Friday, February 27, 2009

Solar Energy For Sunny Pakistan

Sunny California is leading the way to tap solar energy. Can sunny Pakistan follow to deal with its crippling energy crisis?

California based BrightSource Energy, which already has a deal to build a series of huge solar power plants in the Mojave Desert for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), announced an even larger project recently with Southern California Edison. Brightsource, with its roots in Israel, launched its first big solar project last year in the Negev desert.

The World Economic Forum voted BrightSource as a 2009 Technology Pioneer. It was the only solar company to win this year's award, and is recognized for helping industrial customers reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

By 2016, the two companies said, BrightSource will build a series of solar-thermal power plants that will generate 1.3 gigawatts of electricity for Southern California Edison's customers. That's enough power for 845,000 homes, said Stuart Hemphill, the utility's vice president of renewable and alternative power. Talking with, he characterized the deal as "the largest set of solar agreements ever signed."

Photo-voltaic solar power panels are often used for local and distributed power generation capability, such as on rooftops of homes and buildings. It is generally on-grid but it can be off-grid for remote places. Unlike the solar panel's relying on photo-voltaic cells, solar thermal power is centrally generated from thousands of curved mirrors in the desert focusing sun's light on to water pipes to generate superheated steam which is then used to generate electricity. It is then connected to the grid and transmitted to major population centers. The first such experimental power plant was set up in California's Mojave desert in the 1980s and many of its pioneers are now helping Brightsource to go big with solar thermal.

The deal is another step toward meeting California mandates for renewable-energy generation. Investor-owned utilities such as PG&E are required to get 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by the end of 2010, and 33 percent by 2020. Even before this latest development, the state's Energy Commission was reviewing seven solar-thermal projects that could generate nearly 2.6 gigawatts worth of electricity.

California is very sunny, but so are other places such as Pakistan. In fact, Pakistan is an exceptionally sunny country. If 0.25% of Balochistan was covered with solar panels with an efficiency of 20%, enough electricity would be generated to cover all of Pakistani demand.

Solar energy makes much sense for Pakistan for several reasons: firstly, 70% of the population lives in 50,000 villages that are very far away from the national grid, according to a report by the Solar Energy Research Center (SERC). Besides, the country's creaky and outdated electricity infrastructure loses over 30 percent of generated power in transit, more than seven times the losses of a well-run system, according to the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank; and a lack of spare high-voltage grid capacity limits the transmission of power from hydroelectric plants in the north to make up for shortfalls in the south.Connecting these villages to the national grid would be very costly, thus giving each house a solar panel would be cost efficient and would empower people both economically and socially.

Pakistani blog Pakistaniat has reported practical examples of the use of solar energy as seen in some villages of Pakistan where each house has been provided with a solar panel that’s sufficient to run an electric fan and two energy saving bulbs. Prior to this arrangement, the whole village used to be plunged in darkness at night. In Narian Khorian, a village about 50 kilometers from Islamabad, 100 solar panels have been installed by a local firm, free of cost, to promote the use of solar energy. With these panels, the residents of 100 households are enjoying light and fan facilities. This would not have happened for decades as the supply of electricity from the national grid would be difficult and costly due to the mountainous terrain.

Pakistan Solar Map  Multi-year mean (2000-2012) of daily Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) for Pakistan in kWh/m2 [Note: preliminary, unvalidated results] Source: World Bank

In addition to renewable energy from the sun, Pakistan is also fortunate to have something many other countries do not, which are high wind speeds near major centers. Near Islamabad, the wind speed is anywhere from 6.2 to 7.4 meters per second (between 13.8 and 16.5 miles per hour). Near Karachi, the range is between 6.2 and 6.9 (between 13.8 and 15.4 miles per hour). Pakistan is also fortunate that in neighboring India, the company Suzlon manufactures wind turbines, thus decreasing transportation costs. Working with Suzlon, Pakistan can begin to build its own wind-turbine industry and create thousands of new jobs while solving its energy problems. Suzlon turbines start to turn at a speed of 3 meters per second. Vestas, which is one of the world's largest wind turbine manufacturers, has wind turbines that start turning at a speed of 4 meters per second. In addition to Karachi and Islamabad, there are other areas in Pakistan that receive a significant amount of wind.

Pakistan Wind Map Source: USAID

In only the Balochistan and Sindh provinces, sufficient wind exists to power every coastal village in the country. There also exists a corridor between Gharo and Keti Bandar that alone could produce between 40,000 and 50,000 megawatts of electricity, about twice the current installed capacity in Pakistan, says Ms. Miriam Katz who has studied and written about alternative energy potential in South Asia. Given this surplus potential, Pakistan has much to offer Asia with regards to wind energy. In recent years, the government has completed several projects to demonstrate that wind energy is viable in the country. In Mirpur Sakro, 85 micro turbines have been installed to power 356 homes. In Kund Malir, 40 turbines have been installed, which power 111 homes. The Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) has also acquired 18,000 acres for the installation of more wind turbines.

The village of Ghulam Muhammad Goth, north of Karachi with population of 800, about 10 km from the national power grid, now receives power from a small windfarm consisting of 18 wind turbines each capable of generating 500 watts of electricity. Installed by the state-run Pakistan Council for Renewable Energy and Technologies (PCRET), the farm produces enough to power for each home to have two low-energy bulbs, a fan and, most importantly, a television set.

In addition to high wind speeds near major centers as well as the Gharo and Keti Bandar corridor, Pakistan is also very fortunate to have many rivers and lakes. Wind turbines that are situated in or near water enjoy an uninterrupted flow of wind, which virtually guarantees that power will be available all the time. Within towns and cities, wind speeds can often change quickly due to the presence of buildings and other structures, which can damage wind turbines. In addition, many people do not wish for turbines to be sited near cities because of noise, though these problems are often exaggerated. Wind turbines make less noise than an office and people comfortably carry on conversations while standing near them.

Finally this year, Pakistan awarded a contract to a Turkish company to set up a wind farm near Hyderabad. President of Zorlu Enerji (Pvt) Ltd., Murat Sungar Bursa, who signed the agreement with HESCO (Hyderabad Electric Supply Company) in Pakistan, said that the estimated cost of 50 MW project was 120 million dollars. He added the company was also considering to further expand the project up to 250MW. He said incentives offered by Pakistan’s renewable energy policy was a major factor in the company’s decision to invest here. He said that capacity of the wind farm will be enhanced upon successful completion of 50 MW phase. Zorlu Enerji has become the first company to establish wind farm for power generation in Pakistan after signing Energy Purchase Agreement with Hyderabad Electric Supply Corporation for purchase of six MW electricity generated at the company’s facility in Jhimpir. NEPRA (Pakistan's power regulator) has awarded tariff of US cents 12.1057 Per KWH, which is cheaper than the electricity generated from thermal sources. The power generated from the first phase would be routed to the Jhimpir gird station by HESCO and would be sufficient to electrify 6,900 homes in Hyderabad region. Harnessing the strong winds coming from South West, the wind farm is first major commercial wind power project of the country, comprising five towers in the first phase with an installed capacity of 1.2MW wind turbine generator per tower.

The slowdown in the renewable energy sector is likely to be temporary. President Obama is expected to get the US Congress to approve $150b to support the US renewable energy sector with large government incentives. The US policy will likely boost the global renewable energy market as well.

As Pakistan grapples with its crippling energy crisis, it is important for the country to take advantage of its precious natural resources such as the high winds and the bright sunshine, and biofuels as byproducts of its sizable sugar-making industry. Such a strategy will lead to lower costs of generation by reducing the need to import oil. It'll also help reduce carbon emissions, a major environmental concern.

Related Links:

Huge Solar Power Project in California

Renewable Energy in Pakistan
Pakistan's Energy Crisis

Using Solar Energy in Pakistan

Pakistan's Sugarcane Biogas Plant


Anonymous said...

Solar energy is a pipe dream. It is not cost efficient, it won't be in the foreseeable future. The BrightSource guys got those contracts on the assumption that oil will hit $200 a barrel.

It makes no sense to have a entire swath of land get dedicated to this, only to have no power at night. All homeowners who insalled these systems in California are pissed off. I have looked at this and wind power, another loser for the times to come.

Pakistan should hang on to its nuclear dream, the only clean source energy that is financially viable.

Anonymous said...

Solar is too expensive for Pakistan
U dont understand the technicalities behind renewables

Riaz Haq said...

Shams and Tariq,

First, there is nothing more costly that the blackouts and brownouts Pakistani consumers and businesses are suffering on a daily basis.

Second, the capital costs of solar and wind will come down rapidly as the incentives in the West ramp up production and adoption.

Third, any big central generating plants like nuclear would require munch bigger investments and time to build the plants and upgrade the creaking old grid. Small solar panels and micro wind turbines can be a godsend for the many villages away from the national grid that remain poor, illiterate and backward partly due to lack of electricity. This is nothing short of energy apartheid.

Fourth, the nuclear plants will remain a big issue in terms of much larger upfront costs, external political pressures and the danger of serious accidents. A percentage of electricity from such plants may be ok.

