Islamabad, June 10, 2013 (PPI-OT): Government should provide incentives in the new federal budget to encourage the promotion of solar energy in the country which was the best short-term solution to Pakistan’s growing energy shortage problem. This was observed by Mr. Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry while presiding over a meeting of ICCI Sub-Committee on Energy.
He said solar energy was very environment-friendly renewable energy and could be produced in the shortest possible time. Therefore, government should encourage conversion of power supply in government offices, banking and private educational institutions as well as all street lights to solar energy in phases. For this purpose, government should allow duty free import of solar panels while solar solutions should also be encouraged in agriculture sector by converting all tube wells to solar energy.
Zafar Bakhtawari said estimates indicated that Pakistan has a huge potential of generating over 2.324 million megawatts electricity per annum through solar system and government should provide incentives for attracting investment in solar technology.
He said though solar panels were expensive presently however encouraging local commercial manufacturing would make them cheaper and viable for all consumers. He stressed for manufacturing of all components of solar system locally in order to make them viable for the local as well as export markets.
He said USA, Germany, Australia, Brazil, UK, Japan, India, China and Thailand were generating electricity in bulk through solar system and Pakistan should also seriously consider this option to overcome energy problems in shortest time.
The Committee members said that many countries in the world were providing subsidies and rebates to consumers for shifting to solar energy, but progress in Pakistan to explore solar potential for power generation was disappointing despite having perfect conditions for the same. They said Pakistan should learn from countries like Bangladesh, which witnessed the fastest expansion of solar use and changed the face of its remote and rural areas.
They said that government should make initial investment in order to create a market. Once a market was in place, the private sector could take over the job as already happened in Bangladesh where the private sector was actively engaged in promoting solar energy.
They were of the opinion that the government should legislate to make compulsory the use of solar energy for electricity generation in development projects and residential use to meet energy shortages. It should also stop further extension in the transmission lines and put the entire funds meant for village electrification to solar use.
For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Tel: +9251 225 0526 and 225 3145
Fax: +9251 225 2950