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Monday, October 13, 2014

#RoshanPakistan | 46 solar power projects planned in the Punjab

Let there be light: 46 solar power projects planned in the Punjab

Published: October 13, 2014
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. PHOTO: APP
The government has selected 46 sites in the province where small-scale solar power projects will be set up to reduce the power shortage, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Sunday. He said there was vast scope for generating electricity from solar energy in the Punjab.
He was presiding over a high-level meeting to review prospects of setting up solar energy projects in the province.
Dr Gerwin Greesman, a German expert on solar energy, and Energy Additional Chief Secretary Jehanzeb Khan gave a briefing on small-scale solar power projects. The chief minister said it was essential to resolve the energy crisis to eliminate poverty and unemployment and boost trade and economic activities.
He said the government was taking all possible measures to deal with the energy crisis. He said ill-timed protests and sit-ins had wasted precious time. There was no room for further delay. “We must work together to banish darkness from the country… relevant departments and institutions will have to perform their duties with a renewed spirit.”
Sharif said the energy crisis had badly affected education, health and agriculture. It was absolutely necessary to solve the crisis in order for the government to promote industries. The chief minister said the prime minister was making sincere efforts to deal with the energy crisis.
He said there was vast potential to generate electricity through solar panels. Erecting 150MW solar power projects in the province would go a long way in decreasing the shortage of electricity. He said relevant departments will have to work on the projects on war footing.
Sharif said a team will be formed soon to ensure speedy and transparent execution of these projects. He said the provincial government would initially set up a 100MW solar project in the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur using its own resources. He said the park will start producing electricity by the end of the current year.
The chief minister said that the provincial government was also working on coal, hydel, biogas and biomass.
He said there was vast scope for producing electricity using biomass. He said the government was working round-the-clock to solve the energy problem.
“It should not be long before we put the country on the road to progress and prosperity.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2014.