Finally, the fossil fuel plants are the cost of oil will rise as the supply dwindles and as wind and solar become more cost-effective over the next decade.

Anonymous said...

Riaz-have you heard of the story that says building castles in air???????
Do you not think that our country needs stable democracy and civil society and execute fundamental responsibility of cleaning ourselves of taliban???Research and innovation occur in a nation that has peace in its society-not in nation filled with religious hatred and mullah rulings.We cannot build skyscrapers on pillars of sand-thats what we have done in the last 60 years!!!!Your ideas are good but they do not stand future in a religious nation that is slitting its own throat and cheating the world by forming ties with taliban.

Riaz Haq said...


I understand and appreciate the point you are making. We have many challenges. The worst response to these challenges is paralysis. We can not serialize these things and keep waiting for one problem to be completely solved before tackling the next one. Such an attitude will definitely doom us, if nothing else does.

Pakistan is a big country with lots of people in it. Each Pakistani needs to do what is within his or her power to try and make things better. Pointing fingers will solve nothing.

Anonymous said...

This is a much bigger, a lot more technical matter than it seems on the surface. Wind power can be a sidekick that runs when there is wind.

The Altaman pass wind turbines have been stationery for nearly three months since the wind this winter has been below the turbines' cutoff speed. Investments worth several billion dollars are producing zilch. As it is, when there is wind, only 25% of the rated kw is delivered to the grid from these farms. Solar is available at daytime when the power needs are higher at night time.

Batteries are not about to come along soon.

The laws of fluid dynamics, physics, and gravitation are not about to change anytime soon.

Riaz Haq said...


Denmark gets 20% of its energy from wind. Germany has the largest solar energy installed based, it's not nearly as sunny as Pakistan. India has done well with wind energy, even though wind speeds in India are significantly lower than Pakistan.

Businesses use most of their power during the day and homes use more power at night. A good mix of fossil, hydro, solar and wind can deal with variations in the availability of each at different times. In Pakistani context, it'll be a lot better than the situation it faces today.

In any event, the 40% of Pak population that has no electricity and the current power crisis for the rest 60% in Pak calls for a serious response that hurts in daily lives and livelihood.

Aziz Khan said...


Riaz Haq,

I agree with you 100%. Unfortunately, we have too many people telling us why something will NOT work (instead of finding way to make it work). I am (insha'allah) planning to be in Pakistan this summer and kick off some of the projects that (both) make business and enviromental sense....

Riaz Haq said...


I agree with your sentiments. We need more doers and fewer critics.

SK said...

Riaz Haq,

Thank you for your informative blog. I am curious as to why Shams, Tariq even bother looking at such a progressive blog. They are the reason why Pakistan is so behind. Have you ever heard of the Grameen Bank? They won the Nobel Prize. Do you know what they are now doing? They have created a group called Grameen Shakti in Bangladesh that has brought renewable energy based electricity to hundreds of thousands of people in rural areas not able to access the grid. Solar pv and wind energy are the way of the future. Everybody knows that. You remind me of people in the olden days who used to say that airplanes and railways are pipe dreams! And nuclear?! What a joke! It's incredibly expensive once you internalize all of the safe disposal and containment issues. And please don't talk to me about technicalities- I am a consultant for the World Bank and I work on energy and infrastructure development issues. I am in the process of leaving and starting a non-profit organization to replicate the Grameen Shakti solar pv model in Pakistan because it is the only project I ever reviewed that seemed to make a bit of difference in actually alleviating poverty.

Riaz Haq said...

SK: "I am in the process of leaving and starting a non-profit organization to replicate the Grameen Shakti solar pv model in Pakistan because it is the only project I ever reviewed that seemed to make a bit of difference in actually alleviating poverty."

I agree with you and applaud you for your decision to do something practical help Pakistan. We need more of you, and less of Shams and Tariq.

Solar Power Light said...

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Naeem Raja said...

Interestng article. I will be interested to find out more about your Grameen Shakti type project for Pakistan. Keep us all posted.
Naeem Raja

Solar Panel said...

Thanks for this great post!!!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

When you starting the project. i wish to work with you to electrify our remote areas.
please reply me on &

Talha Anwer said...

Good Information Riaz. I appreciate all the people who are interested to make serious efforts to establish renewable energy sources. I believe there should be some group/website dedicated for those who are ready to invest time and money on micro power projects.

I'd also request not to discourage people from critizing. Constructive criticism is necessary to bring the best out of any effort.

Anonymous said...

I am interested in helping this cause in bringing solar energy into Pakistan. Does anyone know of a agency already established that is doing this work in Pakistan?

Asif Kidwai said...

Solar Energy and Wind are both clearly viable in Pakistan.

Installed cost for medium to large wind turbines could be much lower than indicated by Zorlu Energy. $1.5 Million per Mega-watt installed is generous. We also need to understand that nameplate ratings can be deceptive.

The poly-silicon shortage will soon come to an end, as more plants come on line in China.

Cost of poly (and mono)crystalline solar panels should soon drop to $2.0-$3.0 per Wp. Installed cost should therefore be on the order of $ 4-5 per Wp. Thin film could be cheaper but more suited to applications where space is less a consideration.

Use of alternate energy based electricity would reduce foreign exchange needed to import furnace oil into Pakistan, but also allow the owners and operators to generate carbon credits - already a valuable commodity.

AHMED JAN said...

i guess this article speaks for my brain/heart felt idea of being able to produce enough power and for chaeap.ive read a review above saying that we should concenterate only on bringing peace to nothern areas---We should not forget that we are talking of a country here not a mere small household where things can be taken 1 at a time.when running country u need to solve unlimited issues side by side.
next comes the cost issue--we should not forget that with every passing sec world is loosing oil infact its said that by 2015 tons of oil wells r gonna dry,we r already witnessing signs of crucial times in form of USA fighting in IRaq for oil.the point is oil prices hit roof a little time ago,this time they r gonna hit we should better prepare now and shift to solar and wind power ASAP. AND MIND IT-- it aint gonna happen in one day or one year.we need plaanning ,infastructure,etc.its probably gonna take a decade to do it if we start from now.
So i say lets start NOW!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Riaz sahib, check out this option. It may be more viable for Pakistan than solar for the near future:

Delivery ready in 2013.

Unknown said...

Riaz, please pass on my information to your readers. I am the individual who left a message earlier in the year discussing how I will be starting an organization to help bring cost effective solar to the rural poor in Pakistan. After spending several months in Pakistan I have returned to my home in Washington, DC to do just this. It's a non-profit organization called EcoEnergyFinance. ( will be bringing solar energy to rural villages in Interior Sindh. Please contact me at if you are interested in helping in some way.

Usama Ahmed said...

Any of you guys have ever purchased a solar solution for domestic use. I am interested to know how much it costs to get 5KVA power from solar.

Riaz Haq said...

Power sector has been holding Pakistan back in recent years. Here's BMI assessment of energy sector prospects:

The new Pakistan Power Report forecasts Pakistan will account for 1.37% of Asia Pacific regional powergeneration by 2013, with a stable theoretical generation surplus before the country’s substantialtransmission losses are taken into account. BMI’s Asia Pacific power generation assumption for 2008 is7,093 terawatt hours (TWh), representing an increase of 3.2% over the previous year. We are forecastingan increase in regional generation to 9,099TWh by 2013, representing a rise of 28.3%.

Asia Pacific thermal power generation in 2008 totalled an estimated 5,570TWh, accounting for 78.5% ofthe total electricity supplied in the region. Our forecast for 2013 is 6,999TWh, implying 25.7% growththat reduces the market share of thermal generation to 76.9% - thanks largely to environmental concernspromoting renewables, hydro-electricity and nuclear generation. Pakistan’s thermal generation in 2008was an estimated 62.8TWh, or 1.13% of the regional total. By 2013, the country is expected to stillaccount for 1.13% of thermal generation.

For Pakistan, gas is the dominant fuel, accounting for 47.5% of primary energy demand (PED) in 2007,followed by oil at 30.7%, hydro-electric energy at 12.9% and coal with a 7.9% share. Regional energydemand is forecast to reach 4,859mn tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) by 2013, representing 24.9% growthfrom the estimated 2008 level. Pakistan’s estimated 2008 market share of 1.52% is set to ease to 1.45%by 2013. The country’s estimated 2.5TWh of nuclear demand in 2008 is forecast to reach 5.0TWh by2013, with its share of the Asia Pacific nuclear market rising from 0.49% to 0.75% over the period.

Pakistan is ranked third behind India in BMI’s Power Business Environment Rating, thanks to itsrelatively high level of renewables (mostly hydro) generation and healthy power consumption/energydemand growth prospects. Several country risk factors offset some of the industry strength, but thecountry is in a good position to keep clear of Malaysia below.

BMI forecasts Pakistan real GDP growth averaging 3.98% a year between 2009 and 2013, with the 2009estimate at 2.50%. The population is expected to expand from 161mn to 177mn, with per capita GDP andelectricity consumption increasing by 20% and 11% respectively. Power consumption is expected toincrease from an estimated 81TWh in 2008 to 99TWh by the end of the forecast period, which provides arelatively stable theoretical generation surplus (before transmission losses, etc.), assuming 4.3% annualgrowth in electricity generation.

