Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Solar Energy in Pak Homes, Schools & Factories

“I use the solar light for cooking at night. We save money because we had to buy candles and kerosene before. We also use it to charge our mobile phones.” Marvi, Yousaf Babar Village in Sindh, Pakistan


About 250 schools and 12,000 homes in Pakistani villages have so far been lit by solar lights. The program is funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) to help flood-affected people in rural Sindh and Punjab.

Plan International Pakistan and the Punjab education department have rebuilt 400 schools destroyed by floods, and implemented solar panels in 250 schools that did not have electricity. In addition to the solar panel installation, the DfID funded project also provided water and sanitation, school furniture, school paper, schoolbags and uniforms, sports equipment and health education for 54,000 primary school children.

The solar lights cost about $15 each and give sustainable, free light for up to 10 hours after each charge, and can last for up to five years. The cost is recouped within a couple of months, providing excellent value for money, according to DfID sources.



The solar technology is also used for recharging mobile phones, which provide vital communication lifelines in rural areas, enabling people to keep in touch with family and community. The mobile phones are helping reunite displaced families and communities, and helping people to try to get back to a normal life.

In addition to growing number solar energy users in Pakistani villages, the city dwellers are also increasingly turning to solar to cope with frequent power cuts, and gas shortages. There is growing demand for low cost Chinese solar products such as solar street lights, solar garden lights, solar generators, solar heaters, solar water heaters and solar water collectors for industry, according to a report in Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper. Many consumers told ET they prefer solar over UPS (un-interruptible power supplies) and diesel or gas generators.

“Sales of solar energy panels have increased about 40 per cent compared to winter of last year. Sunshine in Pakistan remains for approximately 10 hours a day, which is enough to produce 1,000 watts per square meter. Producing electricity from the sun is very easy,” the paper quotes Tariq Nurani, a solar products dealer, as saying.

The Express Tribune story also features Khawaja Cotton Industries CEO Muhammad Amjad Khawaja who said he invested Rs 5 million for solar water boilers which helped deal with increasing gas load shedding in the textile manufacturing sector.

The rapid cost declines and increasing availability of solar equipment are enabling energy-starved but resilient Pakistanis to cope with the twin shortages of gas and electricity.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Shakti Solar Model For Pakistan

Pakistan's New FIT Policy For Alternative Energy

Media & Telecom Revolution in Pakistan

Pakistan Building 1000 MW Wind Farms

Pakistan Launches Wind Farm Projects

Renewable Energy to Solve Pakistan's Electricity Crisis

Electrification Rates By Country

Wind Turbine Manufacturing in Pakistan

Pakistan Pursues Hydroelectric Power Projects

Solar Energy for Sunny Pakistan

Wind Power Tariffs in Pakistan

Pakistan's Twin Energy Shortages

49 comments:

Feroz said...

Thank you for your kind efforts we really learn from you
Almost daily we get some good knowledge from you
You can add:
Two 180kw solar project on PEC& planning commission building
Two Mega project each 3MW on two hospitals

Anonymous said...

Mr. Riaz why is it that US and UK and western countries fund so many development projects in Pakistan whereas rich gcc muslim countries with surplus budgets hardly fund non arabic muslim countries? I am a muslim and I get this question asked a lot by non muslims because they think we hate the west which is not true at least in my case.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "rich gcc muslim countries with surplus budgets hardly fund non arabic muslim countries?"

Not true!

No one advertizes the GCC assistance like the US or UK help which gets lots of coverage in western media.

Pakistan is getting substantial help from Saudis and Emiratis for flood affectees.

Here are just a couple of examples:

1. Saudi Arabia is funding the local chapter of UNICEF to rebuild a massive water supply network in Pakistan devastated by ravaging floods at a cost of hundreds of millions of SRs, according to Arab News.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article554122.ece

2. Seven UAE-funded hospitals and clinics are being built in Pakistan at a cost of nearly Dh63 million, according to UAE's National newspaper.

http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/health/uae-to-fund-hospitals-in-pakistan

Shams said...

You are mixing up solar panel systems with $15 solar panel lights. Home Depot sells 55 lumen solar lamps for $30 each (could equate to $15 in Pakistani market). In comparison, just imagine - a 40W lamp is about 450 lumen.

Riaz Haq said...

Shams: "You are mixing up solar panel systems with $15 solar panel lights...."

Each solar light has a built-in solar panel which it uses to generate electricity to charge the batteries.

The villagers in Pakistan are getting these for free from DfID funds.

The value of these lights should not be measured in dollars but the significant positive impact they have on the lives of villagers. They reduce risk of fire from candles or kerosene lanterns, improve productivity and allow people to charge their cell phone batteries to keep in touch with their families and communities.

The good news is that the cost of solar products is rapidly declining as the Chinese flood the market. Solar panels, solar heaters, and energy storage devices are all becoming more and more available and affordable, just as the cell phones have. I expect significant relief for energy starved Pakistanis.

Riaz Haq said...

Feroz: "Two 180kw solar project on PEC& planning commission building
Two Mega project each 3MW on two hospitals"

Solar lights are a much bigger deal in terms of enabling Pakistan's vast village population that has little or no electricity.

Each solar light has a built-in solar panel which it uses to generate electricity to charge the batteries.

The villagers in Pakistan are getting these for free from DfID funds.

The value of these lights should not be measured in dollars but the significant positive impact they have on the lives of villagers. They reduce risk of fire from candles or kerosene lanterns, improve productivity and allow people to charge their cell phone batteries to keep in touch with their families and communities.

The good news is that the cost of solar products is rapidly declining as the Chinese flood the market. Solar panels, solar heaters, and energy storage devices are all becoming more and more available and affordable, just as the cell phones have. I expect significant relief for energy starved Pakistanis from a solar revolution.

Shams said...

Using solar lights for traffic lamp posts, or at home is not the same as using it on an institutional level. I have 55 lumen solar lights in my backyard but I do not claim myself to be solar-lighter. In fact I am opposing solar on the roof intiative of CSI at gubernatorial level.

Just so you know, T. Boone Pickens has shut off his support for wind and solar - after wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on wind farm in Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. His take - forget solar and wind, and go for natural gas.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20100112-T-Boone-Pickens-cuts-order-915.ece

Riaz Haq said...

Shams: "Just so you know, T. Boone Pickens has shut off his support for wind and solar - after wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on wind farm in Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. His take - forget solar and wind, and go for natural gas"

T. Boone Pickens knows nothing about the village life in developing nations where more than 40% of the people lack electricity.

His pursuit of profits and his opinions are in North American context. He wants to exploit abundant shale gas resources discovered more recently.

Pakistan, too, has lots of shale gas and other domestic energy resources like coal. But Pakistani government and public utilities have failed the rural people in Pakistan. Left to them, the poor villagers, especially those living far away from the electricity grid or the gas pipelines, will be waiting for ever to get their basic energy needs met.

