ISLAMABAD    -   Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif gave in-principle approval for setting up 2000 megawatts of so­lar power projects in the public sector.

He gave this ap­proval while chair­ing a high-level review meeting regarding the 10,000 MW solarisation project in the country, on Thursday.

Speaking on the oc­casion, the prime min­ister said that the so­larisation project will generate low-cost and en­vironment-friendly elec­tricity in the country. He said the project will elim­inate country’s depen­dence on expensive fu­el-fired projects and save valuable foreign exchange.

Under the plan, agricul­tural tube wells in all four provinces will be shifted to solar on priority basis.

The Prime Minister said that by using solar ener­gy, it will be possible to re­solve the problems of dis­tribution and line losses, electricity theft and in­crease in circular debt. He said the companies invest­ing in solar energy will be given sovereign guarantee by the government.

The meeting was giv­en a detailed briefing re­garding the transfer of fu­el-powered power plants to solar energy in the country.

The meeting was in­formed that an investors conference was organized on 14th of this month re­garding investment in the solar energy sector in the country, in which repre­sentatives of investment companies from local and international countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Chi­na and Qatar participated and expressed deep inter­est in investing in solar energy sector in Pakistan.

The meeting was fur­ther told that the work has been started to select the location for the new solar power plants in the coun­try. In this regard, a place near Muzaffargarh has also been identified where a 600 MW solar power plant will be constructed.

Apart from this, plans are being made regarding 11 KV feeders powered by solar energy.

The meeting was further informed that the frame­work and tariff for invest­ment in the solar energy sector is being worked on and in this regard consul­tation is going on between the Power Division, Alter­nate Energy Development Board, Central Power Pur­chasing Company, NEPRA and other institutions. The Prime Minister direct­ed to further improve the timelines in this regard so that the electricity gener­ated from solar energy can be included in the national grid at the earliest.