Between 2008 and 2018, we are forecasting an increase in Pakistani electricity generation of 59.2%,which is mid-range for the Asia Pacific region. This equates to 27.2% in the 2013-2018 period, up from25.1% in 2008-2013. PED growth is set to increase from 19.1% in 2008-2013 to 25.8%, representing49.9% for the entire forecast period. An increase of 49% in hydro-power use during 2008-2018 is a keyelement of generation growth. Thermal power generation is forecast to rise by 52% between 2008 and2018, with nuclear usage up 380% from a low base. More details of the long-term BMI power forecastscan be found at the end of this report.

khuram said...

The thing that worries me the most are the government policies on the issue of solar power for individual homes.

Anonymous said...

how does an architect involved with planning and designing huge areas of land for buildings in govt sector, can collaborate with energy alternate policies taking shape and their actual incorporation within those areas during the design stage?
inspite of having all the funds to run and maintain these buildings how can alternate energy be made useful for the end gains? should we use these alternate energy generation features for our own area and buildings or do we incorporate these alternate geneartion features in our design and supply them to the nearby villages??

Riaz Haq said...


I think there is a lot of work being done in solar and green building designs in the US and Europe that includes active and passive solar designs of buildings and campuses.

Here's one book I found on Google Books that you might want to look at:

Solar power in building design: the engineer's complete design resource
By Peter Gevorkian

You can probably find a lot more on it by doing online searches on Google or Bing.

Good luck!

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from Fareed Zakaraia's interview with US Energy chief, Nobel Laureate Dr. Stephen Chu:

"I see the cost of [solar] photovoltaics going down and down. Right now it's about $4 per watt for full installation. In a decade it will certainly be less than $2. If it's $1 or $1.25, then everyone will put it up without subsidy. What else do I see? A new generation of biofuels that are direct substitutes for gasoline—so, better than ethanol—using agricultural waste: weed straw, rice straw, corncobs, wood surplus."

"We're at about 4 percent now (renewables sources). President Obama made a target to double that by 2012, and we are on target. I expect that to continue. In 10 years' time we hope to have carbon-capture-and-sequestration technologies starting to be deployed. Hopefully, we'll have restarted the nuclear industry and we'll be building several nuclear reactors."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's are excerpts from a report about "Solar India" initiative in Pakistan's neighborhood:

The country is blessed with radiant sunshine: it ranks at the top among the world's countries in in terms of annual solar energy
yield, according to recent studies.

But it is also a country where 412 million of its 1.1 billion people live without electricity, faces an energy deficit of 16 per cent and needs power desperately to drive its high economic growth.

Aiming for long-term energy security, the government has unveiled plans to boost solar output almost 1,000-fold to 20,000 megawatt by 2022.

The 'Solar India' initiative, to be implemented by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, would power cities and rural areas and could revolutionize the domestic solar-energy industry.

Fossil fuels currently account for 70 per cent of India's energy mix, while renewable sources provide about 9 per cent.

'Given the ground realities, major challenges include effective financing, advancing R&D in technologies for solar modules and components and human resources like training engineers and technicians,' said Rajinder Kumar, secretary general of the Solar Energy Society of India.

'We have to bring in a balance of system, distribution and maintenance to realize our solar dream,' Kumar said.

The investment
required for the three-phase programme is around 50 billion dollars, of which the government would contribute about 40 per cent.

There is little clarity on where the remainder should come from, with Indian expecting that rich countries with a responsibility to assist renewable projects in the developing world would provide the funding.

The strategy currently framed would include a long-term policy to purchase power and shift subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable-power generation.

'We need to reduce high-initial costs for solar-power generation and build grids of scale to allow rapid diffusion of solar technologies and large-scale domestic manufacture of equipment,' renewalbe energy ministry spokeswoman Prabahvati Akashi said.

The ministry says there is 'tremendous interest' from companies and entrepreneurs for the pilot programme based on feed-in tariffs.

Following a recent launch of small commercial solar farms, the Clinton Foundation is setting up 3,000- to 5,000-megawatt (MW) solar energy parks in northern Rajasthan.

Khurram Jahangir said...

I am doing job in a solar company. I have 5 years experience in selling and installing Solar Projects. I am interested in joining any NGO or Individual who wants to contribute in Development of Solar Energy in Pakistan. I like doing research and development and provide technical support. Please contact for more information.

Anonymous said...

Solar Energy is the only solution for Pakistan. The holy Sun is Free as well as pollution free, but the system should be of required need and affordable. I have a Solar Energy Co. in the USA. Anyone can contact me at my e-mail, which is

M. Afzal

ASIM said...

Solar Energy cannt be the Main Stream Power Soruce for any country it can only used for load-sharing with the Main-Grid. As pakistan no-doubt is bless with the more then 300 bright sunny days in a year ,so if we start building small Solar power plants (PV or Concentrated technology ) soon we will get rid of the black-outs in country. and also we should give more attention when making energy policies and make sure we start to implement on green energy solutions on very small level to install units for your basic lighting to support the LOAD on Main-Grid. that way solar can be feasible and economical but if want to fully dependednt on solar then it initial cost is far away from normal pakistani buying power.There are many options which can be implement with respect to pakistan enviroment which are cost effect like , solar water pumping, solar lights etc if these options are adopted in future we will over come our energy crises....

Usman said...

Enough talk , How can an Electrical Engineering student help ?

M. M. Hassan said...

Due to continuous Shortage of Electricity in Pakistan, we have started thinking of Alternatives like SOLAR ENERGY to be a workable solution to meet up the growing Electricity demands in Pakistan. We are of the view that there is a future; where Solar Power will be an essential component of the Global Power Generation mix.

The Technologies for Solar Power has been improved by passage of time particularly in USA and Europe there are a number of companies which has developed the latest and proven Technology and are in a process of implementation of Utility Scale Solar Power Projects.

We are focusing on developing First clean energy Project in Pakistan to meet country’s ever increasing demand for power. The group is currently working on setting up of a Solar Thermal Integrated Power Project using the CSP Technology first time in Pakistan.

We are also keenly looking forward for cooperation in Rural Electrification by Use of Solar Technology in Pakistan. Please send us detail on it as well.

Thanking you and looking forward to expatriate Pakistanis in particular who are interested in joining us for an Utility Solar Power Projects in Pakistan.

Yours truly,

Chief Executive Officer

Contact: +92-333-850 7474 / +92-300-850 7474
SKYPE: mmhassan7474

Arif Alajami said...

At Solar Systems Pakistan, our quality products and unmatched service have made us the solar energy leader for homes, businesses and government agencies across the country. No matter what the size of your project, we deliver equipment tailored to your power and cost requirements. Visit for more details.

Anonymous said...

Much pleased to read all this. just ignore those are saying its dream and not feasible.. in fact some people cannot digest good things happening in our country.
Sloar and wind energy can be used in many areas in Pakistan, and already in use. Nuclear energy too important for industrial growth.

Iftikhar Siddiqi said...

I would like to go ahead with solar power for my home. Can someone offer me a tangible solution for Lahore.

Riaz Haq said...

ADB targets solar power projects in Pakistan: Daily Times:

ISLAMABAD: Asian Development Bank (ADB) will launch the Asia Accelerated Solar Energy Development Fund with $2.25 billion as it targets solar power projects in countries including China, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Thailand to add another 1,000 megawatts next year and 1,500MW in 2013, said a statement of the ADB.

“By providing an enabling environment for commercial lending and private investment in the solar energy market, we hope to encourage its rapid growth and bring solar energy nearer to grid parity-making solar energy competitive in price to conventional sources,” ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said at a clean energy forum in Manila.

Asia needs to invest around $10 billion in the next few years to make solar power generation competitive with conventional energy sources and called for radical steps to fight climate change.

ADB wants Asia, home to about two-thirds of the world’s population to add 3,000 megawatts of solar energy capacity by the end of 2013, he added.

Already this year, it has helped countries add 500 megawatts, doubling the region’s solar capacity. Fast-growing Asian economies rely heavily on fossil fuels. ADB has forecast Asia-Pacific imports of fossil fuels will more than double between 2005 and 2030, with oil accounting for more than 90 percent of such imports.

“The total cost of this 3,000 MW is about $10 billion, of which we are planning to commit $2.25 billion,” sais S Chander, Principal Director at ADB’s Office of Information Systems and Technology.

“Our job is to catalyse enough projects to increase volumes and to make sure that the manufacturers (of low-carbon technologies) have an incentive to invest in research and development,” Chander said.

ADB invested $1.76 billion in clean energy across 29 projects last year and said it is on track to meet a goal of $2 billion in clean energy investments annually by 2013. It plans to inject $60 million into three venture capital funds that will provide early-stage financing support for new climate technology products. It expects this initiative to leverage over $400 million in private sector investment.