Ubiquity of cheap solar products, just like cheap and ubiquitous cell phones, are the right answer in Pakistani villagers to help transform their lives in a reasonable time-frame.

Suhail said...

The villagers do not pay for the solar lighting and if it was not for free, they would not have got it installed. The ones you're talking about are UK funded. One can say that solar lighting is a better way of dispensing charity to poor villagers than Benazir Income Support Program or similar government sponsored schemes. I think the issue to address in your blog is that government poverty alleviation programs should spend on solar lighting instead of dishing out money which is eventually wasted or ends up in corruption.

I cannot see the prospect of solar lighting development as a sustainable business proposition in Pakistan (or anywhere) in the near future, unless solar panels become dirt cheap or oil & gas reach extinction levels and become prohibitively expensive. In Europe and America, solar energy is highly subsidized.

Riaz Haq said...

A few years ago, the big western corp dismissed the poor nations as a market for their products. All that changed with the massive uptake of cell phones by the poor in South Asia and Africa.

This has brought about a dramatic change in the thinking of big corp who now are developing and marketing actively to the "bottom of the pyramid" market. There's even be an HBS case study on it.

As to the pricing of the solar, the cost and price curves are following Moore's Law....it's getting significantly cheaper and more capable each year....it came down 27% year over year in India.

Last month, NY Times reported that the Indian 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.
--------
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.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/29/business/energy-environment/in-solar-power-india-begins-living-up-to-its-own-ambitions.html?_r=2&pagewanted=2&ref=todayspaper

Shams said...

The German example is pretty bad though. Germany's 23GW installed capacity is mostly comprised of rooftops though large plants are also in place. The feed-in-tariff for rooftoppers costs ONE billion euros per month to subsidize. So once again, I must say - forget it.

Just six months ago I figured that the place where 2 KW small solar systems are deployable were Pakistan's remote areas. Since then, technology has came up with 16-sq-inch (4x4 inch) solar panels that power individual 20W LED light bulbs pushing out 500 lumens, equal to a 70W incandescent bulb.

The new LED LCD 73 inch TV that I just bought consumes only 120W, and a fridge that I bought for my garage is running at 210watts.

So yes - some villagers may run a light or two, a TV and a fridge on solar, using individual solar panels. But the moment you start shipping electrical power from the panel to a distance, all hell breaks loose, since my new toaster still runs at 1500 watts.

Solar shall remain good for trinkets for a long time, not for large power plants.

Au contraire, Pakistan has the largest number of transportation vehicles on CNG. It took Pakistan nearly 30 years to develop its CNG infrastructure at a cost of $10 billion (http://naqvigroup.com/transglobeshipping/exipromocng.html).

Riaz Haq said...

Shams,

Look at the Indian solar example which is more relevant and recent, not the German example which was done much earlier to encourage solar development many years ago. The solar economics are changing rapidly with the Chinese entry in a big way.

If "some villagers may run a light or two, a TV and a fridge on solar, using individual solar panels", that represents a huge improvement in their lives from the current situation, providing a huge impetus for human and economic development in Pakistan.

Suhail said...

Riaz:

There are thermodynamic (scientific) principles explaining that solar energy conversion to electricity has much lower efficiency compared to chemical, nuclear or mechanical energy conversion to electricity. It is not a matter of marketing strategy, social and economic issues only. Technological development is an important factor changing our lifestyles, but it follows scientific principles and not in violation.

You cannot, therefore, extend the logic of cell phones and computer chip development to solar electricity; it will be very inaccurate.

Riaz Haq said...

Suhail: "There are thermodynamic (scientific) principles explaining that solar energy conversion to electricity has much lower efficiency compared to chemical, nuclear or mechanical energy conversion to electricity....."

Let me refer you to a recent piece in Scientific American on this subject:

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.


http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=smaller-cheaper-faster-does-moores-2011-03-15

Anonymous said...

India is ramping up indeginous production in solar cells in a big way look up moser baer among tehrs.
does pakistan have a similar plan or like cellphones is it an 'import from dear friend china' strategy again

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "India is ramping up indeginous production in solar cells in a big way look up moser baer among tehrs."

Good for India. As of now, all solar panels in India are imported.

Here's a NY Times excerpt:

Developers of solar farms in India, however, have shown a preference for the more advanced, so-called thin-film solar cells offered by suppliers in the United States, Taiwan and Europe. The leading American provider to India is First Solar, based in Tempe, Ariz.

India does not have a large solar manufacturing industry, but is trying to develop one and China is showing a new interest in India’s growing demand. China’s Suntech Power sold the panels used at the Azure installation, which opened in June.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/29/business/energy-environment/in-solar-power-india-begins-living-up-to-its-own-ambitions.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=todayspaper


Anon: "does pakistan have a similar plan or like cellphones is it an 'import from dear friend china' strategy again"

India, too, imports bulk of its cell phones from your "enemy China", running huge trade deficits.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2010/05/soaring-chinese-imports-worry-india.html

Anonymous said...

India, too, imports bulk of its cell phones from your "enemy China",

nope it manufactures most of them at home/(it is a net exporter of mobile phones):

http://www.livemint.com/2007/08/30162127/Mobile-phone-output-in-India-t.html

Shams said...

While no one is running over the other in pursuit of solar, a country as poor as Pakistan has already invested $10 billion in equipment for CNG use in transportation vehicles- all of which money is from investors and zero from the government. I do not know if the American public has invested as much in solar panels on rooftops which is all subsidy funded.

I agree that 10 years from now solar will be cheaper and good for Pakistan. For now Sindh's Younus Dargha is right in pursuing 25000 MW from coal power and I will happily cozily wait for that day while my electrical heater runs on fossil fuels.

Suhail said...

Technological development is not taking place in solar alone; it is being done in power generation from fossil fuels also. Previously the energy efficiency using engines or boiler/turbines was around 25% only. Now it has gone up to over 45% and the trend will continue. The high temperature flue gases from engines are still more feasible to convert to usable energy than low temperature heat from sun. However, if fossil fuels become costly because of depleting reserves, or (more likely) their use is restricted through legislation for environmental reasons, then solar power will certainly take over.

As Shams mentioned, we were discussing solar electricity as a business model but couldn't come up with a feasible one. I'll soon be starting another discussion with Shams for using solar energy for hot water generation which provides usable higher temperature heat with a 4-5 times higher energy efficiency than solar power generation. The hot water to be used in absorption type refrigeration systems for air-conditioning. In winters the same system (minus the chiller) is used for space heating. This seems more feasible in Pakistan compared to solar power generation. For the US similarly, where sunny conditions prevail and both cooling and heating required over the year (as in California), this will probably be a better use of solar energy compared to solar power generation. Shams can comment on this.

The point to note is that use of solar energy does not only mean power generation. There are other alternatives more in line with thermodynamic principles.

Riaz Haq said...

Shams and Suhail,

Even with the infrastructure, Pakistan is already suffering a serious CNG crisis.

