LAHORE: Pakistan’s first solar measuring station to gather radiation data has commenced its operation in the neighbourhood of Bhawalpur district, a step towards compiling a national solar atlas.
The inaugural ceremony was held on Monday at Quaid-e-Azam (QA) Solar Park.
This is one of nine solar measuring stations to be installed across Pakistan as a part of the World Bank-funded renewable energy resource mapping and geospatial planning project with a financial outlay of $1.96 million.
Pakistan has more than 300 sunny days and one of best solar resource. However, enormous solar energy has yet to be tapped to meet burgeoning power demand. So far, only around 24 independent power producers – having 792.99 megawatts production capacity – are in different stages of development.
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"Nature has given you everything. You have got unlimited resources. The foundations of your state have been laid, and it is now for you to build, and build as quickly as you can. So go ahead, I wish you Godspeed"
Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah
Pakistan is blessed with abundance of renewable energy potential but so far it has not been harnessed except for
large hydroelectric projects. The Ministry of Water and Power has prepared the Renewable Energy Policy of Pakistan in 2006, which envisages mainstreaming of renewable energy in the development
plans of the country. The renewable energy according to the scope of the policy includes technologies like small hydro, solar photovoltaic and wind power generation.
The Government of Punjab, under the vision of Chief Minister Shahbaz Shariff, has dedicated 6500 acres of land near Lal Sohanra, Cholistan, Bahawalpur for the purpose of establishing a 1000 MW Solar Park for generation of electricity from the solar energy. This is an initiative of Government of the Punjab (GoPb), Pakistan to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in generation of electricity and to overcome the ever expanding gap between energy production and demand. 500 acres have been reserved to set up the first 100 MW PV Solar Power Plant.
This project aims to mark the beginning of the Province’s journey towards generation of renewable energy and a cleaner and greener future.