Kuroda said Asia had a lot to lose from climate change and needed to act quickly to develop alternate energy source. “A big push is needed to accelerate this transition,” he said. “The climate fight will be won or lost by decisions made in this region.” app

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts of an interesting paper on solar energy published in Scientific American:

The sun strikes every square meter of our planet with more than 1,360 watts of power. Half of that energy is absorbed by the atmosphere or reflected back into space. 700 watts of power, on average, reaches Earth’s surface. Summed across the half of the Earth that the sun is shining on, that is 89 petawatts of power. By comparison, all of human civilization uses around 15 terrawatts of power, or one six-thousandth as much. In 14 and a half seconds, the sun provides as much energy to Earth as humanity uses in a day.

The numbers are staggering and surprising. In 88 minutes, the sun provides 470 exajoules of energy, as much energy as humanity consumes in a year. In 112 hours – less than five days – it provides 36 zettajoules of energy – as much energy as is contained in all proven reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas on this planet.

If humanity could capture one tenth of one percent of the solar energy striking the earth – one part in one thousand - we would have access to six times as much energy as we consume in all forms today, with almost no greenhouse gas emissions. At the current rate of energy consumption increase – about 1 percent per year – we will not be using that much energy for another 180 years.
The cost of solar, in the average location in the U.S., will cross the current average retail electricity price of 12 cents per kilowatt hour in around 2020, or 9 years from now. In fact, given that retail electricity prices are currently rising by a few percent per year, prices will probably cross earlier, around 2018 for the country as a whole, and as early as 2015 for the sunniest parts of America.

10 years later, in 2030, solar electricity is likely to cost half what coal electricity does today. Solar capacity is being built out at an exponential pace already. When the prices become so much more favorable than those of alternate energy sources, that pace will only accelerate.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times story on India benefiting from plummeting prices of solar panels and solar energy:

Over the last decade, India has opened the state-dominated power-generating industry to private players, while leaving distribution and rate-setting largely in government hands. European countries heavily subsidize solar power by agreeing to buy it for decades at a time, but the subsidies in India are lower and solar operators are forced into to greater competition, helping push down costs.

This month, the government held its second auction to determine the price at which its state-owned power trading company — NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam — would buy solar-generated electricity for the national grid. The average winning bid was 8.77 rupees (16.5 cents) per kilowatt hour.

That is about twice the price of coal-generated power, but it was about 27 percent lower than the winning bids at the auction held a year ago. Germany, the world’s biggest solar-power user, pays about 17.94 euro cents (23 American cents) per kilowatt hour.

India still significantly lags behind European countries in the use of solar. Germany, for example, had 17,000 megawatts of solar power capacity at the end of 2010. But India, which gets more than 300 days of sunlight a year, is a more suitable place to generate solar power. And being behind is now benefiting India, as panel prices plummet, enabling it to spend far less to set up solar farms than countries that pioneered the technology.

In its solar power auctions, moreover, NTPC is not creating open-ended contracts. The last auction, for example, was for a total of only 350 megawatts, which will cap the government’s costs. The assumption is that the price of solar power will continue to decline, eventually approaching the cost of electricity generated through conventional methods.

Most Indian power plants are fueled by coal and generate electricity at about 4 rupees (7.5 cents) per kilowatt hour — less than half of solar’s cost now. In this month’s auction, the recent winning bids were comparable to what India’s industrial and commercial users pay for electricity — from 8 to 10 rupees. And solar’s costs are competitive with power plants and back-up generators that burn petroleum-based fuels, whose electricity costs about 10 rupees per kilowatt hour.

“At least during daytime, photovoltaic panels will compete with oil-generated electricity more than anything else” in India, said C├ędric Philibert, a senior analyst at the International Energy Agency in Paris. “This comparison is becoming better and better every month.”

In addition to the federal government, several of India’s states like Gujarat, where Khadoda is located, are also buying power at subsidized rates from solar companies like Azure Power.

Analysts do not expect India’s solar rollout to be problem free. They say some developers have probably bid too aggressively in the federal auctions and may not be able to build their plants fast or cheap enough to survive. Consequently, or because their bids were speculative, some developers are trying to sell their government power agreements to third parties, analysts say, even though such flipping is against the auction rules.

Riaz Haq said...

Solar energy lights up rural schools in Pakistan, according to Earth Techling:

Pakistan starts 2012 on a slightly brighter note after a year of recovering from the worst floods in the country’s history in 2010 (while continuing to endure high levels of terrorism-related violence). As part of the effort to rebuild, sunny days and solar panels and multipurpose lights are providing reliable and much needed electricity for schools and rural areas of Pakistan that have been without electricity since the floods.

Plan International Pakistan and the Punjab education department have rehabilitated nearly 400 schools destroyed by floods, and implemented solar power in 250 schools that did not have electricity. Funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the project piloted the first use of solar technology in the UK’s disaster response. In addition to the solar panel installation, the project also provided water and sanitation, school furniture, school paper, schoolbags and uniforms, sports equipment and health education for 54,000 primary school children.

In addition to powering up the schools, aid from the U.K.’s DFID also provided multipurpose solar light units to people across rural southern Pakistan who have been without power since the floods and were relying on candles, kerosene oil and rechargeable flashlights for light. The solar unites provide free and sustainable light for up to 10 hours after charged and last up to five years. But beyond providing light, the units can also be used to recharge mobile phones, which play a critical role in helping displaced families and communities stay connected in areas where landline phones are rare.

Marvi, a woman living in southern Pakistan with her seven children, explained to aid officials how the solar units were benefiting her family: “I use the solar light for cooking at night,” she explains. “We save money because we had to buy candles and kerosene before. We also use it to charge our mobile phones.”

Shakeel, Abbottabad said...

Riaz Haq you are doing great to electrify our beloved nation. Do concentrate on remote areas too where darkness has fallen on poors. May God give you more strength to fight against this poverty rid nation.

Shakeel, Abbottabad

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of an AFP report on solar adoption in Pakistan:

Arif Allaudin, who heads the Alternate Energy Development Board, would like to see more of that help coming from renewable sources, saying there was a 2.4 million megawatt potential for solar energy alone in Pakistan.

Niaz Ahmed Kathia, director of private company Alternate Energy Systems, said abundant and free sunshine was the answer to Pakistan's energy woes.

"Energy is our biggest issue, more than terrorism, and if we replace our one million tubewell pumps with solar ones, we can save 7,000 megawatts," Kathia told AFP at the demonstration of a solar well in the capital.

The majority of Pakistan's tubewell pumps, which pump out underground water, run on the strained national grid or on diesel power.

There is no pretence that solar power is the only answer, but this month the prime minister ordered the government to provide solar electricity in remote villages far from the national grid.

The government described renewable energy as the "investor's choice" and said the private sector has offered to produce 1,500 megawatts a day.

In the mountains of Kashmir there is no gas pipeline and in the cold winter months electricity bills are prohibitively expensive.

In Azam's hometown of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, solar panels light up a public park and mosques.

Solar street lights are also being installed slowly in cities such as Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi.

Pakistan's first on-grid solar power station, capable of producing 178.9 kilowatts, began test operations in Islamabad this month with a grant of $5.4 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

"It is a seed for thousands more solar power plants," Senator Rukhsana Zuberi, a former chairperson of the Pakistan Engineering Council told AFP.

This winter Pakistan suffered a two billion cubic feet a day shortage of natural gas -- usually the mainstay of millions delivered to homes and industry via pipelines -- sparking protests and forcing factories to lay off labourers.

The trouble is remedial plans are only at an embryonic stage.

"We plan to promote the use of solar geysers as the gas shortage is becoming acute," petroleum and natural resources minister Asim Hussain said.

"The gas companies would install solar water heaters at consumer premises and deduct the amount in installments in the gas bills," he added.

Power generated during sunlight hours can be stored in deep cycle lead acid batteries to power lights, radios, televisions and fans at night.

Norwegian company Telenor says it has set up 50 solar-powered cell sites, mostly in remote areas, capable of reducing 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per site by saving over 940 litres of diesel a month.

Traders say demand has certainly risen. A 170-litre (37-gallon) capacity solar geyser starts from 27,000 rupees ($300) and a 218-litre version for 32,000 rupees as a one-time cost.

"Solar geysers can reduce gas bills considerably. The technology is not only environment friendly but also pocket friendly," said vendor Shakil Ahmed.

Read more:

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a story on solar powered wells in Pakistan:

Syncronys International has announced it has received an order valued at US$4.5 million to install 400 solar powered well pumps in Pakistan.

Although financing and insurance is still pending, the company envisions around 9,000 additional solar well installations throughout the region over the next three years.

Rex Gay, Syncronys CEO, said. "We are very gratified to be able to utilize our technology to provide reliable, durable, and simple to use solar pump systems to supply water for rural Pakistan communities.”

Syncronys offers a comprehensive product and technology strategy to provide a wide range of green energy applications, Micro Utility, Micro Grid and Smart Grid initiatives on any domestic and international level.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
I am from Turkey and my boss is Pakistan. I am willing to help and do something for Pakistan with my boss. I wonder if you help me to contact with any people who really would like to work in solar energy sector with us.
I am extremly excited about solar energy we should so something nice for us and for future generations. Otherway they will not find anywhere to live in.
And also i would like to say big Thank you for your blog. To read and learn many things about Pakistan is so wonderful. Thanks again.
Best regards,
My email:

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Daily Times report on Korean investment in 300 MW solar farm in Pakistan:

Global R&BD Division of CX Korea has informed after completion of formalities of NEPRA, Ministry of Water and Power etc their company would initiate project of establishment of 10 mw solar energy plant, which would later be extended upto 300 mw power generation through solar energy.