Regardless of conversion efficiency, fossil fuels like coal, oil or gas are not as abundant as the sun, particularly in places like sunny India and Pakistan.

And villagers do not need much of an infrastructure to use solar.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "nope it manufactures most of them at home/(it is a net exporter of mobile phones):"

Livemint you referred to is an old 2007 Gartner forecast, not actuals.

The reality is that India imports most of its phones from China. Taiwanese manufacturer HTC, which makes phones in China, led the field in growth at 99.1% in India in 2011.

http://www.penn-olson.com/2011/07/05/india-mobile-market-growth/

Riaz Haq said...

UNICEF opens 35 news schools in flood-affected areas in Pakistan, according to Channel 6 news:

The United Nations (UN) on Wednesday announced that its Children's Fund (UNICEF) opened 35 newly constructed schools in the Pakistani province of Punjab, which was severely damaged by the 2010 floods.

With donor funding in the southern area of Punjab province, the new schools were handed over to the Punjab Education Department and opened with 4,500 pupils attending classes. The 35 schools are located in the districts of Muzaffargah, Rajanpur and Rahimyar Khan.

Most of the Government school buildings were either damaged or completely destroyed in the 2010 floods, prompting UNICEF to initiate a schools reconstruction program in the worst affected districts of southern Punjab and other parts of the country.

Temporary learning centers were also established to ensure that children did not miss their academic year, but prefabricated school structures with all amenities have already replaced the temporary learning centers, UNICEF said in an update.

"The Child Friendly Schooling approach is interactive and makes learning fun for children," said Karen Allen, UNICEF’s deputy representative in Pakistan.

"It has elements of health and hygiene through provision of safe drinking water and improved sanitation, early childhood and development for preparing young children for school, playground and equipment for healthy physical activities, psychosocial support for rehabilitation of trauma-affected children, involvement of parents and community, and many other unique features that makes education attractive," she added.

The Embassy of the Netherlands in Pakistan contributed $1.2 million for the construction of 24 schools, while the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) donated an additional $250,000, which was used to build seven schools. Funding for the construction of four schools was provided by Italy, Hungary and Sweden.


http://channel6newsonline.com/2012/01/pakistan-unicef-opens-35-new-schools-in-flood-stricken-province-of-punjab/

Riaz Haq said...

AEDB to launch one wind power project every month, according to Power Engg:

As part of an ambitious strategy of the government to bridge gap between demand and supply of electricity, the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) would launch one wind power project every month. "The 2012 will be remembered as the year of wind power in Pakistan as we are planning to inaugurate one project every month in the current year," an AEDB official told.

Last week, Federal Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Liu Jian jointly performed the groundbreaking of 50 megawatt wind power project, which would be set up in Jhimpir area of Sindh. The official said that Pakistan has vast potential to generate electricity through alternative energy sources, which is reflective from the fact that alone the Thatta district has the capacity of producing 15,000 MW wind power.

Sources in the board said the project is being executed in collaboration with a Chinese company : Three Gorges : which has been mandated to set up total 20 wind-farms of 50 MW each during next five years.

This is the company's first project in Pakistan, while in total, it is third wind power project initiated in the country, the sources added.

They said that AEDB has set a target to generate 1500 MW wind power by 2013, which seems achievable because of the serious and accelerated efforts of the government.

The government has introduced an 'effective and attractive' renewable energy policy, which is bringing foreign investment in the power sector, the sources said, adding "It is an achievement that renewable and wind energy sectors are attracting the highest amount of private investment as compared to any other sector of the economy."

Special attention is being paid on other resources to produce electricity like hydro, hydel and wind, which are cheapest modes of generating power.

Besides, the focus is being given on the Thar coal reserves to use in power production, they added.

The Thar coal reserves worth $ 25 trillion have potential to generate 5,000 MW electricity for at least 800 years to meet growing energy demand of the country.

While, the power generated from coal gasification is the cheapest than other sources like furnace oil, natural gas and hydel. According to a report, a single reserve in Thar has about 850
trillion cubic feet coal (TCF).


http://www.power-eng.com/news/2012/01/1576631431/aedb-to-launch-one-wind-power-project-every-month.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Power Engg website report on renewable energy potential in Pakistan:

Pakistan's geography is most conducive to exploitation of solar energy as it is 6th most fortunate country in the world in terms of solar irradiance and where sunshine availability is 8-10 hours per day over much of the plans of Sindh, Balochistan and Southern Punjab.

Solar energy intensity in sunbelt of Pakistan is approximately 1,800-2,200 Kwh per square meter per day which is most favourable for exploitation of solar energy. Potential capacity for installation of solar photovoltaic power by some estimates is 1,600 GW, which is 40 times greater than present consumption. Based on range of currently possible conversion efficiencies in area of one sq km has potential to produce 40-55MW power and can generate revenue conservatively estimated at Rs 1 billion per month at current average tariffs of Rs 10 per Kw-hr.

Since solar power is available only during times of sunshine, it can at most meet up to 30% of daily consumption without need for energy storage such as in underground salt deposits. Wasteland and desert of Thar, lower Sindh & Balochistan are prime contenders to establish large solar farms with capacities of generating more than 250 gigawatts electric power to meet energy shortfall over coming decades, says expert Samir Hoodbhoy who participated in technology breakthroughs in robotics systems, semi-conductors and first mobile cellular system developed. He directed creation of Central Design Bureau of Pakistan Steel Mills in 1988-92.

Hydrokinetic and solar thermal are two most promising alternate renewable energy solutions that can be used to reduce Pakistan's rising $10 billion annual fuel imports and energy deficits and at same time preserve environment by not adding to hazards of increased carbon gases emissions caused by use of furnace oil and natural gas. Deserts of Tharparkar & Balochistan have potential for producing several hundreds of GWatts power.
--------------
Alternate Energy Development Board AEDB says Nokundi in Chagai district is one of world's most ideal wind corridors where wind speed is almost constantly 12.5% higher than average required for energy generation. Other parts of wind corridor includes a 300-kilometre-long area with wide open spaces from Dalbandin to Taftan, a town on border of Iran, Gharo to Keti Bandar in Thatta district of Sindh province which is 60 km long and 170 km deep corridor and estimated to have a power generation potential of 50,000MW. Similar is case of Lasbela district of Balochistan province, where wind energy at sustainable speed, good for power generation is available with little variation in seasons (five meters per second in winter and eight meters per second in summer).

Hoodbhoy says in Balochistan potential for wind generation is attractive, current unsettled political, socioeconomic conditions are disincentives for construction of large wind turbines and solar farms with capacities of 1MW. Under settled conditions, this region could easily become attractive carbon gas free energy producing center.

