Call to maximize solar power production in Pakistan to end energy woes of countrymen
Karachi:Speakers at a conference emphasized the need to maximize solar energy production in Pakistan, especially by establishing utility-scale renewable energy projects to provide uninterrupted power supply to every household in the country at the cheapest rates.
They were speaking at the 3rd International Solar Clean Energy Conference organized by the Energy Update here at a hotel in collaboration with Sindh Energy Department and AEDB.
Speaking as the guest of honor, the Consul General of the United Arab Emirates, Bakhteet Ateeq Al Romaithi, said the UAE would fully support the development of renewable energy projects in Pakistan in line with its assistance for improving health, educational facilities, and infrastructure projects in the country.
He said the students in Pakistan should be properly educated about the importance of renewable energy in their lives.
He said that given the deep friendly ties between the two brotherly Islamic countries Pakistan should fully take advantage of the upcoming COP-28 Conference to be held in Dubai for actively seeking international assistance for projects aimed at reversing the devastating phenomenon of climate change.
The Consul General assured the fullest assistance by the UAE for all efforts in Pakistan to ensure uninterrupted electric supply to every citizen at the most affordable rates.
Speaking as the Chief Guest, Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh said the present provincial government had planned to formally establish the provincial power sector regulator in the remaining part of its tenure to facilitate the maximum production of renewable electricity in the province,
Shaikh told the audience at the conference that Sindh had the required infrastructure and policy frameworks in place to ensure maximum utilization of clean energy sources.
He said the only missing mechanism for the fast execution of clean energy projects was the availability of Sindh’s own power sector regulator. He informed the audience that the landmark bill for setting up the Sindh Electric Power Regulatory Authority (SEPRA) had already been passed. While efforts are underway to make sure that the proposed SEPRA is formally established and starts functioning before the expiry of the current tenure of the Sindh government.
He said that Sindh had already adopted the policies for setting up hybrid power generation projects involving both solar and wind energy and B2B power projects involving private sector companies.
He said the maximum reliance on alternative energy sources was the only way out to provide due relief to the power consumers in Sindh facing grave electricity crisis during summers.
The Energy Minister informed the audience that under the drive of the Sindh government to promote the usage of clean energy sources, solar systems had been installed at 233 basic health units and 73 public sector hospitals. Similarly, solar panels will be installed at 40 large public sector buildings in the province including the government offices, Sindh Assembly, and jails.
He told the audience that the Sindh government would fully support any plan to set up manufacturing units for indigenous production of solar panels for saving precious foreign exchange otherwise spent on importing renewable energy equipment.
He invited prospective foreign and local investors to massively invest in the energy sector of Sindh having massive potential to fulfill the electricity needs of the entire country through both conventional and renewable power sources.
Director of Solar of the Alternative Energy Development Board, Naeem Memon, said the solar power option had massive potential to generate an abundance of clean electricity in the country at the cheapest rates for the concerned power consumers.
He lamented that solar energy resources despite being one of the cheapest power production sources in the country had the least contribution to the national energy mix.
Mehfooz Qazi, Director of Sindh Solar Energy Project, told the audience about the World Bank-funded drive of the provincial government to build utility-scale solar energy projects and install solar panels on the rooftops of public sector buildings.
He said the Sindh government would soon complete the project of energizing 200,000 off-grid rural homes using the option of solar power.
Energy expert, Irfan Ahmed, lamented that Pakistan had the potential of producing 2200 GWs of clean electricity using solar power but this renewable energy source was merely producing 1 GWs electricity in the country.
Pioneer of clean energy sector in Pakistan, Prof Dr Nasim A Khan, said that given the massive potential of producing renewable energy the wind and solar should be treated as main power generation sources instead of considering them alternative resources to produce electricity.
Naeem Qureshi, speaking on behalf of Energy Update, said the Solar Clean Energy Conference was being organized for the past three years to combine the efforts of the private sector, foreign donors, and government organizations for enhancing clean energy production in Pakistan.
He said the recommendations and deliberations of the conference would be shared with all the relevant state and government authorities for their swift adoption for massive growth in the solar energy sector in Pakistan.
Guest of Honor Mr. Abu Bakar Madani, Secretary Energy Department, Government of Sindh, Syed Salman Mohiuddin, Country Manager, Goodwe, Usman Waheed, Country Manager, Sungrow Power Supply Co. Ltd, Dr. Mohsin Aman, Director ASURE centre Associate Professor NED University, Shoaib Asif Sipra, Vice President, Energy Solutions, Wateen Energy, Farheen Irfan, COO, ACT Engineering, Anis Younus, MD, EMBA Corporation, Irfan Ahmed Energy Expert, Shaaf Mehboob, CEO, Adaptive Technologies, Nabil Bari, CEO, PV 360, Faaz Diwan, Director, Diwan International Pvt Ltd, Yousuf Irfan Allahwala, Director, Mesol Solar and others also spoke on this occasion.