A four-member delegation of CX Korea Inc related to solar energy project, led by its Executive Director, Ko Young Sun informed CM Sindh Qaim Ali Shah the 10 mw plant would be ready by December this year and firstly the plant would be extended upto 100 mw while later it would be extended upto 300 mw by 2015. Sun said Germany and Korea have made good achievements in solar energy and Korean Global construction would fulfill the requirements and initiate and complete the project as per commitment. He informed KAPCO-Daewoo Engineering would provide project financing and for the purpose. They required 1200-acre land for 300 mw project as the project need four acre land per one mw power through solar energy. Qaim Ali Shah said the provincial government has made arrangements for provision of infrastructure and facilities to the investors.\05\08\story_8-5-2012_pg5_3

Usman said...

excellent topic and it resonates my feelings.
Renewable like solar are new and it takes time to understand and use them and hence we need people who knows electrical engineering and those who have the passion to make things work.

I am an electrical engineer from Canada and I would love to collaborate on this issue.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News report on South Korean proposal to build 300 MW solar plant:

Board of Investment (BOI), Government of Pakistan and Concentrix Solar Company of Korea Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to construct a 300 MW Solar Energy Plant near Quetta, Balochistan.

The MoU was signed by M. Saleem Mandviwala, Chairman Board of Investment from Pakistan side and Dr. Choi Moon-Sok, Chief Executive Officer Concentrix Solar Company. The signing ceremony was held at the PM’s Secretariat which was witnessed by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ahsraf, Federal Ministers and Chief Ministers of Balochistan and Sindh.

Concentrix is a subsidiary of German Company and is keen to make investment in the energy sector in Pakistan. Dr. Choi Moon-Sok met the PM yesterday and apprised him of his company’s plans.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Businessweek story on South Korean company building 300 MW solar plant in Pakistan:

CX Solar Korea is leading a group that signed an agreement with the government of Pakistan to build a 300-megawatt solar farm that will require an investment of as much as $900 million.

The group plans to start a 50-megawatt installation near Quetta in southwestern Balochistan province that will use a combination of crystalline silicon and thin-film panels to see which perform best, said Moon-sok Choi, chief executive of CX Solar, a Seoul-based project developer.

The group expects to build 300 megawatts by 2016, Choi said. The power will be sold under a 25-year contract, with details still being negotiated, Choi said in an e-mailed response to questions.

CX Solar is in talks with panel suppliers, including Bernin, France-based Soitec SA (SOI), which makes Concentrix photovoltaic panels, Choi said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Nation report on solar lighting for a Sindh village:

KARACHI - Pakistan still has thousands of villages that are not electrified and routine activities of villagers therein are limited to sunlight. Nevertheless, in a unique project, 115 households of Jhimpir area of Thatta district have been electrified through solar energy. The project has been implemented by the Centre for Environment & Development (CEAD) with the support of the USAID’s Ambassadors Fund Programme. The villages covered by the project are off grid and received electricity for the first time through solar systems. The area has moderate weather and average sunshine availability ranges from six to eight hours. The area is most suitable for the use of 40-watt solar house system that fulfils the requirements of the average household size for about four to five hours during the night time. Each solar unit consists of two energy savers of eight-watt, one for room and one for courtyard, and one portable emergency light to be used during night-time, one mobilephone charger to charge mobile phones that help the beneficiaries to have effective communication.CEAD Chief Executive Prof Qalander Shah said that people residing in far-flung and off-grid areas still used kerosene lamps and other forms of energy, especially during night-time for their security as well as of their livestock and other belongings. However, these communities use kerosene lamps for only a couple of hours because kerosene oil is costly and harmful for health as smoke emitted by it causes asthma and eye-related diseases.Observing that all economic activities were directly dependent on energy, CEAD Director Dr Ali Murtaza Dharejo and said that with provision of 115 household solar systems, life of Jhimpir families would be changed. The solution is long lasting and sustainable as it is based on renewable resources. He said that solar energy was not only cost-effective but also environment-friendly and was without any operation and maintenance cost. He said that the provision of solar systems at the household level would certainly bring far reaching benefits to communities, who earlier had no source of electricity. He added that the use of kerosene oil for lighting brought many health problems and as a result, poor people in rural areas were struck down with many diseases.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET report on German solar panel manufacturing investment in Pakistan:


German renewable energy company CAE plans to invest more than €100 million (Rs12.9 billion) in setting up the first solar panel manufacturing facility in Pakistan, and the second of its kind in Asia.

In an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune, Shahzada Khurram, the only Pakistani director of the company, shared its plans of becoming a leading supplier of renewable energy equipment in the country. “Pakistan is going through one of the worst energy crises, and it is time to think about renewable energy as a way to make good money in the sector,” said Khurram.

CAE, based in Germany, is owned by four partners, one of whom is Khurram. The other three are Renier Kertess (German), Anton Josef Hotz (Swiss), and Luigi Tassell (Italian). Khurram met them during his time as a student in Germany and Mexico. Khurram himself is from a family that has a background in textile manufacturing.

CAE plans to introduce a type of solar panel that has not been used in Pakistan before and is not manufactured anywhere else in Asia except one place in China. It will build a factory in Faisalabad on land that has been given to it by the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. In exchange, the university gets a 10% share in the company’s Pakistani subsidiary. Manufacturing is expected to start by the end of the year.

Solar energy prices are rapidly becoming more competitive with thermal energy sources. Several global experts believe that 2013 will be the year that solar energy becomes economically viable even without any government subsidies.

The problem with solar panels in Pakistan has hitherto been the fact that the upfront set-up cost is beyond the reach of most customers, even though the costs thereafter are miniscule. To smooth out that the cost curve, CAE has partnered with Faysal Bank and Meezan Bank to offer consumer financing options for people looking to install solar panels in their homes and offices. CAE claims it will offer a 25-year warranty for its products, allowing its customers to get extended time periods on their loans, which will reduce monthly payments.

“We are aiming to make sure that any person who installs the house solar system will have monthly instalments equal to their current monthly electricity bill,” said Khurram. Given the fact that grid electricity in Pakistan is cheap, but unreliable, it is likely that many will find that proposition highly tempting....

nizamenergy said...

Nizam Energy is an importer and Distributor of TIER-1 Solar Components in Pakistan, we have a nationwide network of offices for Service Support.

We offer the following products:

- Solar Systems for Residential, Commercial & Industrial
- Solar Tubewell / Solar Water pumps
- Solar Panels
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Contact us for wholesale inquiries:

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune report on 300 MW solar power project in Pakistan:


A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Balochistan government and CK Solar Korea for installing a 300 MW solar power plant near Quetta, Provincial Secretary Energy Fuad Hashim Rabbani said on Saturday.

The project will cost around $900 million and will be completed by 2016, he said, while addressing the media.

Rabbani said the government has procured 1,500 acres of land in Khuchlak and Pishin on lease. “This project will help overcome the shortfall of electricity in Balochistan,” he added.

The project will provide green energy particularly in areas where is no conventional electricity option, the energy secretary said.

“Currently, the local population of targeted areas are using kerosene lanterns, which is hazardous to the health and non-economical due to the intermittent price hike,” he remarked.

He said that electricity to medical facilities such as hospitals, Basic Health Units and installation of solar street lights were amongst major benefits of the project.

“The government is planning to install 20 solar powered water pumps in 10 districts of Balochistan for water supply schemes,” Rabbani said.

Responding to a question, he conceded that farmers were suffering due to long hours of load-shedding and assured that steps would be taken to provide electricity to the farmers.

He said that work on Loralai-DG Khan 220 KV and Dadu-Khuzdar 220 KV power supply lines would be completed next year.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a World Bank news release on mapping Pakistan's renewable energy resources:

Pakistan encapsulates the renewable energy challenge faced by many developing and emerging countries. Despite abundant renewable resources – including solar, wind, hydropower and biomass – very little of this potential has been utilized. At the same time, about a third of the country’s people do not have access to electricity.

Pakistan has ambitious plans for solar and wind projects, and has developed a comprehensive policy framework for renewable energy, but projects on the ground remain few and far between.

What accounts for this gap? “One major reason is a lack of credible resource data,” says Arif Alauddin, the former CEO of Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board, and now Managing Director of the National Energy Conservation Center.

While high-level solar and wind maps are widely available, these do not contain the granular data required by governments to understand the country’s full resource potential and needed by the private sector to identify specific sites for development.

To address this challenge, Pakistan and eight other countries are joining with the World Bank in a new Renewable Energy Mapping Program to carry out mapping of renewable energy resources that will for the first time produce rich, nationwide data for each country. Coordinated and financed by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), the initiative will cover mapping of solar, wind, biomass, and small hydropower potential.