Mini wind farming projects (1-50 kWatts) along with small solar farms scattered over remote inaccessible areas presents attractive proposition that will help mitigate localized needs of electricity for lighting, communications, pumping water with tube wells for irrigation, domestic consumption. Larger wind power and solar power farms with individual production capacity of 0.5-500 MW developed along wind corridors and desert hinterland of Balochistan, respectively, have capacity to radically alter socioeconomic plight of Pakistan by resuscitating agricultural and industrial sectors.


http://www.power-eng.com/news/2012/02/22/wind-power-and-solar-energy-in-pakistan.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Energy Matters report on solar lights for flood affected villagers in Pakistan:

A cheap Australian-designed solar light is changing lives in developing nations, including 80,000 refugees in Pakistan still struggling to rebuild after the country suffered devastating floods a year ago.

As we've reported before, the adverse effects caused by the estimated one billion people living off the grid in poor countries who use kerosene lamps for lighting often outweigh their benefits.

Kerosene can account for a third of a family’s monthly income and toxic fumes from the lamps, which are often included in aid packages, can cause a number of illnesses. Soot and carbon dioxide created when burning kerosene also adds to the world's carbon emission woes.

Recognising the problem, Melbourne inventor Shane Thatcher founded illumination Solar in 2010, and the Mandarin Ultra solar light was born.

The Mandarin Ultra can provide up to four times more light than a kerosene lamp from 12 super-bright LEDs, illuminating a room for up to eight hours on a full charge, which is sourced by exposing the Ultra’s back solar panel to sunlight for six hours or more.

At a cost of less than $10 per unit, the Mandarin Ultra is touted to be the cheapest, quality solar light in the world. It costs a fraction of competing designs because it was designed with the income level of the target customer and the generation of UN accredited carbon credits in mind.

"What makes the lights affordable is the generation of carbon credits as the lights are sold and used. We worked with our alliance partner, CarbonSoft (a Standard Bank joint venture) on the complex accreditation program," says Liz Aitken, illumination’s CFO.

The governments of Britain, the USA, Japan and the EU have all bought the new lights and supplied them to refugees via the International Organisation for Migration.

"We created this light for the billion people who live off the grid and survive on less than a dollar a day. Buying fuel for a kerosene lamp can take a third of their income, the kerosene fumes are polluting, and the lanterns often start fires," Thatcher says.


http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3098

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune story on solar water pumps for Balochistan:

Ministry of National Food Security and Research has planned to introduce a pilot project of Solar Irrigation Pumping System in selected districts of Balochistan at an initial cost of Rs520 million.

Sources in the ministry said that Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Mir Israrullah Zehri would take the pilot project to his own province and introduce it in selected districts of Balochistan.

Major chunk of the project cost worth Rs492 million will be borne by the federal government and Rs28 million by the amers/beneficiaries. Under the project, as many as 190 solar pumps will be installed. According to the documents available with The Express Tribune, the objective of the project is bringing potential areas under cultivation, generating livelihood and improving the socio-economic conditions of the farmers/community. The water will be used for both irrigation and drinking purposes.

Lack of water severely constrains agricultural development in Balochistan, according to some reports only 1.5 million hectares of Balochistan’s 35 million hectares are under cultivation.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/330702/innovation-solar-irrigation-system-for-balochistan/

Riaz Haq said...

China's solar push has cut solar energy prices down to 17 cents per KWhr vs 12 cents per KWhr for wind, reports Bloomberg:

For years, solar took a back seat to wind as China’s preferred form of renewable energy. Solar was less efficient and cost about four times as much per kilowatt hour of production. As raw materials costs for panels have fallen, that gap has narrowed, says Ming Yang, vice president for business development at Shanghai panel maker JA Solar (JASO). Today, producing a kilowatt hour of solar power costs about 17¢, he says, vs. 12¢ for wind, and prices are falling fast.

That’s gotten the attention of Chinese officials. “There’s been a big change in the mindset of policy makers,” says Yang, whose company is on track to sell “north of 20 percent” of its production in China this year, more than double last year’s share. Like most in the industry, JA has benefited from an initiative dubbed Golden Sun that offers state support to developers of solar installations. Although introduced in 2009, Golden Sun started to take hold last year, when the government approved more than 600 Mw of projects. NPD Solarbuzz says there will be about 1,000 Mw of new Golden Sun projects in 2012.

Like Europe, China has started requiring “feed-in tariffs”—guaranteed prices utilities must pay solar power producers for their electricity. Though the rate fell to 16¢ per kilowatt hour this year from 18¢ in 2011, with production costs falling the lower amount is plenty, says NPD Solarbuzz analyst Ray Lian. “If this rate is maintained, we expect to see another surge in installations,” he says.

A larger Chinese market should be good news for renewable energy worldwide, with growing demand from China helping shore up prices at a time Europe is reassessing its solar energy policies. On Feb. 23, German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said his country would cut its assistance by as much as 29 percent. Although U.S. producers such as First Solar (FSLR) have made little headway in China, the country’s growth “will open up a much-needed source of demand,” says James Evans, a senior analyst with researcher Bloomberg Industries in London. A bigger Chinese market “will continue to allow the cost of solar technology to come down,” Evans says, “even without the European subsidized markets.”


http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-03-15/firing-up-chinas-solar-market

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: http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/Energy+starved+Pakistan+eyes+solar+power/6365467/story.html

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: http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/Energy+starved+Pakistan+eyes+solar+power/6365467/story.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a pvtech.org 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.


http://www.pv-tech.org/news/syncronys_to_receive_us4.5_million_order_from_pakistan_for_400_solar_powere

Riaz Haq said...

Conergy will plan and supply Pakistan’s biggest solar-power plant as the country seeks to increase access to electricity, reports Bloomberg:

The 50-megawatt project at Bahawalpur in the Cholistan region is owned by DACC Power Generation Co. and the Pakistani government and will supply 30,500 households with electricity, Conergy said today in an e-mailed statement.

Total investment will probably be about $170 million to $190 million, with Conergy’s share at about 60 million euros ($75 million) to 70 million euros, said Antje Stephan, a Conergy spokeswoman.

The government is seeking to spur investment, create jobs and expand access to power in a country where some areas can be without energy for as long as 18 hours a day, Conergy said. The company, working with developer Ensunt Inc., will supply 210,000 modules and 140 inverters, the Hamburg-based manufacturer said.


http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-04/conergy-agrees-to-supply-pakistan-s-largest-solar-energy-complex.html

Akber said...

sir, can u please highlight the fututre prospect of solar refrigeration in Pakistan??what are the plans and their implementations??

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BR report on 50MW Chinese coal plants in Pakistan:

Established in 1990, Ghazi Fabrics International manufactures and exports yarns, including the Panther brand, to the Far East and European markets. Set up as the first composite unit of its kind and scale in the country, the Company's manufacturing units currently have an installed capacity of over 50,000 spindles ranking it among large spinning/weaving companies in the country.

The Company also operates a sister concern, Ghazi Power, which maintains a 20 megawatt captive power plant. Not sufficing with innovations within the textile sector, the Company is also venturing into cattle breeding and other initiatives. Director, Ghazi Fabrics, Kamran Arshad shared with BR Research, the mindset behind the progressive Company. The following are excerpts from this encounter:

BRR: What are the major milestones for the Company?

