Worsening energy crisis and rising prices of fossil fuels demand that Pakistan should go solar on war footing basis, said Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor here Sunday.
Commenting on serious problems our economy is facing due to ballooning oil import bill, he said the government and private sector should turn to solar energy replacing costly electricity, oil and gas. He said trillions of rupees could be saved if the society is encouraged to use renewable energy, especially cheap solar energy.
He said the use if renewable energy, especially solar, have seen a fast growth over the past few years.
The use of renewable energy helps improving energy security and to mitigate harmful effects of climate change. Countries like Germany have long since jumped on the solar bandwagon and are now producing a third of their electricity from solar power.
He said as per some studies, Pakistan is a perfect candidate for solar power generation, considering the high levels of solar irradiation the country receives. Yet, solar only contributes a meager 1% to Pakistan’s energy mix against a potential of 2.9 million Megawatts according to Pakistan Alternative Energy Board.
He said investment in solar technology can improve energy access, create jobs, increase income, improve trade balance and contribute to industrial development. The socio-economic benefits of solar are astounding and its’ impact can be maximized with sound macro-level policies.
He said solar energy is obtained from the sun’s radiation and it can be converted to electricity or heat. It is freely available and thanks to advances in technology, we can now harness even more of the solar energy that is continuously available to us.
He said that solar energy has the least negative impact on the environment compared to any other energy source.
It does not produce greenhouse gases and does not pollute the water. It also requires very little water for its maintenance, unlike nuclear power plants for example, needing 20 times more water.
Solar energy production does not create any noise, which is major benefit, since a lot of solar installations are in urban areas, such as domestic solar panels. He said that generating your own electricity means that you will be using less from the utility supplier.
This will immediately translate to savings on your energy bill. Plus, you can also make money by selling the unused electricity, which you have generated, back to the grid. Through solar panel grants offered, you can make your green investment even more beneficial. The more energy you produce, the less you will need from the supplier which will increase your energy self reliance.
He said according to a report Pakistan has tremendous potential to generate solar and wind power. According to the World Bank, utilizing just 0.071 percent of the country’s area for solar photovoltaic (solar PV) power generation would meet Pakistan’s current electricity demand.