Experts stress on using solar power to meet Pakistan energy needs

  • May 04, 2021
  • Business Recorder

Blessed with an abundance of solar power, energy experts have stressed utilizing solar to meet the energy needs of Pakistan.

Pakistan could possibly generate more than 2,900 gigawatts of solar power capacity, says Hassan Abbas, an environmentalist, quoted DW.

"There are influential bureaucrats, policymakers and hydropower lobbies that are against solar energy," said Abbas. "An outdated solar system installed in Punjab by China lent credence to the claims of skeptics who assert solar would not work in Pakistan," he added.

The environmentalist claimed that developing solar power would be cheaper than hydroelectric power, and claimed that a $10 billion investment in solar power could generate 50 to 60 gigawatts of capacity.

However, despite the potential several factors are holding back the growth of solar power in the country, including complications in finding space for solar farms, procedural delays in construction approvals and unattractive tariffs for selling power to national grid, said Ghazala Reza, an energy expert.

"Lack of political will and reluctance of government investment dash the hopes of generating electricity through this sustainable method," Reza said.

The energy expert however was of the view that Pakistan should not dismantle operational power plants. "Pakistan invested billions of dollars in hydro and thermal plants. Many of them can work for years. Scrapping them would be a financial disaster," Reza said.