Harnessing solar power for Swat

Express April 08, 2010
Harnessing solar power for Swat

SWAT: There are 20 houses in a far-off village of northwest Pakistan that do not pull out their hair every time the light goes out. They do not have to- Wapda does not supply them with their electricity, the sun does.

If there is one thing that Pakistan has in plenty, it is sunlight. And given the current energy crisis in the country, perhaps, harnessing solar energy is one of the best solutions.

he reality of such a possibility might not be as far off as one thinks. Some 20 houses in Shamizai area of Parai village in Swat are being powered by solar energy. The project was masterminded and engineered by the Pakistan Army.

“These people had no hope of getting electricity for the rest of their lives,” Colonel Aziz, in-charge of the Operation Shamozai told The Express Tribune. “We have also installed 15 street lights on the Parai road. One such streetlight costs around Rs 45,000 but the army gifted it to the locals.”

An advantage of using solar energy for electricity is that there is no additional cost involved once the equipment has been installed, Colonel Aziz added. The residents of Parai and Shamozai are grateful to the army for its effort.

“Our village is called Parai but we don’t call it a village anymore, we call it a city,” one happy local resident said. “When there was no electricity everyone used to stay indoors but now everyone is outdoors on the roads or in the shops.


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