By Muhammad Amin Iqbal
Since the dawn of human life on earth, the most notable source of evident energy was the sun. as the first realized source of energy and even before the technological advancements like the invention of solar panels and the solar streetlights, the potential of the sun was known to all e.g. lighting fires using mirrors, the sundial, the art of Feng Shui, drying food and clothes, etc. In the 6th century AD, Justinian Code initiated the right of sun use to every individual. And during the 1830s Horace de Saussure, built the first solar collector which later in the same decade was used by Sir John Herschel for cooking purposes in Africa during his expedition.
Between 1912 and 1913 in Egypt, a visionary named Frank Shuman built the first solar thermal power station. He said: “We have proved the commercial profit of sun power in the tropics and have more particularly proved that after our stores of oil and coal are exhausted the human race can receive unlimited power from the rays of the sun.”
This inexhaustible and unlimited source of energy is abundant and free for all. Yet the demand of energy and its shortage seems absurd when the nearest star bathes its planets in 85000 terawatts of energy per year. Power generation of the Sun can be helpful in the compactness and viability of solar power. If we look at the present scenario of the energy sector, during the last fifty years or so, there has been seen an outburst of solar energy fever in every country. Major developments around the world are seen and technological advancements can be seen in almost all the countries of the world owing to increasing costs of fossil fuels and their fast depleting reserves. In Pakistan, thermal power being (public sector 24% and private sector 41.6%) and hydel being 32.1% has proven to be expensive as well as inadequate. Nuclear power on the other hand is also less than 2.4% which is also not enough for our daily usage. Due to such shortage, the common public especially in Pakistan cannot meet their daily requirements of energy. Energy sector in Pakistan has many flaws like not enough electricity, load shedding and weak wiring, that the rest of the developed world has already overcome to some extent. Lack of finances is also a major limiting factor.
If we look at the solar geographical terrain of Pakistan, we see a lot of Sun activity for most of the daytime. This is partly because time and again it is proven that solar energy is at par excellence compared to all other sources of energy, irrespective of the fact that they are renewable or non-renewable.
Energy resources like solar are more urgently required for Pakistan’s geopolitical and economic parameters are facing limitations in obtaining the power equilibrium of supply and demand. Solar energy is a technical subject where the rate of success is largely based on not only the implementation but also the technical aspects of solar cells. Solar energy and the rays of the sun specifically have given us a reason to use less regular grid station electricity which is also expensive. The most urgent of use of solar energy in the present time is to provide a viable solution to the looming problem of electric shortage, especially for household consumers.
Recently in Pakistan, there have been some major developments in the solar sector. The government has proposed 22 solar power projects with an estimated output of 890.80 MW. Out of which 6 projects are currently generating 430 MW of solar power. Despite these efforts, the Government of Pakistan should work by leaps and bounds in the solar sector to facilitate loans for installing solar panels on homes. Sun is and solar energy will remain the ultimate source in all parts of the world, while keeping the interest rate low, to pull out the crushed and ailing Pakistani economy from underneath the escalating bills of electricity. Solar energy has the potential to offer the vision of a lifestyle which is independent, less costly, and free-spirited.