Kamran Arshad: In 1990, after acquiring land for setting up the facilities, we became the first company at that time to establish three textile mills in a single location simultaneously. Starting off with such a large base also brought along some teething concerns, as we did not have room to be able to learn from our mistakes before expanding. Partly as a result of this, we did not grow at the same rate as some of the other significant players. On the other hand, we are among very few companies that have never defaulted. We have always maintained good standing with all lenders and financial institutions and we are a very strong contributor to the national exchequer in the form of taxes.
----------
BRR: Has the Company considered coal based power generation?

KA: As a matter of fact, we are considering that and what we have found is that coal based power generation is feasible, if there is sufficient steam utilisation. If that happens, the tariff is similar to that offered by SNGPL. In China, there has been a recent shift in government policy regarding coal based power plants. Earlier that government had been promoting the establishment of such power plants, but now after the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, the Chinese government has ordered that all coal based power plants with a generation capacity of fewer than 50 megawatts, should be shutdown within two years.

As a consequence, these power plants are selling at half the price of a new plant. We believe there is an opportunity for Pakistan here and I am personally quite sure that some entrepreneurs will venture into bringing a power plant here from China. The composition of the coal produced in this country, be it from Thar or from Chakwal; is quite comparable to the Chinese variety so these power plants will require a few if any modifications.


http://www.brecorder.com/brief-recordings/0/1220006/

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.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-16665-Pakistan-Korea-sign-MoU-to-build-300MW-solar-energy-plant

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Express Tribune of disproportionate impact of energy crisis on small textile mills:

The energy crisis has hit Pakistan’s textile industry badly, but not all textile companies are hurt: the largest players are doing just fine, relying on a combination of the advantages of their economies of scale but also government-sanctioned privileges not available to smaller industrial players.

At least part of the reason why the bigger companies are doing better than the smaller ones appears to be the natural advantages that come with being a larger player, such as having a vertically integrated business model.

Kamal Yousaf, CEO of the Kamal Group of Industries, a textile conglomerate based in Faisalabad, says that part of his group’s advantage over smaller rivals in their ability to harness synergies within the group. The weaving, processing and dyeing, garment manufacturing, and trading arms all work as a unit, helping the group weather price hikes in raw material or other issues.

The Nishat Group, meanwhile, benefits from the fact that it owns the fourth-largest bank in the country – MCB Bank – allowing it to avoid cash flow issues and raise capital for efficiency improvement projects. Nishat Textile, therefore, never has a problem in paying wages to its employees and was able to raise Rs1 billion to invest in a 6.2-megawatt power generation unit that runs on biomass. Electricity produced in this manner is expected to be about 6% more expensive than that provided by the grid, but is far more reliable at a time when Punjab’s industry is especially hampered by severe power outages that last several hours a day.

And many larger textile mills are able to purchase large stocks of raw materials that insulate them from price shocks. More than half the cost of producing a piece of clothing is often still the cost of cotton, even for some of the largest players.

Yet at least part of the advantage appears to be built in by the government. One of the biggest reasons why larger textile mills, particularly in Punjab, have been able to do well is that most have installed captive power plants that – despite operating at one-third the efficiency of the grid’s power station – are getting gas supplies to produce power at a marginally lower cost than what they would get from the grid.

However, these captive plants have been getting gas even at the expense of the rest of the grid, meaning that even while the largest and richest textile exporters save a few pennies on their production costs (power accounts for 3% of all costs for the larger firms), all of Punjab is going through massive power outages because the power plants that supply electricity to ordinary citizens and smaller industries are getting less gas, sometimes even no gas.

Meanwhile, smaller textile players have less reliable power from the grid, a supply that is made more intermittent by the fact that the fuel for the grid’s power goes to their larger textile rivals. At the same time, banks charge the smaller players higher interest rates, since they are viewed as bigger risks for not having their own captive power supply.

“The smaller guys cannot afford to run their factories on diesel generators,” said Muzammil Aslam, managing director at Emerging Economics Research....


http://tribune.com.pk/story/426553/while-small-players-get-squeezed-textiles-big-guns-are-doing-just-fine/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BR report on training workers to boost renewable energy sector:

Technology Upgradation and Skill Development Company (TUSDEC) has joined hands with GIZ, Pakistan to foster the renewable energy sector in the country by developing skilled force in various disciplines of solar technologies. The programme is being implemented under the implications of FIT (Funds for Innovative Training), Green Skills initiative.

A company spokesman said on Wednesday that TUSDEC will enroll 125 candidates in 5 batches to be trained in various areas of Photovoltaic and Solar Water Heating Systems. The overall programme duration is stretched over one year where each course will be for a span of three months.

The spokesman further shared that state-of-the-art facilities of NIDA Lahore centre will be utilised to administer the theoretical as well as practical trainings sessions, while on-site demonstrations will be organised specifically in the disciplines of Water Pumping and Solar Dryer where proficient master trainers will deliver the lectures, employing the originally deployed infrastructure.

According to him, TUSDEC has conducted an acute baseline analysis comprised of rigorous focus groups with major enterprises (Suppliers, Manufacturers and Assemblers) of solar power equipment and solar heating systems that has divulged huge dearth of trained manpower in the industry.

TUSDEC experts' panel has contrived market-oriented and internationally accredited training curricula, which will enable the trainees to serve productively in the approaching industry. TUSDEC further aims to nurture the diverse areas of renewable energy sector in Pakistan with the provision of immensely adroit and skilled manpower. Pakistan is experiencing approx 12 percent increase in its energy consumption with each passing year. The prevalent situation suggests a dire need of infrastructure investment as well as manpower cultivation in various alternate energy sources to effectively impede the resultant economic revolt, he said.


http://www.brecorder.com/fuel-a-energy/193/1256337/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BR report on 35% increase in power generation machinery imports in Pakistan:

Import of power generation machinery witnessed a surge of some 35 percent during the first quarter of fiscal year 2012-13 (FY13) over the same period of last fiscal year owing to power crisis in the country. Importers said that despite all efforts, the government and power generation companies seemed failed to resolve power crisis. Therefore, continuing power shortage forced the general public, industrialists and exporters to acquire their own power generation machinery.

Presently, they said, industrialists are the major buyers of power generation machinery to produce their own electricity as the energy crisis is directly hurting the production and export of industries, resulting in huge losses and unemployment. Industrialists also want to free their industries of the ongoing energy crisis to avoid losses, they added.

Importers said for last many years the government is claiming to end power crisis, however power shortage issue stays unresolved. According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) the import of power generation machinery rose to $254 million in first quarter of FY13 compared to $189 million in the corresponding period of FY12, depicting an increase of 34.50 percent or $65 million in three months.

Month on month basis, the import bill of power generation machinery for September 2012 rose by 33 percent to $80.37 million as compared to $60.52 million in the same period of last fiscal year. Importers said bulk of power generation machines is being imported from China followed by US, Japan, UK, however China is the largest supplier of power generation machinery and contributing over 70 percent share in Pakistan''s generator import.

