Among the earliest policy intentions expressed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, solarization had special place. It all started with meeting with Chinese who were invited to invest in solar projects. There was also in review of renewable energy projects approved during the PML-N period but not implemented by PTI government. Initially news came out what new policy would aim to add of 14,000 MW of solar power. new national solar policy was to be announced on August 1. Realistic assessment of the task force set up for the target seems to scale down goal, with prime minister’s tweet on September 1 pre-bid conference of stakeholders will be held this week to discuss on generation of 10,000 MW.
As long as there is plans for solarization of tubular wells on diesel fuel and government buildings, central focus of The National Solar Energy Initiative appears to be early start of mega projects. There are several unresolved issues here. First, the goal is to replace costly import of fossil fuel with cheaper solar power. This will add to a power that, according to some, already in excess and huge costs for without using it. Second, exit of in new solar projects are expected use existing transmission system it’s known for his high level of embezzlement. Thirdly, thanks to our well-known inability make foreign deals in our interests and weaknesses of legal system, private investments in solar power the same danger as with PIS. Finally, critical macroeconomic situation dictates against funding for the SDP.
governments in Pakistan, especially of PML-N, I prefer megaprojects for their visibility. future sunny, but the rush to megaprojects can create more problems what will it be solve. However, there is every reason throw yourself in demand creation not included in the supply. With less than respectable access to electricity, goes small will add more value. Solarization of tube wells and agricultural implements already there in in new policy. Autonomous rural households and public Services in rural areas offer great potential. All new house construction and commercial premises in urban areas should get a mandate for solarization. As a starting point cost of solarization lumpy, need this is work out incentives framework. At present, most of the solar equipment is imported. The little that is produced domestically of low quality. Even imports, mainly from China, do not of great qualitative.
For many years this writer advocated the establishment of research Center, with purpose to create and design high quality solar equipment locally. Because there is no better use of public investment than innovation and replication, means should have no funding restrictions. it should be modeled after Kahuta project, with the same professional zeal to succeed at all costs. Perhaps the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and other nuclear laboratories will be able to team motivated to launch a brand in Pakistan in high competition world market. Prototypes made by the enterprise should be asked private sector to scale up. Meanwhile, demand creation should be encouraged by the liberal regime for import and local taxes, except for concessional credit. Existing Energy Blend shows Only one percentage contribution of solar generation. Since solar energy is not continuous, other sources cannot be completely excluded. However, it can be the main source and great jump forward to ensure affordable, clean and sustainable supplies. Let the sun shine on in economy.
Published in Express Tribune, 9 September.th2022.
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