With smart energy system, SkyElectric looks upwards

Published: February 28, 2017
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CEO Ashar Aziz pitches solar power as Pakistan’s solution to power crisis. PHOTO: AFP

CEO Ashar Aziz pitches solar power as Pakistan’s solution to power crisis. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: At a time when emphasis is being laid around the globe on tapping renewable and clean energy resources to satisfy growing demand, Pakistan does not want to be left very far behind.

An increasing number of companies are coming up with clean energy solutions in the country and SkyElectric Inc is the latest addition.

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The company launched its smart energy system in Pakistan on Monday with a pledge to provide affordable and sustainable clean solar energy. An event held to mark the launch was attended by government officials, energy stakeholders, corporate executives, homeowners, academia, green architects and builders.

Talking to media, SkyElectric CEO Ashar Aziz, founder of US-based cybersecurity firm FireEye and who featured in Forbes’ annual billionaires list in 2014, said the energy crisis in Pakistan would continue for long, but the public and private sectors should make joint efforts to resolve it.

He emphasised that the solar power system was environment-friendly and could resolve the energy crisis. “Despite having nuclear resources, Pakistan still faces energy shortages, (but) the new technology will make our life better, help save money and address environmental hazards,” he said.

Among other factors, global warming is also caused by the release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through electricity production from fossil fuels, particularly coal.

He cited the example of Germany and France that had switched to clean wind and solar energy sources to tackle the crisis.

Pointing to the co-relation between economic prosperity, gross domestic product (GDP) growth and energy consumption, Aziz stressed that the expansion in national economy could not be achieved in the absence of improved per capita energy consumption.

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He was of the view that the current electricity infrastructure had 15-20% financial losses because of illegal access to electricity. Backup solutions include only the Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) system and generators, which “could not provide continuous power”.

He said the life of the UPS was only one and a half year and it was an inefficient solution in which 40% of energy was wasted. The fuel for generators is also expensive.

Highlighting advantages of his company’s smart energy solution, Aziz said it would not waste energy and the battery would have a 10-year life.

He said that the technology introduced by SkyElectric suited the developing countries, which would be affordable for domestic and industrial consumers.

He said a three kilowatt per hour (kWh) solar power system would cost Rs1 million whereas 5 kWh and 10 kWh systems would cost Rs1.4 million and Rs2.4 million, respectively. “These systems will also have backup support.”

A mobile phone app has been introduced to operate these systems via a smartphone.

For small industrial units that have limited resources, the company has introduced cheaper solar energy systems of 20 and 30 kWh.

“It (SkyElectric’s energy system) has a levelised cost of Rs9.2 per kWh against Rs10 to Rs14 for wind energy,” he said, calling it an affordable tariff.

Aziz gave a demonstration of the smart energy system, in which the audience was treated to a live interaction with the Smart Energy Console, the heart of the system.

The console is a touch screen interface, which gives insight into system operations. It has a built-in 3G chip and Wi-fi connectivity, which allows the software to relay system information to SkyElectric Cloud.

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Technical support personnel in a network operations centre have access to the cloud and can remotely monitor and diagnose faults on the system.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2017.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • khan
    Feb 28, 2017 - 9:38AM

    One million for a 3 kv system?
    Very expensive and out of reach of most peopleRecommend

  • Saeed Masood
    Feb 28, 2017 - 1:01PM

    More electricity more prosperity in Pakistan Inshahallah..Recommend

  • israr
    Feb 28, 2017 - 2:45PM

    solar energy is must and v v v important for hills for deserts for everything in Pakistan, this also means less investment less pollution and less hassle plus u can place the panel anywhere and the idea to get solar energy in national grid is WRONG, solar panels must be at village and tehsil level not even district level.
    it should also be used as alternative or in support of national grid so the villages who volunteers to solar energy should be given preference and villages should be built around water resources like canals and rich under water resources just like we used to do in past.Recommend

  • FAISAL IQBAL
    Feb 28, 2017 - 2:48PM

    “Must go with all these energy sources. It is the need of today for every department.”Recommend

  • yasir 13 chak
    Feb 28, 2017 - 3:43PM

    Very informative and useful piece of writing specially keeping in mind the coming blitzing hot summerRecommend

  • JehanNaz
    Feb 28, 2017 - 6:10PM

    Thank you very much for this coverage of SkyElectric’s Smart Energy System. The response, so far has been very positive and exceeded our expectations!

    In order to get more information about the Smart Energy System please visit our website at https://www.skyelectric.com/

    With regards to pricing it is important to note that while the upfront costs are high you have to look at the costs incurred over a 10 year period. Since our lithium-ion batteries do not need to be replaced in this time period, SkyElectric Smart Energy Systems have zero incurred costs.

    At the same time while a generator and conventional solar system might have lower upfront costs, over a 10 year period costs become much higher because a generator consumes fuel and conventional lead acid batteries need to be replaced every 2 years.

    We are also looking at providing financing for all our packages and so high prices would no longer be an issue! Recommend

  • kamran Rashid
    Feb 28, 2017 - 7:09PM

    look at zeal.org pkRecommend

  • Ammad
    Mar 1, 2017 - 6:31AM

    @JehanNaz:
    Do you also have list of Technicians who can actually be installing this system?Recommend

  • auginpk
    Mar 1, 2017 - 8:08AM

    It is the future.Recommend

  • khan
    Mar 1, 2017 - 9:28AM

    @jehannaz

    It is way expensive even if compared wid Tesla powerball & powerpackRecommend

  • JehanNaz
    Mar 1, 2017 - 1:01PM

    @Ammad Yes we have an in house team that will install your system for you after conducting a site survey and also a team dedicated to monitoring your system after installation.

    @Khan The Tesla Powerwall does not come with a hybrid inverter or solar panels while our pricing includes the entire packageRecommend

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