Chinese generators are available in all specifications and are cheaper than the US, Japan and UK brands, therefore general public prefers Chinese generators. "We are expecting that import of power generation machinery may witness some rise in coming months owing to persistent long power outages across the country," importers said.

Although, the country is facing severer power crisis with hours'' long loadshedding, Punjab is the most affected province, where domestic and commercial consumers are worst hit. Usually, Punjab''s different cities especially Faisalabad is seen in the grip of power riots, they said. The situation in Karachi - the economic hub of the country - is slightly better than Punjab but not satisfactory as people and industry also suffering from loadshedding. Therefore, Punjab is the main market for power generation machinery as compared to Karachi, which generators'' sale is slow. Since 2004-05 the country has been witnessing a massive surge in the demand and import of power generation machinery. It has spent over one billion dollars on the import of power generation machinery during the last fiscal year (2011-12).


http://www.riazhaq.com/2012/05/educational-attainment-in-india.html

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.

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/karachi/10-Dec-2012/over-100-jhimpir-households-electrified-through-solar-energy

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report on Punjab govt's Ujala solar lights scheme:

Punjab Govt Ujala Solar Lamp Kits Scheme For Students Launched by the Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif as under this scheme around 5,000 students of Pakistan government schools in the whole Province Punjab can get solar energy kits and table lamps so this will help then in studying in the day and night during load shedding in Punjab.

In the first session of this table lamps and Solar kits distribution scheme there are 36 districts of Punjab us under consideration. This scheme is given a name of “Ujaala Scheme” as it will bring light in the students life so they are not disturbed by the load shedding even in the load shedding hours at night they can study and this will help in strengthen our country.

After the first phase in the second phase the same number of Lamps and Solar kits will be distributed among those who are new comers and are most junior. So those students who are in 9th class and obtained 50 to 55 percent marks in the annual board exams will be able to get these lamps and solar kits which also has chargers and bulbs in it. These solar system are so much power full that it can provide up to 18 consecutive hours light if there is a sunny weather not rainy or cloudy.

Students will be able to get these lamps an solar kits in the next month that is December the schedule for the distribution of solar kits are not yet announced by the any officials but officials just declared that it would be in December anywhere. These Solar Energy kits have these silent features

Solar PV 30Wp
Battery 12 V, 30 Ah SLA Gel type Battery
Battery charger
LEDs 3×5 W each of 100 lumens
Charge Controller 10 A with LVD (Low voltage disconnect)
Load Limitter
DC Wires with LED Holders
Mobile Phone Charging facility
System Autonomy 3 days
Reverse Polarity protection provision


http://ilm.com.pk/education-news/news/punjab-govt-ujala-solar-lamp-kits-scheme-for-students-launched/

Riaz Haq said...

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

FAISALABAD:

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....


http://tribune.com.pk/story/491194/renewable-energy-german-firm-to-set-up-first-solar-panel-plant-in-pakistan/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's BR on solar energy for Pak villages:

... There are over 10 million households in Pakistan without electricity. These households spend at least 750 million dollars a year on kerosene for lighting. For 1.2 billion dollars, which is about worth 18 months of kerosene bill, each one of these households can get a solar energy system. The payback period is eighteen months, and if the households were to regularly pay back to the providers what they saved on kerosene, the provider would make a ton of money within two years. It's a good business, a big business, a two billion dollar business, it's just sitting there - it's simple economics," he (Carl Pope) elaborated his point further.

Carl (Pope) told BR Research that a major purpose of his visit to Pakistan was to further explore this idea of solar power provision to rural households that are off the electric grid. "People have tried similar models on smaller scale in Africa and India. In this model, three things are required: a) a bank to provide financing, b) reputable distributors and supply-chain/logistics companies that make sure that the product that is being provided (solar panels) is a good product, that it will actually work, and c) somebody willing to provide the first-loss guarantee to the bank. If you get the last two together, they can get the bank. I have met some landlords on this visit to Pakistan, I have visited a set of villages near Dera Ghazi Khan, and I have also talked to people who are not landlords, but have business interests."

Carl pointed out that the finance problem in this model - the inability of the rural households to pay for these solar installations - can be addressed when somebody is willing to bank. "Bankers are uncomfortable because these households are generally poor; and bankers are also uneasy lending to this segment because they usually don't know anything about solar power. But there is an opportunity that might exist in Pakistan.

For better or for worse, Pakistan has a large number of landlords, who know how to collect money from their tenants. If you go to a landlord, and say 'look, you have got 25,000 people in your area, wouldn't you like them to have electricity? It wouldn't cost you anything; you only have to collect repayments from your tenants who, with electricity, would become more productive, which could also raise your rents (income)'. Landlords are proud people, and if their ability to control their tenants is manoeuvred in this direction, they may take interest. To make this idea work, the landlord will have to agree to provide the bank with a first-loss guarantee," he explained further.

Carl Pope cautioned that such a model cannot be scaled through a philanthropic venture - businesses have to be involved because the idea makes business sense. "I personally think that the rural adoption of such a product would depend more on awareness of product functionality and reputation of the provider. It will take time, yes, but I don't really see any other option for these rural households. Reality is that most of these villages are never going to get wired, because they weren't anybody's priority in the first place.

On one hand, the price of wiring a village has gone up fivefold in last five years, because of the rising prices of copper and other items. In most cases, the copper wire that is strung to a village is worth more than the electricity sold to the villagers. Moreover, the power demands of cities and industries are growing faster than the supply of electrons to the grid. So there isn't extra power to give to such villages," he observed.
....


http://www.brecorder.com/brief-recordings/0/1149055/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's PV Magazine on solar pumps in Pakistan:

The solar company Phaesun GmbH from Memmingen has installed 200 solar water pumping systems in 12 districts in Pakistan.

The latest systems were successfully put into operation together with the Pakistani partner Izhar Energy by December 2012 in the district of Sukkur. The project has been initiated and financed by the United Nations Development Programme UNDP to counteract the destructive tidal flood in Pakistan in the summer of 2010.

Thousands of families will benefit from the project that secures the water supply for drinking water, irrigation and livestock farming. The people in Pakistan still suffer from the devastating consequences of the flood disaster in 2010: Thousands of people lost their lives, 6 million people urgently needed humanitarian aid, the infrastructure was severly damaged in many parts of the country.

Even the water supply was disastrous in many places. Clean drinking water was often only available after having covered long distances. Organised water supply for agriculture and livestock farming was often not existent in many places. The UNDP-project aims at a sustainable water supply for local communities by means of renewable energies.

In twelve districts of Pakistan, local communities have been identified where the water supply was almost completely disrupted. The 200 solar water pumping systems have been individually sized according to the needs on site such as water amount and pumping head and were installed from November 2011 until December 2012. The systems use pumps of the manufacturer Grundfos which are operated with solar modules between 400 and 700 watts.

