ISLAMABAD - The lukewarm response of the Sindh government to the wind power investors has shifted a majority of interested investors in the solar power to Punjab, where the provincial government is more cooperative in providing land and other amenities, an official source said.
Punjab government, he said was very cooperative with regards to promote photovoltaic (PV) power projects in the province. Investors are approaching Punjab as the Sindh government is totally reluctant to grant land for wind and solar power projects.
He mentioned lack of infrastructure as another major reason for the stalling of wind power projects in Sindh. While in the solar power the major hurdle had been the initial cost; but considering the disparity in demand and supply the investors were ready to invest as they could gain maximum return on their investment.
Punjab government is interested in promoting solar power in less developed areas but once some successful models are available it could be used for pumping the water through tubewells. Only recently the government has approved a solar tubewell project.
According to the Alternate Energy Development Board, solar energy has excellent potential in Pakistan that receives high levels of solar radiation throughout the year. Every day, the country receives an average of about 19 Mega Joules per square metre of solar energy. It is available at a rate of 1000 watts per square meter in the country. This can be converted to DC electricity with the help of solar PV cells, which may be used to pump water, operate fans, TV and telecommunications directly during daytime. The electrical energy generated during the day time, can also be stored in deep cycle lead acid batteries which can be used at night to provide power for lighting, radio, Television and fans. The system will be user-friendly and designed as a stand-alone system for each household, who will be trained to operate and maintain it. The user will only be required to switch on/off the system, as is done in normal home lighting systems. In addition, solar photovoltaic panels can generate enough electricity to pump water from depth of 350 to 1000 feet.
Many of these villages are far from the main transmission lines of the national grid and, because of their relatively small populations; it is usually not economically viable to connect these villages to the grid. Solar energy, on the other hand, has excellent potential in areas of Pakistan that receive high levels of solar radiation throughout the year.