STAFF REPORT LHR: Punjab has one of the highest solar radiation amounts in the world and has the potential of producing in excess of a million Mega Watt of energy per annum from solar, reveal a number of reports compiled on the solar power potential of the province.
“In Punjab, Cholistan and two other sites have been earmarked for solar projects of 10, 30 and 50 MW in size,” said Hassan Siddiq, an Environment Engineer from Yale University and the founder of Hillhouse Tech, while talking to media here.
He said that given the lack of investors confidence in the country, it might be worthwhile for the government to identify multiple locations for small 5 MW plants so that international investors can enter the market here at a level of risk they are comfortable with. Once international firms start making 15 percent returns on their investment as being guaranteed by the provincial government, it would be far easier to attract large-scale developers for mega-projects, he added.
Punjab can get inspiration from Gujarat of India in implementing a rooftop policy that would turn Lahore into a solar city by installing panels on existing public roofs.
Another project to install panels on Punjabs extensive irrigation canals can be highly attractive as it does not require allocation of land and also reduces loss of water from evaporation, he said.