ISLAMABAD-Moving towards clean and cheap energy adoption, the government is all set to launch a 600-megawatt solar power project in Muzaffargarh. To tackle the current economic and energy crisis, as both are interlinked, the government has prioritized solarization, as opting for renewable energy sources offers better economic alternatives.
Taking to WealthPK, Director of Policy at Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Syed Aqeel Hussain Jaffri said Pakistan’s energy sector remained one of the main obstacles to economic growth. The project is part of the government’s efforts to save energy and utilize indigenous renewable energy resources. He was of view that the time had come to take the power sector towards more decarbonization. “The bidding process has been initiated and the project is expected to be completed in next 2.5 years under the Fast Track Solar Initiative to generate 600 megawatts,’’ he said.
Jaffri said the project was aimed at reducing the country’s reliance on expensive imported fuel. Utilizing solar energy will also help reduce conventional fuel consumption and cost 50-60 percent less than fossil fuel. He said the plan was to shift the existing power units to solar energy during day time instead of using costly imported fuel. Pakistan’s power demand is expected to reach 108–126 million tons of oil equivalent (TOE) by 2030. It is to be mentioned that as per the SDG Goal 7, affordable, reliable and modern energy for all must be ensured by 2030. To achieve the set target, it is mandatory that such steps should be taken which help build the energy infrastructure mainly for renewable energy technologies in the country. Recently, the country’s energy demand has increased manifold because of rapid population growth and other factors. As per the available data, although Pakistan has the capacity to add 15,000MW to the national grid by 2025, still 25 percent of the population does not have access to electricity, leaving almost 58 million population without power. Pakistan receives one of the best solar irradiation in the world and has a potential to generate over 2.324 million megawatts (MW) of electricity per annum through the solar thermal and photovoltaic systems.