Experts stress shift to solar power

Talk about factors hindering solar energy growth in country

Our Correspondent December 23, 2020


Energy experts have stressed the need for a strong and broad consensus among key stakeholders for curbing coal-based power generation and diverting 60% of energy mix to renewable resources by 2030 in Pakistan.

At a consultative meeting held at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) on Tuesday, they termed solar power an irresistible and promising solution for advancing the renewable energy uptake to remove the chronic bottlenecks plaguing the national power sector.

The speakers talked about how several barriers including regulatory bumps at the inter-connection phase, low trust in technology, difficulties in accessing finance, and inertia at the level of distribution companies were collectively restricting solar energy growth in the country.

During the session, emphasis was laid on the alignment of distributed generation growth in the Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan, significant stakeholder consultations and support and consolidated changes for overcoming the identified challenges.

They agreed that the environmental impact assessment of coal power generation in the country was not easily accessible, which made it quite difficult to ascertain the impact of waste of these plants on subsoil fertility and biodiversity.

The speakers added that coal projects already initiated under the aegis of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) should be completed.

However, they stressed that a realistic implementation and action plan should be designed for future in the backdrop of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to not consider new coal-fired power plants.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2020.

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