The Solar Energy Revolution in Pakistan

Pakistan currently depends heavily on foreign imports to meet its energy needs, but that’s beginning to change thanks to increased investment in solar power. It is a solar revolution in the country supported mainly by Chinese companies. The potential of solar energy for contributing to the economy in Pakistan is now clear to the masses and the government. Solar energy systems are being installed even in small cities/villages.

Pakistan has more sunny days due to its geological location compared to European countries, for instance. So this solar revolution doesn’t come as a surprise here.

Solar energy has been considered dependable renewable energy over the past few years, as leading world scientists and politicians realize that it’s one of the most sustainable and readily available renewable resources on earth, with huge potential to meet future energy needs. So, what challenges lie ahead as Pakistan begins to embrace the solar revolution? This article answers these questions.

What Is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is shining light and heat from the sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaic systems, solar thermal energy, solar architecture, and artificial photosynthesis. Solar energy is only responsible for 0.26% of current man-made carbon dioxide emissions. Solar radiation, which generates solar power, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as passive solar building design, solar cooking, and solar architecture.

Introduction to Alternative Power Sources

Solar power has long been viewed as a potential alternative to fossil fuels. It’s true that solar is far from being a dominant source of energy in Pakistan. However, with a growing oil price hike, more and more homes and businesses are switching to solar as an efficient renewable energy option. Job opportunities in the solar industry are also increasing at a rapid rate.

Pros & Cons of Different Alternative Power Sources

A renewable energy source is one that can be replaced in a relatively short period of time by using natural processes. On the other hand, fossil fuels, on the other hand, take millions of years to develop. These alternative power sources are usually referred to as non-conventional sources because they are more expensive than conventional fossil fuels and they are often produced in different ways. Today there is an increase in demand for these sources as oil prices continue to rise especially after the start of the coronavirus epidemic and the Russia-Ukraine war situation.

What Happens When Water Runs Out?

Water is not completely renewable in most places due to global warming. In fact, of all the countries in Asia, we have one of the highest annual solar radiation rates at that even when our country is hit by severe droughts and heatwaves (which we do experience), rainfall usually compensates for what’s lost.

What Makes Solar Energy Popular?

Solar energy’s potential in terms of current and future growth has attracted many people to its advantages over fossil fuels. Oil price hikes over recent years have made oil much more expensive than it used to be, and some areas where oil drilling is popular are experiencing shortages. While solar energy is more expensive upfront, it can become cheaper over time once set up; especially if solar panels are built into buildings themselves. The energy they produce offsets costs while reducing pollution.

Who Benefits the Most from Solar Channel?

More than 90 percent of villages in remote regions of Pakistan have no access to grid electricity. And yet rural communities still need light and power for health care, education, communication, and other basic services. With subsidies on kerosene soaring and battery-powered lanterns expensive and unreliable, solar home systems offer a much cheaper alternative—and they don’t emit toxic fumes or leave behind empty plastic bottles that fill local landfills. Solar panels are popular in the common households even in villages. One can easily notice people there are running their tube wells with solar energy. Solar energy is a viable option for the masses considering the deterioration of national distribution.

Report of ITA on Pakistan’s Solar Energy Progress

International Trade Administration (ITA) has reported on Pakistan’s Solar Energy Progress. Pakistan has an average sunlight day of 9.5 hours. Solar energy has a bright future in the country. The on-grid solar solution has some problems relating to fluid renewable energy policy, whereas the off-grid solar solution has much scope for growth. In the Public sector, the previous governments tried to enhance the usage of solar energy. It is a photovoltaic power station in Bahawalpur. This solar park initially generated 1000 MW. Currently, its production is a lot less than its design value. Efforts are underway to run it at its full capacity.  The Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) is pursuing 22 smaller solar projects.

Due to the exponential increase of electricity generated by oil consumption, there has been a strong surge in domestic installation of rooftop photovoltaic panels in larger and even smaller cities. Net metering regulations (for power less than 1 MW) came into effect in September 2015. This sector is trending toward significant growth soon as the GOP is targeting at least 1 million customers and adding more than 3000 MW of solar power through net metering.

Promising opportunities within this sector

The most promising opportunities within the solar sector of Pakistan are:

 

Roof top solar system

Structure errection for roof top solar system

The Road Ahead

The world, and Pakistan in particular, is seeing a shift away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. The reasons are many, but they all point to a simple truth: sustainable energy simply makes sense. It’s good for both our planet and our pockets. Luckily, countries across Asia and South America are starting to realize the potential of solar energy, especially in places with high concentrations of sunshine. Pakistan is luckily among such places. Masses have realized that investing in rooftop solar systems is like a profitable business earning them the money they would have paid to the companies supplying electricity using the conventional fuels. So, Pakistan is facing a solar revolution that is happening now.

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One reply on “The Solar Energy Revolution in Pakistan”

  • aamina
    May 15, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    Nice blog.