The provincial government of Punjab has announced that around 20,000 schools in the province will install rooftop solar power systems.
The Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, recently examined the progress of the government-supported project called Khadam-e-Punjab Ujala Programme. The main target of this project is to place rooftop solar systems in health centers, schools, and other educational institutions.
So far the programme has managed to get the support of the Asian Development Bank and the AFD Bank of France. This is an encouraging sign and its success could pave the way for the programme to be expanded.
Reports have stated that the project will be split into phases with the first one beginning in the south of Punjab and then expanding northwards into the rest of the province. However, the installation and complete conversion to this form of electricity production will be gradual.
Almost fifty percent of the population of Pakistan is not connected to the national grid
Currently, with the energy sector in continued crisis, almost fifty percent of the population of Pakistan is not connected to the national grid and has to produce its own electricity. Even those connected to the grid face constant and unannounced power outages.
Furthermore, Pakistan is also becoming increasingly dependent on imported electricity – we currently import around 100MW from Iran and already have plans to increase this to 3000MW.
If, however, more projects like this are set up and run properly, the situation might just turn around. Already this alternative method of electricity production using solar energy has accomplished a great deal in the country towards being more widely accepted and used. And on a country-wide basis, project developers did sign a lot of deals last year to set up solar power plants.
In fact, the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park has already added 100MW to the national grid. It is the largest solar power project in the country with a total capacity of 1000MW.