Russom Semere, managing engineer at Phaesun reports: "It was an enormous logistical effort to realise that project. The infrastructure in many regions of Pakistan has not yet been rebuilt. The components often had to be taken to their point of destination with the help of donkey carts and boats. The project could be realised in the first place due to the cooperation with the local partner Izhar Energy and the UNDP members on the spot!"

The project has a sustainable effect on the development of the affected regions. "The local communities are enthusiastic and grateful," Faiz Butta, managing director of the Pakistani solar company Izhar Energy reports. "They are now responsible for the operation of the pumps. During the time of installation, we carried out detailed training courses for the local community authorities.

"When we visited systems we had already installed the year before, I could convince myself that they have been perfectly maintained and serviced. The responsible authorities are aware of the fact that the economic development of their communities depends on the water supply of agriculture and livestock farming."

The UNDP initiated and financed the project, Phaesun sized the systems, prepared and supplied the components. The logistics and installation on site was organised together with the local partner Izhar Energy.


http://www.pv-magazine.com/services/press-releases/details/beitrag/solar-water-supply-in-pakistan---200-solar-pumping-systems-installed-in-flooded-areas-of-pakistan_100010319/

Riaz Haq said...

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

QUETTA:

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.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/529000/solar-power-plant-balochistan-govt-inks-deal-with-korean-firm/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Daily Times report on solar lights in Pak villages:

Creating a new micro-finance system to empower women with a unique blend of production of much-needed renewable energy to electrify over 50,000 power-deprived villages of Pakistan is the best ever innovation so far being implemented successfully by Bukhsh Foundation in various villages of Punjab.

Over 100,000 villagers are the direct beneficiaries of this project under which solar lanterns have been provided to around 50 houses each in 40 selected villages of Punjab where electricity was an imaginary thing for people, even in this modern era of second decade of the 21st century. Hence the project has achieved 10 percent of its target, 90 percent is left to reach the mark of lighting one million lives.

The project titled Lighting a Million Lives (LaML) has been implemented successfully in 10 villages of Sahiwal, besides achievements in Lodhran, Minawali, DG Khan, Dera Ismel Khan and other villages.

The cost of the project in one village is $5,500 (over Rs 50,000).

Besides lightening their house and proving these villagers the facility to continue their household work with an ease at night, mobile charging units have also been installed and sustainable employment opportunities have been created for over-40 needy women of these village. These women are now known as “roshna bibi” or “light lady” in the village. These chargeable lanterns remain active 6-8 hours depending on selection of light strength mode. Light charging system have been installed in the house of light ladies and this charging system is connected to the solar panels installed on the rooftops of their homes.

Each light lady charges Rs 4 to charge the lantern with the solar system every time and out of this amount she deposits Re 1 to a bank’s account for repair works, while the rest of Rs 3 is her earning. She earns around Rs 1,000 a day to support her family. Most needy women – mostly widows – have been selected to make them self reliant under this micro-credit project, launched with the help of various donors. The villagers have been provided lanterns free of cost.

Buksh Foundation, a concern of HKB Group, was established in 2009 with its two offices in Lahore – in Shahdara and Township – to provide soft loans of up to Rs 100,000. Later, Buksh Energy, a sister concern of the foundation, was also established, when CEO Faiza Farhan met with Indian Nobel laureate Dr Pachauri, who is also the director of Teri Technical Energy Resource Institute, at an energy summit in New Delhi.

India’s Teri institute was already working on this project and they had provided electricity to some 260-plus villages in the last few years.

Now, this model is also available in Uganda and Bangladesh.

With some innovations and local wisdom, Ms Faiza brought this project to Pakistan. Now, Teri is the technical partner of Buksh Energy. Out of total 40 villages, Coca-Cola provided funds for lightening of 15 villages in Sahiwal, Jahangir Tareen supported 14 villages in Lodran, USAID supported 15 villages in Bahawalpur and Imran Khan Foundation supported three villages – one each in Mianwali, DG Khan and Dera Ismael Khan. Engro Corp, Silk Banks, Bank Alfalah and UBL are some other donors....


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C05%5C21%5Cstory_21-5-2013_pg7_16

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a pv magazine report of a local NGO working to light up Pakistani villagers' homes:

Working with local and international partners like Coca-Cola, China Mobile's Zong, the Imran Khan Foundation and Engro Corporation, Pakistan's Buksh Foundation has set a goal of illuminating 4,000 off-grid villages by 2017.


Pakistani village Chak 113
The village of Chak 113, in Punjab's Sahiwal District, installs its new lantern charging station.
Buksh Foundation
As part of a pilot project to increase the use of solar power, the Lahore-based microfinance institute Buksh Foundation and the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in India, working with national and international partners, have electrified 72 off-grid villages in Pakistan's Punjab province.

The Buksh Foundation, launched in 2009 by Pakistani retail giant Buksh Group, has sought to increase financial inclusion for rural and peri-urban population.

The organization has launched a unique solar energy access model, Lighting a Million Lives, which aims to provide energy access to rural un-electrified areas of Pakistan.

"Under this project, 72 villages in the districts of Sahiwal, Mianwali,
Lodhran, Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan, Bahawalpur and Chiniot have already been electrified, with 70 more in the pipeline for this month, further reaching out into Mardan, Khushab, Gujrat, Kasur and Bahawalnagar in a period of only six month," Anam Elahi, the Buksh Foundation's business development manager and head of the Lighting a Million Lives project, told pv magazine.

The project has already impacted some 25,000 people and the Buksh Foundation is planning to light a total of 4,000 Pakistani villages, directly helping a million individuals, in the next three years. Recently scheduled projects include electrifying the villages in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

"The project with its multifold benefit model, has not only helped in providing a sustainable energy alternative, but has also encouraged female empowerment, increased economic capacity of the rural areas, created literacy about the needs for environmental friendly energy alternatives and the benefits they provide," said Buksh Foundation CEO Fiza Farhan.

The initiative seeks to empower females in rural communities by putting them in charge of photovoltaic charging stations, which are used to charge lanterns during the day. The women then either sell or rent the lanterns to villages for PKR 4 (€0.03) a day, providing a much cheaper alternative to high-priced kerosene traditionally used for lighting.

Each solar lantern replaces about 500-600 liters of kerosene during its 10-year lifespan, mitigating about 1.5 tonnes of CO2, according to the Buksh Foundation.

The organization said that about 43% of the population of Pakistan lives without access to electricity, of which 70% live in rural areas in 50,000 villages, completely detached from the national electricity grid. By 2015, the figure is expected to climb to 46% as the energy deficit worsens; by 2025, it will rise to 64%, with 187 million people having no access to the power grid.

By reaching its goal of providing a million lanterns to people the Foundation said it could reduce 1.5 million tons of CO2, save around PKR 25 billion (€188 million) and reduce oil imports by 6% a year....


http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/initiative-lights-up-off-grid-villages-in-pakistan-_100012117/

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


http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/12/500-mw-solar-energy-project-developed-cholistan-pakistan/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Reuters' report on homeowners installing solar panels to deal with load-shedding in Islamabad:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – After months of sleepless nights and uncomfortable days in sweltering heat, Hussain Raza has found relief.

