PM to inaugurate ‘solar parliament’ next week

Published: February 21, 2016


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s parliament is set to become the first legislature in the world to function on solar energy after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurates the 1MW project next week.

The premier will be the chief guest and formally inaugurate solar-powered system before the National Assembly session starts on February 23, a senior officer in the Parliament Secretariat told The Express Tribune.

Pedal, solar power aims to be the new hybrid

A special ceremony has been planned with all federal ministers invited to the event. The Chinese ambassador is also expected at the ceremony to open the plant funded by China. Chinese President Xi Jinping and PM Nawaz had launched the project on April 22, 2015.

The system is currently generating 80MWh electricity, of which 62MW is used by the Parliament House and the surplus 18MW supplied to the national grid. The project was completed in seven months at a cost of Rs280.61 million.

The solar-power plant will help the Parliament House save around Rs12 million in electricity bills every year, officials claim. The power demand at the legislative house rises to 2.3MW in summers due to the additional load of air conditioners and other cooling equipment.

The solar electrification of the parliament building will save approximately 2,500 tons of carbon dioxide per annum with a carbon credit of Rs3.4 million per annum, if the project gets registered under the Clean Development Mechanism.

According to the secretariat official, the Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) had worked out the electricity requirements at the parliament at 2MWh.

US, India in talks to settle solar power trade dispute

He said the Parliament House was the first building in the country to be issued a ‘net-metering’ licence by Nepra, the power regulatory authority. Net-metering helps in delivering and adding surplus production of energy to the national grid.

Inaugurated on May 28, 1986, the Parliament House was designed by US architect Edward Durel Stone. The five-storey building has a total floor area of around 598,000 sq feet.  The solar panels have been installed on the roof of the building.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2016.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (5)

  • Yul47 London
    Feb 21, 2016 - 9:13AM

    It is all very well Parliament will run on solar energy apart from pollution will save the Nation millions in power bills, but unfortunately it cannot be replicated across the country with higher cost of Solar Panels. The Government should consider providing grants to each and every household of Pakistan who goes green. Not only it will provide legitimate source of work for thousands, but savings will boost local economy too as more money will be available to the masses to spend. The Government should consider use of district cooling plants so even the poorest shall benefit during severe weather condition with use of ugly power hungry air conditioners consigned to history. Recommend

  • Yul47 London
    Feb 21, 2016 - 10:12AM

    It is part of good governance that use of solar panel is spread amongst the masses, providing a subsidiary on each Solar Panel purchased is one such example so more people see a saving in real term to improve their lives. The use of solar energy on the Parliament building is cosmetic that any savings generated by the State is more money into the hands of politicians. The people of Pakistan are screaming for good governance after all it is their money that has been entrusted in the hands of politicians. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Feb 21, 2016 - 2:16PM

    Excellent….now lets hope with the money they save over the next hundred years they will pay their outstanding electricity bills……or bringing it down a notch they will pay for this additional expense of solar panels from their savings and not burden the exchequer when lack of maintenance and spares will inevitably happen. Recommend

  • Zeeshan Cheema
    Feb 21, 2016 - 5:36PM

    Welcome back to parliament after so many foreign trips.
    These numbers are staggering, too expensive and too much commission in solar projects.
    Total cost : 280.61 millions
    Electricity bill per year : 12 millions
    Years to recover amount : 280.61 / 12 = 23. 38 Years (if it works properly all those years)
    I highly doubt it will be working properly after couple of years. These are all gimmicks ignoring the real problems health , education, better employment and security of common man. Recommend

  • Sajjad Ashraf
    Feb 21, 2016 - 5:48PM

    The nation would be happier if the government took initiative in improving healthcare, education or any social sector fields. A useless, parliament could have better served this country if it had improved governance through effective laws in the country. Recommend

More in Pakistan