Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Managing Director Arif Alauddin has said prices of solar panels have dropped 80% over the last five years, making alternative energy attractive for the consumers.
“We should avail of the opportunity and switch to solar energy to overcome the energy crisis,” he stressed while speaking at the International Exhibition and Conference on Alternative Energy and Energy Efficiency, organised by the Renewable and Alternative Energy Association of Pakistan here on Saturday.
As the country was generating power at an average rate of Rs20 per unit, Alauddin said the consumers could have cheaper electricity with the help of solar applications.
Despite the decrease in the cost of battery, the solar panels were still expensive, but the consumers could take benefit of them in day time, he suggested.
Speaking on the occasion, Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) Chairman Hameedullah Jan Afridi, who also inaugurated the conference, called on the government to announce much-awaited residential renewable energy tariff and provide easily accessible financing options for promoting renewable energy culture in the country.
The government has announced upfront tariff for wind power plants, but it has yet to announce the tariff for solar power.
He described the residential upfront tariff (feed in tariff) coupled with easy financing options as essential factors, which were a must for developing the renewable energy culture. “Sadly, we are lacking on both these points.”
He said, “we need to ponder how to provide renewable energy financing as well as micro financing for rural electrification.”
“Once we have put the residential FiTs (feed in tariffs) and financing in place, I am sure and very hopeful that soon we will be very successful and serve as a role model for other developing nations to follow as far as renewable energy is concerned.”
The vast array of renewable energy technologies includes bio-energy, waste to energy, hydropower and so on. To encourage the renewable energy industry, the government has zero-rated almost all renewable energy equipment and components.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2012.