SSEP to address energy crisis, environmental issues: Murad
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday said that solar home system project would serve dual purpose of mitigating energy crisis and addressing the global concerns of environmental degradation. This he said while delivering his inaugural speech of Sindh Solar Energy Programme (SSEP) – deployment of Solar Home Systems (SHS) in the rural off grid areas of the province organized by Energy Department at a local hotel, here.
The seminar was attended by Country Director World Bank Illango, Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary Sajid Jamal Abro, provincial secretaries, energy experts and investors.
The chief minister said that the project of developing solar Home system covers those areas as well, where electricity network is available, but outages are extended up to 12 hours a day.
Shah said that although energy was a basic need for socio-economic development in this modern era, a sizeable population still did not have access to electricity. “It is the aim of our government to make affordable electricity accessible to all,” he said and added the proposed project was first step towards achieving this objective. The consultative workshop with all stakeholders was a key event for successful implementation of the project on sustainable grounds, he said.
He said that this project will serve dual purpose of mitigating the energy crisis and will also contribute to address the global concerns of environmental degradation due to use of fossil fuels.
“Sindh is suitably placed to access and utilize donor financing options to scale up solar energy thus by mitigating the energy shortage being faced by the province. Sindh has sufficient solar and wind power potential,” he observed.
He said that Sindh has relatively low level of electrification, especially in remote areas. These localities will have electricity access by using solar PV under this programme.
He added that this is also an opportunity for Sindh to enhance economic development through the use of domestic renewable resources, and gain familiarity with solar technology and its operation.
Talking about wind energy, Shah said that with this abundant source, Sindh can play a leadership role in demonstrating conjunctive use of solar and wind power in a manner that optimizes the use of evacuation infrastructure.
He said that this pragmatic approach would look into the viability of solar at different scales – rural off-grid, urban rooftop and utility scale solar. “It is now a proven fact that solar energy is not only technically feasible, but cost-effective too, he said and added that the recommendations of this consultative workshop for a new solar strategy would move the nation towards greater energy access and energy security.
Shah recalled, “The idea to analyze where we stand today and where our tremendous opportunities lie originated during my meeting with President World Bank last year in Karachi. Sustainable Energy for all is our mission and we want every single home equipped with affordable electricity in the province. Though ambitious, but this is going to be a bold initiative.” He hoped that our experts would find out pragmatic solutions during this workshop to ensure energy access for all.
Provincial minister for Energy lmtiaz Shaikh said that energy was the life line of the economy and has direct impact on the socio-economic development. He added that the `Sustainable Energy for All’ was one of the top most global agenda of the UN to combat the poverty, terrorism and other social evils from the society. The Energy Department with a proactive approach inline with Sustainable Development Goals was expected to contribute sizeable share in the development and progress of the country, he added.
He said that the development of wind corridors at Jhimpir and Gharo were in full swing.
“Some 20 project are producing above 1GW electricity from wind and many more projects are at various development stages,” he said and added the province took lead in establishing its own power transmission and dispatch company STDC which was successfully managing transmission line from Nooriabad to Karachi.
Shaikh said that the SSEP Programme was mainly focused on diverting the conventional methods of energy production to the state of the art new solar technologies to achieve the target of 100 percent electricity access to all.