Government urged to start solar energy scheme to mitigate power outages: Zaigham Adil Rizvi

Lahore, March 17, 2014 (PPI-OT): Though successive governments’ schemes like Yellow Cab, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Lap Top for Students and Business Loan for Youth have been started for the welfare of people but the fact is that beneficiaries of these schemes are only individuals and as a result these schemes have created a segment of society who would always look forward to government initiatives for their redressal as they have become disabled and immobile with the passage of time.

Had government taken initiatives to hand over hunting gadgets to beneficiaries of these schemes instead of presenting fish on the plates, economic activities could have been spurred and wheel of country’s economy could have been run in double speed.

These views have been expressed by Tuwairqi Steel Mills Limited Engineering (TSMLE) Country Head Zaigham Adil Rizvi while talking to media men here on Sunday at a local hotel.

While quoting an example, Zaigham Adil Rizvi said that the incumbent PML-N government has continued BISP scheme by allocating Rs 100 billion. Though there are few scandals emerged and a few million rupees only embezzled in this scheme but the fact is that the scheme could not alleviate poverty across the country as merely a small chunk of people are the beneficiaries of this scheme.

He said that had government spent this huge amount of Rs 100 billion on the generation of 4,100MW electricity through solar system, the economic activities in the country could have been doubled. He said that on the one hand, the electricity generated through solar system would have been cheapest ever and could mitigate the menace of load shedding once for all across the country while on the other hand, this cheapest electricity could expedite the economic activities in the country and becomes key source of enhancing exports for the country, he added.

He said that as we know that a large chunk of electricity is being generated through thermal power plants and prices of oil in international market are highly volatile so tariff of electricity cannot be stable and is likely to increase up to Rs 30 per unit in the coming days, he added.

He said that a time is drawing to near when consumers of electricity across the country would prefer to keep their respective homes in dark not on the back of load shedding but high price of power as all successive governments have been surrendered to international lending agencies in a bid to get maximum loan to run the affairs of state. The high rates of furnace oil, being consumed in generating thermal power plants, is also major cause of skyrocketing prices of power.

So far, Pakistan is spending over $8 billion annually on the import of furnace oil for the purpose of generating power and this volume is increasing day after day because of ill planning. Why incumbent government is not advocating people to convert to solar energy instead of leaving them on the mercy of Discos is a Rs100 million question. However, the fact is that private sector is inching towards solarisation in the country.

Zaigham Adil Rizvi claimed that even if, at a time, abundant power is available in the country, tariff will continue to increase at astronomical rates. Local production of electric power for residential and industrial purpose, using generators is expensive and polluting while UPS, as a backup source, is insufficient because the duration of power outage is very long. So the solar power is the only solution which is pollution-free, noise-free, fuel-free, maintenance-free and cost effective method to produce electric power for homes, shops, schools, offices, factories, and farms, he added.

He further said that setting up solar power system is the most economic and affordable system that every individual can install it at his respective home. He said that as Pakistan is an electricity-starved country it should follow the path of regional countries in this regard, he said adding that India has gained over 1,000MW through this system and we are still hovering near 50MW while Bangladesh government with the financial assistance of World Bank has electrified over one million homes through solar energy system while another one million homes are being provided electricity through this off-grid system.

He was of the view that solar system has many advantages to adopt. For example, he said solar energy is clean, green and will never run out. As we convert power of the sun into electricity, hence, after the initial cost of the solar panels, this electricity is entirely free. The sun is constant – it will always be there and is therefore a reliable, utterly renewable source of energy.

He further elaborated that once the initial financial outlay has been made to purchase the solar panels, the sun’s energy is completely free. As it does not rely on the burning of harmful fuels to generate electricity, solar power is non-polluting – it does not contribute to global warming or greenhouse gas emissions, he added.

He further said that as there are no moving parts in a solar panel, they require very little maintenance. Solar power allows those in remote locations to live off the grid without having to rely solely on noisy, smelly generators.

It is part of the solution to becoming energy self-sufficient. Without the need for wires, cords or power sources, solar panels are incredibly easy to install. Solar energy is renowned for its versatility – it can be used to power anything from a tiny torch to a satellite in space. Solar technology is improving and reducing in cost all the time, whereas fossil fuel prices are only steadily increasing. Zaigham Adil Rizvi emphasized the government and common people to adopt solar energy system to reduce their expenditures and menace of power load shedding.

For more information, contact:
Saad Tahir
Public Relations Officer
Tuwairqi Steel Mills Limited (TSML)
Finance and Trade Centre, 1st Floor, Block-D,
Shahrah-e-Faisal,
Karachi-74400, Pakistan.
Tel: + 92 21 35651272,
Fax + 9221 35638019
Cell: +92 322 200 4529
E-mail: Saad Tahir

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