Solar Energy – The way forward for Pakistan

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According to the Economic Survey of 2020-21, Pakistan is still generating a hefty 64pc of its total power using carbon-intense fossil fuels, 26pc from hydropower, 6pc from nuclear energy, and sadly, only 4pc of energy is coming from renewable sources like wind and solar. The numbers are telling it all – from skyrocketing electricity costs for consumers to swelling circular debt, from soaring trade deficit to unaffordably high carbon footprint, the nation’s condition does not look very good on either of the domestic, economic, or climate change fronts.

And to top it all off, despite Pakistan producing the record highest of electricity, a 2018 World Bank Report reveals that electricity is still unavailable for 50 million people. That is mainly due to partially-developed grid infrastructure – that 1 out of every 4 Pakistanis is still living in the stone age, deprived of all the benefits the modern world has to offer.

In this deteriorating (and painful) situation, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s 2021-30 vision certainly feels like a cool breeze of air. Pakistan’s first-ever ‘Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan 2021-30’ has been successfully developed under the leadership of IK. It envisions that by 2030, Alternative and Renewable Energy will constitute 60% of the total installed capacity.

“Seamless power supply at an affordable rate with efficient distribution is one of the top priorities of the government,” Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Power Tabish Gauhar expressed the vision of PM while speaking at the inaugural consultative session of the National Electricity Plan 2021.

The experts at NEPRA estimate the peak demand to rise to 37,129MWs in 2030, compared to the current 23,792MWs. Similarly, the total consumption in 2030 is projected at 207,418 GWh against the present 130,652 GWh. Knitting this 50% rise in demand and the 60% green energy vision together, the Pakistani government has to start planning to utilize inexpensive, sustainable, and reliable sources of renewable energy – like solar and wind.

Considering the ample availability of sunlight throughout the whole year in almost all regions of Pakistan, partnering with the Sun is evidently the most feasible option to achieve ‘Vision 2030’. And there are multiple facts to back this bold yet effective claim.

Firstly, large-scale adoption of solar at a national level will not only help in the reduction of the trade deficit by slashing gigantic oil import bills but also reduce the costs of electricity for both domestic and commercial consumers. Secondly, solar is the only option with the potential of making electricity accessible to off-grid areas – without spending billions on the development of new and upgradation of already present grid infrastructure. Easy to install, easier to maintain, and easiest to operate!

But there is more to the picture, shifting to renewable energy will also improve the deteriorating climate situation by inhibiting the emission of carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases. To make our cities smogless and breathable once again.

Now is the time Pakistan should step forward and embrace renewable energy sources to keep the wheel running. Just like the developed world, especially European countries, which are utilizing the infinite capacity of solar to its maximum and propelling their economies forward. To make it happen, Pakistan needs modern solar technologies, state-of-the-art equipment, and an experienced partner to collaborate with. Zonergy is there to provide all that.

Being the solar leader with the highest market share in terms of industrial units in Pakistan, Zonergy has been committed to delivering seamless solar energy solutions to Pakistani people. From the productive management of the biggest solar project of Pakistan (The Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park) to providing hundreds of solar systems for homes, businesses, educational institutes, factories, agricultural lands, we know the science and art of solar. And we look forward to extending our collaboration with the government and people of Pakistan to actualize this clean and green Pakistan vision by 2030!