KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that solar home system project would serve the dual purpose of mitigating the energy crisis and also contribute to addressing the global concerns of environmental degradation due to use of fossil fuels.
He said this while delivering the inaugural speech of Sindh Solar Energy Programme (SSEP)- deployment of Solar Home Systems (SHS) in the rural off-grid areas of the province organised by Energy Department at a local hotel.
The seminar was attended by World Bank Country Director Illango, P&D Chairman Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary Sajid Jamal Abro, provincial secretaries, energy experts and investors.
The chief minister said that the project of developing SHS covers those areas as well, where although electricity network is available, power outages are extended up to 12 hours a day.
CM Murad said that although energy is a basic need for socio-economic development in the modern era, a sizeable population still does not have access to electricity. “It is the aim of our government to make affordable electricity accessible to all,” he said, adding that the proposed project was the first step towards achieving this objective. The consultative workshop with all stakeholders was a key event for successful implementation of the project on sustainable grounds, he said.
He said that this project will serve the dual purpose of mitigating the energy crisis and will also contribute to addressing the global concerns of environmental degradation due to use of fossil fuels.
“Sindh is suitably placed to access and utilise donor financing options to scale-up solar energy thus mitigating the energy shortage being faced by the province. Sindh has sufficient solar and wind power potential,” he said.
CM Murad said that Sindh has a relatively low level of electrification, especially in remote areas. “These localities will have electricity access by using solar PV under this programme,” he said, adding, “This is also an opportunity for Sindh to enhance economic development through the use of domestic renewable resources, and gain familiarity with solar technology and its operation.”
Talking about wind energy, he said that with its abundant wind source, Sindh can play a leadership role in demonstrating the conjunctive use of solar and wind power in a manner that optimises the use of evacuation infrastructure.
He said that this pragmatic approach would look into the viability of solar power at different scales – rural off-grid, urban rooftop and utility-scale solar. “It is now a proven fact that solar energy is not only technically feasible, but cost-effective too,” he said, adding that the recommendations of this consultative workshop for a new solar strategy would move the nation towards greater energy access, and energy security.
He recalled that the idea to analyse where Sindh stands today and where its tremendous opportunities lie originated during his meeting with World Bank president last year in Karachi.
“Sustainable energy for all is our mission and we want every single home equipped with affordable electricity in the province,” he said. “Although it is ambitious, it is going to be a bold initiative,” he added. He also hoped that experts would find out pragmatic solutions during this workshop to ensure energy access for all.