Clean Energy expert Syed Saad Zafar about the booming development of the solar sector in Pakistan
As an emerging country, Pakistan still has to break down barriers in order to promote the development of its industry. The energy supply is one of the most serious issues the country has to face. Due to energy shortfalls and regular outages the management of the power demand and supply balance still represents a huge challenge. A sustainable solution could be brought through the utilisation of clean energy sources, such as the sun. Therefore, the Swiss-ba sed solar energy provider, The meeco Group, entered the Pakistani solar market more than ten years ago and pushed the development of this sector. Since then remarkable development could be recognised. Today, meeco holds an important position in the Pakistani market and contributes to the development of the country, through its subsidiary, meeco Services Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd., and the joint venture, oursun Solar Power Ltd.
"Concerning the use of renewable and clean energies, the Pakistani people are more and more convinced and willing to invest in innovative technologies as solar solutions", notes Syed Saad Zafar, Director of meeco Services Pakistan and CEO of oursun Solar Power Ltd. "When we started to introduce meecos energy solutions in Pakistan, it was still out of question for any leading group to invest in it. Such an investment was very risky, as the installation of solar plants required a lot of money in order to operate and maintain them. Moreover, unprofessional solution providers cheated people and their trust was shattered." However, thanks to the development of solar technology, the drop of prices and the global awareness of preserving natural resources, the situation has changed. "Today, after many efforts, I feel that people are well aware of what solar technology can provide them", states solar expert Zafar.
Opportunities offered to solar energy investors are very promising as Pakistan benefits from ideal weather conditions. The whole territory from the centre of the country to the southern boarders is one of the best areas with top conditions suitable for solar plants as it benefits from eight to t en months of full sunshine. Moreover, it captures a level of radiation per square meter, which is similar to the radiation of the sunniest areas worldwide. "Potential investors are more and more interested in putting money into solar projects because they consider clean energy as a safe and stable investment", declares Syed Saad Zafar.
Coincidently the government has implemented several new legislations to allow for an easier execution of solar projects in Pakistan. It reduced duties and taxes in order to support solar technology and to enable the middle class to install clean energy solutions. "Photovoltaic as an affordable, unlimited and clean energy source is one of the most important technologies of this century", notes Syed Saad Zafar. "meeco is a pioneer in this field. Through its subsidiary and joint venture it will continue to foster this development."
Today, meeco Services Pakistan and oursun Solar Power Ltd. are the only companies in the private sector of Pakistan to hold contracts of more than 60 MWp, out of which several MWp are already installed and operational. Furthermore, there are several projects in the pipeline as for example the 2MWp sun2roof rooftop project on the new Emporium Mall in Lahore. At the moment, the huge and state-of-the-art shopping centre is still under construction. The project is based on a power purchase agreement (PPA) between the Nishat Group, constructor of the building, and oursun Solar Power Ltd. The generated clean energy shall almost entirely cover the energy consumption of the shopping mall. This new photovoltaic installation is expected to produce a minimum of 3.850 MWh per year, which shall thus save 331 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
About The meeco Group: The meeco Group was consolidated in 2000 and oriented its main focus towards the energy sector. With world headquarters located in Zug, Switzerland, the group currently has over 50 employees working across 4 continents. Thanks to a structured but flexible approach based on its core competencies, meeco has delivered over 370 MW of clean, renewable energy solutions across four continents. The meeco Group accomplishes its mission by providing project developers, investors, governments, and private businesses with the services necessary for timely financing, installation, and operation of clean energy assets.