But it’s not just the cooler winter weather that is making Raza happier. It is, somewhat ironically, the sun.

The 35-year-old banker and his family have bought a solar-powered electricity supply that kicks in during the frequent power outages that afflict even his upscale residential neighbourhood in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital.

A chronic shortfall in electricity in Pakistan makes life miserable for much of the country’s population and hampers industrial growth, experts say.

Until he bought his 300-watt solar energy system in October last year, Raza and his family often had no electricity to keep the lights on in the evening or run a fan during hot nights.

“How can I be at ease seeing my children go to school without homework (being done) and feeling sleepy in school due to inadequate sleep at night?” he asked. “Now I feel really relieved that I have a solar energy system that runs two fans that give us a good night’s sleep,” he said.

Mounted on the roof of his two-storey house, the solar installation stores energy in a battery that can power two fans and four 23-watt energy saver light bulbs for 10-12 hours through the night.

Apart from the comfort and convenience the system provides, Raza’s monthly electricity bills have dropped from around 4,500 Pakistani rupees (about $43) to less than 2,800 rupees ($27).

“It is worth the bill we paid for the renewable energy system,” he said. The kit cost the equivalent of $560, he said.

WORSENING OUTAGES

Power outages in Islamabad have been a problem for more than seven years, in part because of rising electricity demand due to the increasing size of the city’s population.

Pakistan’s daily power demand averages 16,000 megawatts (MW), but the country produces only around 12,000 MW. This shortfall can soar to 7,000 MW during peak summer months.

As a result, power authorities must resort to load shedding for more than 15 hours a day in the summer months, and six to eight hours daily in the winter.

The outages have also been getting longer because of a lack of investment in energy systems, particularly hydropower, which accounts for one-third of Pakistan’s total power production. The rest of the country’s energy is produced with oil and coal...


http://www.trust.org/item/20140116230113-87r9a/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a VOA report on the growing use of microhydro turbines for generating electricity at village level:

Many areas of Pakistan suffer energy shortages because the country's grid does not reach all of its remote corners. In one section of Pakistan's Kashmir region, people have taken the initiative to create their own energy from abundant streams and rivers, using small-scale turbines.

The Neelum Valley, in the Himalayan region of southeastern Pakistan, is sometimes called “Heaven on Earth” for its unspoiled beauty. Local residents want to preserve their forests and their clean environment despite a growing need for electricity said Shafiq Usmani, an official at a local hydroelectric board.

"All the beauty of the Neelum Valley is dependent upon those forests, streams, and neat and clean water, and this can only be sustained if we are giving them the clean energy," said Usmani.

Less than half of the Neelum Valley's 200,000 inhabitants have access to electricity from the national grid. However, the Neelum River itself and its tributaries flow with enough force to produce energy. Some local communities use small turbines, called hydel machines, to generate electricity to light their homes.

"This hydel machine [turbine] was installed with a share from 50 families, which costs us nearly $3,000. We started this small hydro scheme as we needed it. We only get light from it and no other electric appliances. We start this turbine at 3 in the afternoon and switch it off the next day at 8 am," said Rahimullah, one of the turbine operators.

Villagers say the homemade turbines have transformed their daily lives.

“When we had no electricity there was always smoke, as we use wood for heating and cooking, which causes diseases. Since we installed this project, thank God, we have gotten rid of these diseases and gained some other benefits," said Mushtaq Ahmad, a villager.

Even so, there is not enough energy for everyone's needs, and that means that trees still have to be cut down to provide wood for fire. Engineer Sardar Basharat Ahmad said the valley needs more turbines.

"Cutting down trees is a big loss, using wood for heating and cooking causes health problems. If the hydel is promoted and new projects are set up, it will fulfill all the requirements of the people like cooking and heating, and it will save the cutting down of green trees," said Ahmad.

Pakistan is plagued by power cuts, especially in the summer. The blackouts affect ordinary people's lives and hamper the economy. The country is using only about 10 percent of its identified hydropower potential.


http://www.voanews.com/content/pakistan-villagers-find-creative-energy-solutions/1870177.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's another microhydro success story in rural Pakistan:

BAHRAIN, Pakistan, March 14 (UPI Next) -- Installation of a micro-hydropower station on a stream in Serai has brought electricity to the people of the remote village in the highlands of the Upper Swat Valley in northwestern Pakistan for the first time.

Residents of Serai, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province's Malakand Division, about 60 miles north of the Swat district capital of Mingora, say the introduction of electricity has provided them with benefits most people take for granted, such as allowing them to walk at night without fear of tumbling off steep paths to their death.

Similar power plants are in the works for the area, a move that could pave the way to solving Pakistan's increasing energy shortage.

Micro-hydropower stations require less water than do conventional hydropower stations, so a single family can install one producing 5 to 10 kilowatts for personal use.

The power station was built by the European Union and the Sarhad Rural Support Program, a development organization working in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

"A total of 240 micro-hydropower plants are to be installed with a production capacity of 21.7 megawatts in the parts of Malakand Division that have no access to electricity from the country's national grid," Zahid Khan, a Sarhad program project manager overseeing the installation of the plants, told UPI Next.

Most micro-hydropower plants in Pakistan can produce 5 to 100 kilowatts. The next size up, mini-hydropower plants, produce between 100 kilowatts and 1 megawatt. Small hydropower plants produce between 1 megawatt and 10 megawatts, while large plants can produce much more.

Energy experts in Malakand Division are urging government and non-government organizations to use micro-hydropower projects to tackle the country's increasing energy crisis.

Serai's 80-kilowatt power plant is among the first to be successfully installed, providing electricity to more than 700 households.

"It is something of a miracle. This is the first development project installed here. We are the most neglected and ignored people in Swat," Serai elder Abdul Qadoos told UPI Next.

"People say electricity is the source of every social development."

Another elder, Zareen Gujar, also praised the introduction of electricity.

"Our women, who used to perform household chores by torchlight, will now be able to work longer under brighter light from electric bulbs," he told UPI Next.

"Our women are now learning to use electric irons to iron our clothes too.

"We in Serai have never seen any development activity since this country came into being, as we had no roads, no middle school or high school, not even a dispensary. We have been living a life of deprivation."

Serai is in rough terrain and climbing up to houses can be difficult.

"At last, we are not blind during the darkest nights. Many of our people have died after falling at night," Gul Zada, a local community leader, told UPI Next.

"We have streetlights installed now to walk freely in at night."

Zada said no official or non-government organization had shown villagers the power potential from the water around the village.

The power plant was completed in nine months at a cost of $105,000, of which about $9,000 was raised locally....




Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2014/03/14/Micro-hydropower-station-lights-up-remote-Pakistani-village/81393210835701/