The sun provides us with plenty of energy which we can harness for our day-to-day needs. We often see solar power plants pumping out electricity and desalination plants using solar energy to generate cool water.
Pakistan is a country located in the Northern Hemisphere. It is sandwiched between India and China, two of the world’s most populated nations. Like the rest of South Asia, Pakistan is marked by hot, humid summers and bitterly cold winters. It is a place where lush green forests give way to rough grasslands in spring. It is a place where temperatures can rise above 40 degrees Celsius in summer and plummet to -5 degrees Celsius in winter. All of this makes it an ideal place for solar power. Not only does the sun provide us with warmth in summer, but it also helps us to stay cool in winter. This is where the concept of dual-purpose forests comes in. Forests that provide us with both food and energy.
Pakistan’s Favorable Climate For Solar Power
Pakistan is located in the northern hemisphere, which means that it is a place where the sun shines more often than not. The amount of brightness that it receives is known as its solar gain. On a clear day, the brightness can be measured in hundreds of thousands of kilo-lumens (Klm). Although the country receives less sunshine than places like China or India, due to its position in the Northern Hemisphere, Pakistan still enjoys more than seven hours of bright sunshine per day on average. This makes it the perfect place for solar power. The nation has a population of over 200 million, which means there are plenty of opportunities for homeowners to install solar panels and generate their own electricity.
The Rise Of Solar In Pakistan
Although the concept of generating our own energy is not new, it still remains a luxury reserved for the wealthy. The advent of modern-day solar power has opened up a world of convenience for the average homeowner. No longer does one need to be restricted to what energy providers offer, as they can be more than capable of providing the exact amount of electricity one needs for their day-to-day activities. This is why the sale of solar power in Pakistan has increased by 154% in the last five years. The manufacture of solar-powered devices also offers a steady, long-term job opportunity for those looking for work in the field.
This increase in sales and job prospects has not gone unnoticed by business leaders. Pakistan now has the 4th largest solar market in the world. The country has seen an extreme rise in rooftop solar installations in the past few years, with the number of households using solar energy increasing by 47% in the last year. The government also understands the economic benefits that solar power offers. It has therefore offered financial incentives to encourage more people to install solar panels.
The Benefits Of Rooftop Solar
Rooftop solar is the process of generating electricity using photovoltaic technology on the premises of a building. The convenience that comes with having electricity anywhere, anytime is clear. People can use appliances such as kettles and microwaves, which require electricity to operate. They can also keep appliances such as air-conditioners and water heaters running at all times. This helps to reduce dependence on utilities and make homes more comfortable.
This form of renewable energy is also practical for those looking to reduce their environmental footprint. In the event of a power outage, which could occur during heavy rains or a cyclonic storm, an electrical generator is not going to provide the same convenience as a rooftop solar array. The upshot is that this form of energy is a perfect hybrid – generating both power and cleanliness.
Why Is Pakistan Looking To The Sun?
Pakistan is a place that is rich in resources. Not only does it have plentiful sunshine, but it is also blessed with water. The nation is sandwiched between India and China, meaning that it has access to the world’s most vital resources. These are the main reasons why so many people are looking to the sun as a viable and sustainable source of energy for their homes.
The Challenges Ahead
As the name would suggest, solar power comes with several challenges. The first is that the sun does not always shine brightly – the weather can be fickle and changeable, which makes predicting the output of one’s solar energy system tricky. Although it is relatively easy to generate electricity when the sun shines bright and hot, it becomes more difficult when it is clouded over or threatening snowfall. The second challenge is that we are still in the nascent stages of developing an energy system that is entirely reliant on solar power. This is mainly due to the high initial investment that such a project requires. The third challenge is that homeowners are still largely unaware of how their solar system is performing. They often do not collect enough data to gauge the efficiency of their setup properly. The last challenge is that not everyone has the ability to generate their own electricity. Those living in rural areas and lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to be dependent on utilities for power. The government and NGOs are striving to overcome these last two challenges, with initiatives such as the Power for All and Grameen Bank providing micro-credit loans and technical support to those looking to invest in solar power.
Although the benefits of solar power are numerous, Pakistan still has a long way to go before it becomes the world’s powerhouse in the field. The country is inching towards self-sufficiency in energy but still has a long way to go before it can be considered a green and sustainable power source.