China-Pakistan Cooperation On Multiple Solar Energy Projects

China has shown its keen interest to invest in multiple solar energy projects in Pakistan in the renewable energy sector development.

PAKISTAN is unable to overcome energy crisis since a lot of efforts at government and private sector level for generating hydel and thermal power.

Shortage of energy has become a big barrier in development of industry in the country.

The government, on the other hand, is forced to increase energy tariff due to high cost of energy production.

In this scenario, we should opt to adopt solar energy option, for which the environment is very conducive in Pakistan.

In this regard, we are lucky to have a powerful friend like China, who is our neighbour too.

China is rich in technology, also relating to the solar energy production. The ecology of Pakistan is highly favourable for solar technology.

The latitude of Pakistan is between 620 and 750 east while its longitude falls under the range of 240 and 370 north. Being in the sunny belt, it has been found to have tremendous solar energy potentials standing at 2.9 TW.

The geography of the country is such that sunlight is evenly and plentifully distributed throughout the country. Average irradiation received by flat surface in Pakistan has been estimated to be 200 to 250 watts per meter square, which is sufficient to make the country self-dependent.

Sun shines in the country for almost 300 days annually. The topography of the country allows it to harness 1.9 MJ and 2.2MJ solar energy.

Pakistan has some of the highest values of insulation in the world with eight to nine hours of sunshine per day, ideal climatic conditions for solar power generation.

However, the country has been slow to adopt the technology. The country has solar plants in Pakistani Kashmir, Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan.

Initiatives are under development by the International Renewable Energy Agency, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Chinese companies, and Pakistani private sector energy companies.

The country aims to build the world’s largest solar power park, the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Power Park (QASP) in the Cholistan Desert, Punjab, by 2017 with a 1 GW capacity. A plant of this size would be enough to power around 320,000 homes.

Pakistan is an energy deficit country with a shortfall of several thousand megawatts. In 2008, the shortfall of the country stood at 4500 megawatt.

There are many remote areas throughout the country which are still not connected to National Electricity grid.

This is mainly due to the exponentially increasing population of the country, the unstable economy and government and poor infrastructure.

Another key factor is the constantly fluctuating oil prices which make oil import for electricity generation more expensive.

However, Pakistan has got abundant solar energy potential which can be harnessed in multiple ways to generate electricity for the country.

China has shown its keen interest to invest in multiple solar energy projects in Pakistan. The fundamentals of China’s renewable energy sector are relevant to Pakistan in light of the current global discourse on Sustainable and Low Carbon Development.

Originally published at Pak Observer

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