“The importance of this resource mapping [for Pakistan] cannot be overstated,” says Arif Alauddin. “The country’s energy shortage is unprecedented, tariffs are going up, and petroleum imports are eating up a large share of export earnings. There is a need to shift to domestic renewable energy resources.”
We expect this initiative to be highly catalytic,” said Oliver Knight, Senior Energy Specialist at ESMAP. “Resource mapping is a crucial step in providing the resource and policy certainty that commercial developers need to scale up investment in renewables. In addition, government authorities will be better informed in negotiations on specific projects, and donors will have a clearer sense of the data and capacity needs, as well as the renewable potential, of clients.”

As well as mapping, the program will support a wide variety of activities, including consolidation and validation of existing datasets, work to standardize resource assessment methodologies, and capacity development of local institutions and experts. An open data repository will be developed to facilitate free and open access to the data, and the geospatial outputs (GIS layers) will be made available via a new web portal. The outputs will also be made available to the Global Atlas for Solar and Wind that has been developed by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Clean Energy Ministerial.

The program is one of a number of initiatives the World Bank Group is undertaking in support of the global Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) campaign. One goal of the initative is to double to the share of renewable power in the global energy mix from 18 percent to 36 percent by 2030. According to the SE4ALL Global Tracking Framework report produced by a multi-agency team led by the World Bank and released on May 28, renewable energy (excluding biomass) made up only 1.6 percent of total final energy consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa, and 1.8 percent in Southern Asia, as of 2010.

“The resource mapping initiative will open a floodgate of possibilities for both large and smaller investors, as well as for consumers who desperately need new energy options,” Arif Alauddin said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News report on Chinese investment offer in solar energy in Pakistan:

A Chinese company is ready to create a special solar fund worth three billion dollars in China to support Pakistan in utilising its solar energy resources. The company has the capacity to establish a solar plant of 1000MW in 6 to 8 months in Pakistan, while 50MW to 100 MW solar energy can be produced in 120 days only.

The offer came from Byron Shi Min Chen, president of Lightening Africa, China and Shah Faisal, CEO of Gulf Power Pakistan who called on chairman of Board of Investment (BOI), Mohammad Zubair on Thursday. Imran Afzal Cheema, secretary of BOI, also attended the meeting.

Byron apprised the BOI chief that the company was offering two kinds of solutions to energy crisis through the solar systems. He said that off-grid solar systems could be provided by the company immediately. These ready-to-use systems can be installed and end users may easily meet the electricity demand.

The company may also collaborate with the distribution networks through banks or the dominating relevant companies to sell solar products to households.

On grid solar system, Byron said, can also be installed.

He further said that the tariff should be determined even before inviting the Chinese investors to the country in power sector.

Zubair stated the BOI is mandated to play an important role in the administration and implementation of the government’s foreign direct investment policy. It has a strong record of actively encouraging the flow of FDI into the country through speedy and transparent processing of applications, SEZ Act, and investment policy and strategy.

“We welcome investors to make their businesses a success in the most lucrative investment destination of the world – Pakistan,” he said.

‘The energy policy of Pakistan focuses on the alternate energy, including solar energy. The potential of solar is in the range of 7 to 7.5kwh/msq./day in most of Balochistan, 6 to 6.5 kwh/msq./day in most of Sindh, Southern Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan, and 5.5 to 6 kwh/msq./day in the rest of the country, he added.

Lightening Africa International, Byron explained in the meeting, is dedicated to solar energy market development in Africa.$3-billion-solar-fund-for-Pakistan

Unknown said...

Our policy to subsidize energy is not working well. We should not subsidize Electricity or Gas but subsidy money should be used for Solar projects and subsidizing Solar energy products.
Specially, we should promote solar water heaters, so we can stop burning lot of natural gas to heat water and use that to run our valued industry and transport sector.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a CleanTechnica story on 500MW solar power plant in Cholistan desert in Pakistan:

The chief minister of the Punjab government in Pakistan has just announced plans for the development of a 500 MW solar energy project in the Cholistan region — a project that will apparently be completed with the aid of the Canadian government.

While much remains unknown about the project, a few details are known — the project deal involves the Canadian government, the project will be completed in two phases, it’s not clear exactly how the Canadians will be involved, and the first phase will see 200 MW of capacity go online before the second phase is finished. The chief minister also announced plans for a 1 GW electricity generation scheme at the same press conference

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a PV magazine story on solar plants pipeline in Pakistan:

The country currently has 22 individual solar PV projects under different stages of development, according to Pakistan's Alternative Energy Development Board.

Pakistan is on course to add 772 MW of solar power to its national grid by 2016, according to figures released by the country's Alternative Energy Development Board (AEEDB).

There are currently 22 individual solar power projects either under construction or at various stages of development across Pakistan, with a number of these projects awaiting an agreement on a national FIT – details of which the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) finally announced in late January after months of delays.

NEPRA has now published its final FIT incentives for PV projects between 1 MW and 100 MW. In the north of Pakistan the FIT will be set at $0.18 cents per kWh for an initial ten-year period, halving after that time to just $0.09 cents per kWh for the next 15 years.

In Pakistan's southern regions, the FIT incentive comes in a little more generously, at $0.19 cents per kWh for the first ten years, but falling to below $0.09 cents per kWh thereafter.

In 2013, the AEDB recommended a FIT level of approximately $0.27 cents per kWh nationwide, but NEPRA has calculated a lower rate on the basis of Pakistan's current PV pipeline.

AEDB has also revealed that it is pursuing a number of renewable energy projects for the country’s national grid, and has pledged its backing to the solar industry and the wind industry – the latter of which has an estimated 150 MW pipeline in the offing.

For solar, AEDB is set to embark on a campaign to promote the installation of residential rooftop PV systems designed for self-consumption. Currently, Pakistan has no building or licensing restrictions on these types of installations.

Read more:

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an AFP story on a planned giant solar park in Pakistan's Cholistan desert in Punjab:

BADAIWANI WALA: For years Pakistanis have sweated and cursed through summer power cuts, but now the government plans to harness the sun's ferocious heat to help tackle the country's chronic energy crisis.

In a corner of the Cholistan desert in Punjab province, power transmission lines, water pipes and a pristine new road cross 10,000 acres of parched, sandy land.

The provincial government has spent $5 million to put in place the infrastructure as it seeks to transform the desolate area into one of the world's largest solar power parks, capable one day of generating up to 1,000 megawatts of electricity.

The desert park in Bahawalpur district is the latest scheme to tackle the rolling blackouts which have inflicted misery on people and strangled economic growth.

Temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius in the country's centre in June and July, sending demand for electricity soaring and leaving a shortfall of around 4,000 MW.

“In phase one, a pilot project producing 100 MW of electricity will hopefully be completed by the end of this year,” Imran Sikandar Baluch, head of the Bahawalpur district administration, told AFP.

“After completion of the first 100 MW project, the government will invite investors to invest here for the 1,000 megawatts.”

A 'river' of solar panels

Engineers and labourers are working in the desert under the scorching sun to complete the boundary wall, with authorities keen to begin generating solar electricity by November.

“If you come here after one and a half years, you will see a river of (solar) panels, residential buildings and offices -- it will be a new world,”said site engineer Muhammad Sajid, gesturing to the desert.

Besides solar, Pakistan is also trying to tap its unexploited coal reserves -- which lie in another area of the same desert, in Sindh province.

In January Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated construction on a $1.6 billion coal plant in the town of Thar, in Sindh.

Work has also begun on a pilot 660 megawatt coal-fired plant in Gadani, a small town on the Arabian Sea.

Another 600 megawatt coal plant has also been given the go-ahead in the southern city of Jamshoro.

But while coal may offer a short-term fix to the energy crisis, authorities are keen to move to cleaner electricity in the long run.

“We need energy badly and we need clean energy, this is a sustainable solution for years to come,” said Baloch.

“Pakistan is a place where you have a lot of solar potential. In Bahawalpur, with very little rain and a lot of sunshine, it makes the project feasible and more economical,” he said.

Clean energy

Baloch believes that the new solar park will make Pakistan a leader in that energy in the region. The initial pilot project is a government scheme but private investors are also taking an interest.

Raja Waqar of Islamabad-based Safe Solar Power is among them. His company plans to invest $10 million to build a 10 MW project in the new park.

“The government has allotted us land over here. Infrastructure, the transmission line and road are available here, that is why we are investing,”Waqar told AFP.

A million dollars per MW is a sizeable investment but Waqar said the company expected to reap returns on it over at least the next decade, and others were keen to get on board.

“There are up to 20 companies who are investing in this park and their projects are in the pipeline,” he said. “Some of them are working on 50 MW, some on 10 and others on 20.”But not everyone is so upbeat about the project.....

Riaz Haq said...

JA Solar has delivered PV panels for a 100MW solar project in Punjab, Pakistan.
It did not reveal the terms of the deal.

The modules will be installed at a 500-acre site at the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur.

“The harsh and arid climate in Pakistan is a great challenge for our solar modules,” said JA Solar chief operations officer Yong Liu in an online statement.

Quaid-e-Azam — a major project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor development programme — is the first utility-scale PV installation in Pakistan.

The project — a venture between the Punjab provincial government, Bank of Punjab and Chinese power-transformer specialist Tebian Electric Apparatus (TBEA) — will be scaled up to 1GW by 2016.

