Pakistan is manufacturing cellphones in collaboration with Chinese and other companies. Similarly, the country can also take the initiative to manufacture solar panels locally.

Talking to CEN, Amjad Hussein, renewable energy expert and consultant in Pakistan, said that China is the leader in solar technology right now. Pakistan should work with China to manufacture solar panels under CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) inside SEZs (Special Economic Zones).

He said, “It will lower its cost for the local population and will help create job opportunities.”

“Imported solar panels are costly, despite tax and duties exemption. Therefore, it will be better for us to manufacture our own solar panels in Pakistan.”

“The manufacturing of the solar panels locally will make it affordable for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to install these systems in their homes and factories,” he added.

According to solar experts, an area needs a minimum of four hours of peak sunlight in order to produce electricity that is economical. In this regard, Pakistan is the most blessed country that has sunlight in most of the areas for more than 300 days, and that too with seven to eight peak hours of sunlight.

Read Establishment of solar parks proposed

The unbearable electricity crisis in Pakistan has greatly affected not only the daily lives of people but businesses and industries as well.

Although, since the past couple of years, the government has attempted to resolve the issue of load shedding, the gap in the demand and production of electric energy is so vast that it cannot be covered with the current electric energy production sources alone. The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has devised a plan to increase the existing 9,406 megawatts of hydel electricity to 20,591MW by the year 2028-29.

A major chunk of new supply would come from Diamer-Bhasha Dam with 4,800MW capacity and Dasu Hydropower Project with 4,300MW, which is being built on the Indus River.

Another big project called Mohmand Dam with 800MW capacity is being constructed on the Swat River.


Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2022.

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