Punjab most suitable for solar energy projects

317 sites pointed out on canals for generating 600 MW electricity

Lahore: Senior Minister Raja Riaz Ahmad has said that the Irrigation & Power Department can be an efficient platform for launching small hydel power generation as well as solar energy projects in the province to overcome the energy crisis.

He was presiding over a high-level departmental meeting at Irrigation headquarters’ committee room for reviewing amendments in Power Policy 2008 here Thursday. Secretary Irrigation, Babur Bharwana and members of the committee besides representatives of lime-departments also attended the meeting.

The meeting agreed that timeframe for the 50 MW projects should be rationalized to attract more investment by the private sector. There are 317 suitable sites already pointed-out by the department on canals/barrages where a total of 600 MW of electricity can be generated.

Raja Riaz asked the private sector to pay particular attention towards launching solar energy projects to overcome rising energy needs. The meeting was told that total installed solar energy capacity of Pakistan is 19,566 MW while total Indian installed solar capacity is 1, 37,000 MW. Solar energy is pollution free and with the help of photovoltaic devices light energy can be converted into electricity. According to international estimates, Punjab is the most suitable place for setting up solar energy projects.

The meeting was informed that China can be helpful in launching new solar energy projects besides providing technical assistance for feasibility studies, capacity building & training and procurement of solar based home appliances.

Source: The Post, 14/11/2008

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