Riaz Haq said...

The 1.25 MW installation in the Punjab province connects to the grid and becomes the largest single utility-scale installation in the country.

Chinese solar firm Phono Solar – a subsidiary of the SUMEC Group – has connected Pakistan’s first large-scale PV plant to the grid.

The 1.25 MW installation was completed this week in the hot and humid Punjab province under the “Go Global” policy backed by the Chinese central government.

Spread across 16,000 square meters, the plant is expected to maximize the high levels of solar insolation in the region to produce an estimated 1,745,000 kWh of solar power annually, and will meet the power demands of 110 local villages.

Phono Solar won the bid for the installation nine months ago, and over the course of the installation formed a team with local partner Green Volts Technologies, which brought a cost-effective approach to the operation as well as much-needed local knowledge.

The plant will take advantage of Pakistan’s recently introduced Upfront Generation Tariff, which was created to support the country’s fledgling solar PV sector. China’s “Go Global” policy intends to encourage greater investment in the solar sector via working with local engineers and technicians and training them on manufacturing and engineering procedures.

"The successful grid connection of the first MW-level PV power plant in Pakistan has brought full recognition of overseas markets for engineering and general contracting capabilities of SUMEC; especially in renewable energy fields," said SUMEC president CaiJibo. "Most of the equipment used in this project is made in China, and I am proud that our equipment has successfully supported the ‘Go Global’ policy and obtained affirmation of new overseas markets."

Last month the Pakistan government approved the country’s first net metering program as it attempted to ease the power burden on the power grid, while in December Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Opens external link in current windowscrapped the 5% customs duty on imported solar panels in an attempt to bolster foreign investment in the country.

Read more:

Anonymous said...

At present the Electricity Generation Cost is Rs 15 per KWh in Pakistan from fossil fuel based plants. Government Provides Subsidy and Consumer is Charged Rs 8 per KWh. The Solar roof top PV will cost around Rs 7-8 per KWh LCOE. and with storage will cost around 12-15 per KWh. We do not need exotic plants for 80% of households in Pakistan. All we need is proper regulation, unity of purpose, financial incentives and easy loans and the problem of energy shortage will get it resolved within a couple of years.
I do not understand why our planners don't see the obvious solution. For reference they can look at Germany, China and Even India and Bangla Desh.
The solution is cheap requires practically no maintenance, No power thefts and saves the power for cities and industry and saves the gas for fertilizer. I have complete economics and feasibility studies to share.
Abdul Aziz Sangi

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan opens first #SolarParkAGameChanger plant, built with #Chinese investment #RenewableEnergy via Reuters​

The solar park in Punjab province produces 100 MW of power, which will be increased to 1,000 MW by next year.

The plant, owned by Punjab province and built by China's Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Co Ltd (TBEA), took a year to build at a cost of $190 million, Pakistani government documents show.

"Since I became prime minister my one goal has been to eliminate darkness in Pakistan, and bring lights back to the country," Sharif said in a speech.

"By 2017-2018, there will be an end to load shedding," he said, referring to a system of rolling black-outs used to ration electricity.

Riaz Haq said...

‪#‎Pakistan‬ turns desert into a sea of solar panels. — The Daily Climate 1000MW ‪#‎solarpower‬ ‪#‎renewables‬ via @sharethis

One of the world’s largest solar plants has been opened in Pakistan with the aim of supplying clean, reliable energy and helping alleviate the country’s chronic power shortages.

The plant, spread over more than 200 hectares of desert land in the south of Pakistan’s Punjab province, will generate 100 megawatts (MW) in its initial phase and more than 300MW by the end of the year, according to government officials.

More than a third of Pakistan’s population do not have access to electricity, and power shortages are a serious impediment to economic growth.

Inaugurating the plant, Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister, said: “Since I became prime minister, my one goal has been to eliminate darkness in Pakistan and bring lights back to the country.”

Mushahidullah Khan, the Federal Minister for Climate Change, told the Climate News Network that the government is determined to make use of what it sees as the country’s enormous solar energy potential.

Energy crisis
He said: “Tackling our energy crisis is the top priority of the present government as we believe it is vital in order to achieve economic growth, alleviate poverty, boost agricultural and industrial production and – through the provision of clean, solar power – reduce the country’s carbon footprint.”

The plant – called the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park – was constructed in less than a year by China’s Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Company, at a cost of US$131 million.

China has been forging ever closer economic links with Pakistan as part of a plan to link China’s western Xinjiang region to the Pakistan port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea. The government in Islamabad says China is likely to invest more than $30 billion in solar and other power projects in Pakistan in the coming years.

At present, more than 60% of Pakistan’s power is generated from oil and gas, and about 30% from hydro power.

Pakistan is considered to be one of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Erratic flow
In particular, the flow of water in the Indus river – upon which millions depend for hydro power and for irrigating crops – has become increasingly erratic due to changing rainfall patterns, glacial melt in the western Himalayas region, and the impact of widespread deforestation.

Government officials say they are determined to push ahead with more solar and wind projects throughout the country.

Asjad Imtiaz Ali, chairman of Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board, said the development of solar and other renewable energies was hampered in the past by inconsistencies in government policy, and by a lack of understanding of clean energies.

“Solar energy is especially suited to remote areas in the country where connectivity to the national grid is difficult, such as Punjab, Baluchistan and Sindh provinces,” he said.

As part of the push for more solar projects, the government recently announced the abolition of duty on the import of solar panels.

Riaz Haq said...

FACT SHEET: #US-#Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership. #renewables
Under the U.S.-Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership, the United States will work with the Government of Pakistan to advance energy sector reforms, improve the investment framework, and make targeted investments that will enable U.S., Pakistani, and international private sector developers to add at least 3,000 megawatts (MW) of clean power generation infrastructure to Pakistan’s national electricity system, benefitting 30 million Pakistanis.

To advance the goals of the Clean Energy Partnership, the U.S. and Pakistan will work to:

Strengthen regulatory institutions and develop market-based rules that attract increased local and international private investment, and continue to support Pakistan’s necessary reforms in the energy sector, such as improvement and privatization of the distribution system;
Develop an investment plan for expanding the role of clean energy systems;
Expand transmission capacity for clean energy projects through on-budget U.S. assistance to selected transmission infrastructure; and,
Mobilize loans, grants, technical assistance, guarantees, and public-private partnerships needed to manage and reduce investor risks and leverage private capital into clean power generation projects.
Areas of cooperation envisioned under the U.S.-Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership are:

Catalyze private-sector energy investments: The United States will provide technical assistance, risk guarantees, and targeted investments in supporting energy infrastructure (e.g., transmission lines) to enhance Government of Pakistan (GOP) efforts to attract private funding. This assistance will: (1) increase private-sector led generation capacity, (2) expand transmission system capacity, (3) enhance distribution system profitability, and (4) improve power sector governance by supporting GOP power sector reform efforts. USAID will also work closely with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and multilateral development banks to bring additional financial resources to the table in support of enhanced private sector investment. In September 2015, the OPIC Board of Directors approved a loan guaranty of up to $250 million for transmission and distribution infrastructure improvements at K-Electric, Karachi’s power distribution company. OPIC has also executed loan agreements facilitating U.S. private sector investment in five wind projects amounting to 250 MW of generating capacity in Sindh province.
Highlight Pakistan’s energy opportunities: The Pakistani and the U.S. governments will hold a Clean Energy Business Opportunities Conference in December 2015, which will highlight the U.S.-Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership and private sector investment opportunities in Pakistan’s natural gas, wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, and other clean energy projects.

Riaz Haq said...

20,000 #Schools In Pakistan To Go #Solar. #renewables … via @CleanTechnica

The government of Punjab province in Pakistan has reiterated its commitment to install rooftop solar power systems on about 20,000 schools.

According to media reports, the chief minister of Punjab province, Shahbaz Sharif, recently reviewed the progress of the Khadam-e-Punjab Ujala Programme. The government-backed scheme aims to set up rooftop solar power systems at schools, health centers, and higher education centers such as Bahawalpur University.

The Punjab government has support from Asian Development Bank and the AFD Bank of France for this program. Solar power, and renewable energy as a whole, has found substantial backing from the Pakistani establishment over the last few years. The country continues to grapple with demand-supply mismatch in its power sector with consumers suffering from long hours of load shedding.

Pakistan’s dependency on imported electricity has increased as it imports 100 megawatts of electricity from Iran and plans to increase this volume to 3,000 megawatts.

Over the last few months several international project developers have announced plans to set up large-scale solar power projects following the successful implementation of the initial phases of the 1,000-megawatt Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park, also in the Punjab province.

The South Asian country is expected to continue to see such interest from international project developers as the solar power tariffs in the country are at a massive premium to the bids being discovered globally through competitive auctions.

In late 2015, Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) announced a 25% reduction in solar feed-in tariffs. Even at these reduced tariffs the developers of these projects are expected to get around 11.0/kWh. In neighboring India, however, tariffs discovered through competitive auction have fallen to 6.5¢/kWh, and more recently to 4.9¢/kWh.

Riaz Haq said...

