In march this year, the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB)and World Bank designed the solar map of Pakistan based on the solar potential the country seems to have. The map showed that Pakistan has better solar radiation as compared to the leader in using solar energy for energy consumption i.e. Germany. The maximum Germany receives is in the range of 1200+ kWh/m2, while Pakistan receives over 2000+ kWh/m2 in many of its areas, especially Balochistan and Sindh.
The fatality of energy crisis has already surrounded Pakistan for more a decade and the situation is getting worse. The country is facing over 7,000 MW of shortage this year which is advancing in frequent power cuts and even no electricity for 10 to 12 hours in some areas. The drought of energy does not impact the domestic lives but also the production of exports as industries are unable to run their production. With Pakistan’s remittances declining due to global issues and some of its inability to deliver export orders on time, Pakistan will soon will be facing a balance of payments issue.
The good news here is that NEPRA has recently introduced the net metering licensing and Pakistan parliament has become the first country in achieving this license. The installation of large scale solar panels in the regions having big radiation potential and their connection to the national grid can help eradicating the energy crisis. All Pakistan needs is to coin this potential it has which is naturally provided to it. The barrier here is the political climate of the country not addressing this basic need of electricity to its citizens.
The responsibility will be transferred to private individuals and businesses for realizing its potential and taking the initiative to install these solar plants around the country. Most importantly, it is upto to the public for realizing that it has great potential and it's the right time to endeavor the mass scale use of solar energy. Moreover, it would be highly favorable for the political parties to gain vote bank if they set aside the red tape culture in installing these large scale projects.