UIG: (Govt asked to move solar energy up the national agenda)

ISLAMABAD: Decision of the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to convert government schools to solar energy under the off-grid solar solution programme will go a long way in resolving energy crisis, a business leader said on Tuesday.

The decision of the chief minister to convert more than 4,000 primary schools of rural areas in Punjab to solar energy in the first phase and a programme reflects his thinking about alternative sources of energy which is heartening, said Mian Shahid, CEO of United International Group (UIG).

In a statement here, he said that solar panels would ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity to primary schools which will have a very positive impact on the students. He said all of the educational institutions must be converted to solar power and it should me made cheaper for the middle and low-income families to relieve masses reeling under acute energy crisis.

Mian Shahid said that majority of the rooftops in Pakistan are suitable for generating solar power, a blessing many countries can hope for. Many areas receive on average a very high amount bright sunlight which gives solar power the potential to bring energy to virtually any location without the need for expensive large scale grid level infrastructural developments.

Around 150, 000 (one hundred and fifty thousand) homes and buildings were converted on solar energy in the US in 2014, China has 33.4 gigawatts of solar capacity installed, India has India has 3.3 gigawatts of capacity and it plans to invest 160 billion dollars in the sector with the help of US while situation in Pakistan is very different.

Asking Government to move solar energy up the national agenda, he said that we should race to find ways to feed our spiraling energy needs without adding to greenhouse gas emissions. Increased focus on solar power will also reduce fossil-fuel pollution, he said.

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