Pakistan to Unveil First Domestically Produced Solar Panels

Highlights :

  • The University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore, is set to launch the nation’s first locally manufactured solar power panels.
  • During summers, Pakistan’s electricity demand reaches 20,000MW, and the inability to meet the demand leads to power cuts.

Pakistan is gearing up to increase the production and use of renewable energy as a measure to alleviate power shortages. To this end, the country’s government has proposed eliminating taxes associated with the manufacture of solar and wind energy equipment in the country. The University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore, is set to launch the nation’s first locally manufactured solar power panels.

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The university will begin production of the third-generation solar power panels soon. Dr. Najeeb Ullah, leading the research at UET, said, “We are launching our production and will deliver our first order for generating 2MW power very soon.”

Dr. Najeeb notes that at present Pakistan generates 6 percent of its total power from wind and solar projects, however, the solar panels used to generate energy are imported and are not as effective as the ones being developed by the university’s Center for Advanced Studies in Energy.

According to the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organization, the total energy consumption of Pakistan is expected to cross 49,000MW by 2025 due to the increase in population. Currently, the average energy demand of Pakistan is 19,000MW against the generation of around 15,000MW. During summers, the demand reaches 20,000MW. Due to faulty grids and distribution systems as well as electricity demand exceeding production, the citizens are subjected to frequent power cuts and blackouts.

Dr. Najeeb claims that the locally manufactured solar panels will reduce the power generation cost. “The panels being used for power generation costs around Rs. 60 per watt. We will produce AAA quality power panels which will bring the production cost to Rs. 48 per watt and eventually to Rs. 10 per watt,” he stated.

Last month, the Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame) urged the Pakistani government to initiate measures for the manufacturing of solar panels in Pakistan and facilitate big competent private sector parties to set up plants in collaboration with the Chinese counterparts. In addition to being affordable, solar panels also have an extended lifespan of 15 to 20 years.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.