Solar power ray of hope for 60 million Pakistanis without electricity

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An aerial view of the Quaid eAzam Solar Power Park in Bahawalpur. Image Credit: Supplied

Karachi: Conceding that 60 million people of Pakistan are without electricity, the chief of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) said the abundantly available solar power is a ray of hope for thousands of off-grid homes in the country.

NEPRA Chairman, Tauseef H Farooqui, was addressing an international meeting on solar energy.

The NEPRA Chairman urged the energy sector companies dealing in solar power to provide innovative energy solutions to bring power to the houses of 30 per cent part of the Pakistani population that were deprived of electricity.

“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,” said the NEPRA chief while addressing the solar companies’ representatives present on the occasion.

He said NEPRA had been doing its best to promote the usage of Net metering system for greater reliance on renewable energy sources in the country.

He said that owing to the efforts of NEPRA the hydroelectricity as per the global norm would also be counted as a renewable energy source in Pakistan. After this inclusion, Pakistan in coming years would be in a position to generate up to 60 per cent of its national electricity mix on the basis of alternative means of power.

In his keynote address, the CEO of Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), Shah Jahan Mirza, said that renewable sources of electricity still accounted for only six per cent of the national energy mix.

He said the AEDB had completed the formalities to introduce the system of competitive bidding to facilitate the installation of new solar and wind power projects in the country.

He said the AEDB had also been working on the project to operate 14,000 tube wells in agricultural lands of Balochistan on the basis of solar energy.