secretaries and chief secretaries of provinces. The efforts are meant to reduce the electricity tariffs and lessen the burden of inflation.
The official said that various steps have been taken by the government to promote solar energy in the country. He said that a proposal to shift power plants to solar energy is also under consideration.
“In the next 10 years, solar power plants of up to 1,000 megawatts would be set up at government offices. Tube wells would also be solarised in the country. A plan is also under consideration to convert tube wells in Balochistan to solar energy with government funding. The government is targeting the conversion of 30,000 tube wells to solar energy at a cost of Rs300 billion,” he said.
Iftikhar Ali said that Pakistan is blessed with some of the highest values of insolation in the world, with eight to nine hours of sunshine per day, which are ideal for climatic conditions for solar power generation. The country has built its largest solar power park, the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Power Park (QASP), in the Cholistan Desert, which has a capacity of generating one gigawatt of electricity with 400 megawatts already being produced. The plant would be enough to fulfil the power requirements of 725,000 households.
“The Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) has also supported solarisation of public sector buildings. The board has recommended the involvement of the private sector in the initiative. Solarisation can help the government to save money and attract investment,” he told WealthPK.

There are power transmission lines and offices of Wapda in the rural areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but electricity is not supplied to consumers. The people suffer massive power load shading of two to three days. The voltage is also very low in these areas. Almost 85 percent of residents in these villages have installed solar panels at their houses and shops to meet their needs.