NEDian Leads Renewable Energy Initiative in Pakistan
By Riaz Haq

Pakistan is set to raise feed-in tariffs (FITs) requiring electric supply companies to purchase electricity that guarantee up to 18% return to private producers of wind and solar power. This latest effort is to improve incentives over an earlier 2006 policy for individual consumers installing solar panels in their homes and for larger investors.
Ms. Rukhsana Zuberi, a fellow NEDUET alumnus and PPP senator, is pushing the required legislation through Pakistan's parliament for the new FIT policy.

In addition to her legislative efforts, Zuberi is also taking the lead in installing solar panels in several public buildings across the country. Some high-profile locations where solar panels have so far been installed include the tombs of Pakistan's founder Quaid-i-Azam M.A. Jinnah and PPP leader Benazir Bhutto, University of Engineering Technology in Lahore, Abdullah Shah Ghazi's shrine, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Karachi, Prime Minister's Office and Secretariat in Islamabad, and other important sites.
As the head of Pakistan Engineering Council, Zuberi first started with a program at the PEC facilities to install solar panels and reduce consumption by using more efficient LED light bulbs. Just changing light fixtures in the PEC auditorium reduced electricity consumption dramatically from 7860W to 336W with 20% more lumens.
I believe that the planned improvement in feed-in-tariff is a good start, but it needs to be followed up by other incentives such as tax rebates, subsidized solar panels and energy-efficient bulbs and appliances, and by ensuring that the aging power grid is sufficiently updated to handle multiple small sources of renewable power without breaking down.
Here's a link to a video clip aired on GeoTV on this subject.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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