Kentucky #Coal Mining Museum in Harlan County switches to #solar power to save money. #Trump #renewables

Housed in a former commissary building and tucked into the hollers of Harlan County — the heart of Kentucky mining country — is a museum dedicated to all aspects of extracting coal from the state’s mountains.

Mining equipment decorates its walls, while a two-ton block of coal at the front door greets visitors. Children can climb on the museum’s 1940s model electric locomotive that once carried Kentucky men into the mines. An exhibit dedicated to Loretta Lynn (who wrote and who is the “Coal Miner’s Daughter”) sits on the third floor. Guests can even wander through an actual underground coal mine.

Not much about the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum screams modern. Its website — nay, websites — boasts early 1990s Web design, and its advertisement on YouTube appears to have been shot on a handheld camcorder. It sits next to City Hall on Main Street, the only thoroughfare of Benham, Ky. That’s to be expected from a museum dedicated to an old form of energy, which is what makes its own power methods so interesting.

The museum is switching to solar power in hopes of saving money on energy costs, as reported by WYMT and EKB-TV. The installation of solar panels began this week.

“We believe that this project will help save at least $8,000 to $10,000 off the energy costs on this building alone, so it’s a very worthy effort and it’s going to save the college money in the long run,” Brandon Robinson, communications director of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, which owns the museum, told WYMT.

Robinson wasn’t blind to the incongruity of a coal museum being powered by solar energy, asserting that there’s a symbiosis between the two.

“It is a little ironic,” said Robinson, “But you know, coal and solar and all the different energy sources work hand-in-hand. And, of course, coal is still king around here.”

As Tre’ Sexton, owner of Bluegrass Solar, told EKB-TV, the runoff power collected by the panels will be fed back into Benham’s power grid. The entire town of almost 500 that bills itself as “The Little Town That International Harvester, Coal Miners and Their Families Built!” will be partially run on solar power.

“I know the irony is pretty prevalent,” Sexton told EKB-TV. “But all the same, it is making a big difference, I think, for not only the museum, which will probably eliminate a lot of their overhead, but the city in general.”

“We’re happy to be able to hopefully provide some power to the city of Benham that we’re not using here,” Robinson told EKBTV. “So it’s a great project; it’s a great effort.”

It’s difficult not to see a foreshadowing in the switch to solar power.

About 85 percent of Harlan County voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. The disparity between Hillary Clinton’s and Trump’s campaign promises concerning energy almost assuredly played a factor in that vote.

While Clinton, speaking about renewable energy, infamously said, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” Trump promised “sweeping deregulation” of the coal industry.

Trump’s plan struck a chord with some miners.

Former Harlan County coal miner Mark Gray, 58, recalled to the New York Times the moment a meeting was called at work: “They said we can’t go on with these regulations, we can’t go on with the way the government’s doing.”

Gray hoped Trump’s plan might help.

After all, coal mining was once a major American industry. In 1923, nearly 1 million of America’s 110 million citizens worked as coal miners. Now, the industry employs approximately 77,000 people, fewer employees than the Arby’s restaurant chain.

Riaz Haq said...

Rural Pakistanis Take to Solar After Power Cuts Deepen in Karachi

Small-scale solar in Pakistan attracted $540 million in 2017, having received less than $100 million in each of the previous two years, according to a report published last month by the United Nations and and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Solar and wind energy contributed 3 percent to Pakistan’s electricity generation, or about 300 megawatts as of March, according to Arif Habib Ltd.

“Pakistan is one of the biggest frontier markets that has not been tapped,” Jeremy Higgs, co-founder at EcoEnergy, said during a trip to southern Pakistan.


Solar companies have made inroads into Pakistan’s countryside
Blackouts are still common despite a rise in power generation
In a small tea shop along a dusty, unpaved road in the marketplace of Sujawal, a town about 93 miles east of Karachi in Pakistan, Imam Dino has hit upon a profitable idea. He attracts customers with a 24-inch television playing Bollywood movies through the day and by providing mobile phone charging sockets in a town that otherwise suffers long outages.

Power for the TV and charging points comes from a solar-panel system that he rents for 2,500 rupees ($22) a month. It’s been a sound investment. Dino makes as much as 3,000 rupees extra a month because of the attractions. Previously, he spent more to run a gasoline generator.

Rural Pakistanis like Dino are increasingly turning to renewable energy to circumvent the country’s notoriously unreliable power supply. Deficient generation and distribution shave an estimated 2 percentage points off Pakistan’s economic growth annually and faults in the national grid are exposed every summer as demand increases. That’s despite a rise in generation by 35 percent to 31,000 megawatts since 2013.

As customers like Dino are discovering, off-grid solar may be the answer. With global panel prices plummeting in the past five years, units powering fans and lights are being sold or rented in the nation’s poorest regions for 1,000 rupees to 3,000 rupees a month, according to distributors EcoEnergy and Nizam Energy. About 10,000 solar systems have been installed since 2013 ranging in size from 50 watts to 200 watts, enough to power six light bulbs and two fans.

One of EcoEnergy’s customers, Mohammad Ishaque, who farms sunflower and rice fields, pays 1,000 rupees a month for a 50-watt solar system. He previously used oil lamps and battery-powered torches.

“When we went for farming in the morning, it used to be completely dark, when we came back it used to be dark,” Ishaque, 69, said while smoking a cigarette and sheltering from the midday sun in the small village of Gul Muhammad Rao. “It’s daytime at night now.”

Meanwhile, at Nizam Energy’s office in Karachi, Chief Executive Officer Usman Ahmed boasts they aren’t crippled by the city’s shortages. Their headquarters is powered partially by solar panels on the roof, which he says is 30 percent cheaper than electricity from the grid. The off-grid market may double annually over the next three years, he said.

Back in Sujawal, Dino is happy with his returns.

“We are making more money, so it’s been great,” he said, as he mixed tea over burning coals for a packed room. Across the road, a competing tea shop with no electricity was empty.

Rural Pakistanis Take to Solar After Power Cuts Deepen in Karachi

Small-scale solar in Pakistan attracted $540 million in 2017, having received less than $100 million in each of the previous two years, according to a report published last month by the United Nations and and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Solar and wind energy contributed 3 percent to Pakistan’s electricity generation, or about 300 megawatts as of March, according to Arif Habib Ltd.

“Pakistan is one of the biggest frontier markets that has not been tapped,” Jeremy Higgs, co-founder at EcoEnergy, said during a trip to southern Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Renewables developer Oracle Power PLC has signed a cooperation agreement with Chinese state-owned energy company PowerChina to jointly develop a 1GW solar PV project in Pakistan.

Located in Oracle’s Thar Block VI land – where it is currently developing a coal minefield – the project will be built in the southeast province of Sindh.

The agreement includes a feasibility study both companies will conduct, however, Oracle has not disclosed any date for the commercial operation of the solar project.

Power generated from the plant will either be integrated into the national grid or sold through power purchase agreements.

Oracle Power has been active in Pakistan lately where it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese state-owned China Electric Power and Technology for the potential development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of a green hydrogen project in the Sindh Province.

Along with the construction of a green hydrogen facility, the MoU also includes the development of a hybrid project with 700MW of solar PV, 500MW of wind power and an undisclosed capacity for battery storage.

The 1GW solar PV project with PowerChina will be located 250 kilometres away from the proposed green hydrogen project Oracle aims to build in Pakistan.

Naheed Memon, CEO of Oracle, said: “The proposed development of the Thar Solar Project provides Oracle with the opportunity to not only develop a sizeable renewable energy project in Pakistan, but also to bring a long-term and sustainable business to our Thar Block VI asset.”

Riaz Haq said...

10,000mw solar power plants to be installed before summers 2023
These solar plants will generate 10,000 megawatts of electricity under the initiative, saving Pakistan's billions of dollars.

The prime minister directed that work on the project begin immediately in order to bring respite to the masses before the next summer season begins.

These solar plants will generate 10,000 megawatts of electricity under the initiative, saving Pakistan’s billions of dollars.

In the initial phase, the electricity generated will be distributed to government buildings, tube-wells, and families that utilize less units of electricity.

He has also directed that a conference be held next week to solicit bids for the project.

The prime minister, who presided over a conference in Islamabad to bring huge relief to the people, stated that solar energy should be used instead of imported oil. The decision was taken with an aim to save the foreign exchange rate as the country would not need to spend billions of dollars on importing fuel for electricity generation.

He urged that the project be implemented as soon as possible by the relevant authorities.

The situation of loss in income and rising electricity bills makes a huge economic and financial burden on households. Skyrocketing electricity bills have blown the minds of consumers.

Consumers strongly condemned skyrocketed electricity bills in the month of August, even during long hours of unscheduled load shedding followed by blackouts by Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) and demanded that the federal government take up this burning issue immediately.

The Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Tuesday suspended the collection of fuel price adjustment in electricity bills.

Justice Jawad Ul Hassan, while hearing the writ petition filed against the increase of taxes, directed WAPDA and NEPRA not to charge tax on consumers’ electricity bills. The judge also summoned the head of IESCO on September 15 and issued notices to the parties concerned to appear before the Court on the next hearing.