Sharif Intl an icon of energy efficiency
April 2nd, 2012 | Technology Times | No Comments
What is the core expertise of Sharif International?
Sharif International is a renewable and energy efficiency (EE) company that deals in wind solar and micro hydro. We have expertise in EE ranging from energy audits to physical implementation of energy efficiency solutions in the industries. We are also government certified Energy Services Company (ESCO) and have been given the status by ENERCON. We are focused on the industrial sector as they are the major users of electricity in the country.
We provide them advice on EE, as the big organizations have resources to implement the solutions. The local businesses will make sizeable investments in EE in near future as presently local economic conditions and international financial crisis is making companies to wait.
Do you think the alternate and renewable energy (ARE) are getting popular in the country?
If you had asked me this questions a few years back I would have said no but with the country in the grip of a severe energy crisis there is a strong desire in the people to go for ARE. But what is stopping their progress is their higher cost of installation which is practically nothing when compared with their zero bill benefits. We are making efforts to convince the banks to provide some kind of financing for these solutions. If the banks support our endeavour, many people will opt for ARE as what they pay in utility bills will be paid to banks and after two to three years these would be absolutely free.
What kind of role do you see for micro hydro?
It has a huge potential in the northern areas of Pakistan. Many people are already using turbines to generate their own electricity. The concept of community based electrification is getting popular and people are joining hands for setting up micro hydels. A few years back a tourist gifted a turbine to the local community and taught them how to operate and maintain when he visited again after a gap of two years he was surprised to know that the facility has significantly improved the lives of the people and their livelihood.
What kind of investment is required for micro hydel?
It depends upon the project, but a small project of upto 10 KV can be completed in less than Rs 300,000. It will easily cover the requirements of 40 to 50 houses in the vicinity. These small zero head turbines have immense scope in Pakistan, especially on the rivers and nullahs that flow round the year. Expertise in this sector is ready available in the country and people can install projects on self help basis. Micro hydro projects are ideal for philanthropic donations as they make a real impact in the lives of the eople.
What kind of outlook do you see for the solar sector?
Solar is making inroads in many countries around the globe. In Pakistan we too have a government department PCRET which is mandated to promote solar technology in the country. It has all the facilities to manufacture and deploy solar panels and solutions, but sadly this institution under the Ministry of Science and Technology has failed to deliver. If you visit the
institute, you will witness that it is being run like an orphanage and it appears that it was running on its own. If one day government realizes to promote solar technology then this institution will be playing the most important role, as it could easily produce the most vital component of the
solar solution, the solar panels. It has expertise to develop solar cells but they are now available at affordable rates and the institutes can use them for cost effective solar panels. The government is also incentivizing the solar projects as they have a long payback period. Some of the foreign
investors are also ready to make an investment under CDM but the security situation and economic crisis is withholding investment in the sector. If you look around in the region solar is taking off. In Pakistan too there is huge scope for solar thermal and the government should impose a condition that new domestic gas connection will be provided only if solar geyser has been installed at the premises.
Are you satisfied with the role of the government in the promotion of ARE?
All the government polices are good. The problem lies with their implementation. Currently the ARE policies are good but the current economic conditions in the country and the law and order situation have resulted in non implementation on these policies as the government is facing a financial crunch. The government is quite aware of the huge potential of the ARE in lessening the energy crisis and had zero rated 35 percent duty on ARE products in the budget. But as they say red tape always hinders smooth implementation some ingenious one in Federal Board of Revenue pointed out
any anomaly and all these duties still remain of ARE products and we are making efforts to get them withdrawn.
What is the scope of EE in Pakistan?
In a country like Pakistan where energy shortages are not likely to end in near future the scope of EE is immensely important, as there are no solutions except EE to overcome the load shedding. The pace with which our population is growing the gap between demand and supply is not likely to end soon, as still estimatedly 45 percent of our population is without electricity. Just to give you one example of the scope of the EE, if the government makes mandatory energy audit and implementation of EE solutions for the textile sector, I can say with reliability that this will result in complete ending of load shedding for the sector. They would be getting power supply for 24 hours a day. Energy audit and EE solutions result in more than 30 percent savings for the firms. We recently did energy audit of a huge building of a telecom company. We found out that they have installed
generators of 2MW capacity while their actual requirement was 700KW. In total we gave them a 65 percent saving. By conducting energy audit of buildings they could save a lot of energy.
Do you face any problems from the government?
No. There are no problems from the government. The business is slow these
days in Pakistan basically due to the economic crisis. Majority of the people are looking for ARE solutions for the domestic use as well as for businesses but the cost of installation is high. The financing by the banks could act as a catalyst. The State Bank of Pakistan already has regulations
in this regards but most of the ARE companies and solution providers are not interested to get lengthy documentation done from the banks. If the government finds some viable solution for financing then I can say ARE will rapid grow in the country to end power crisis.
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