ISLAMABAD: It was not just the Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan who has ‘gone green’ during her husband’s two-day visit to Pakistan. Pakistan’s parliament house is also expected to follow suit by the end of the year.

On Tuesday, while the first lady’s green and white outfit attracted media attention, President Xi Jinping inaugurated the one-megawatt solar power plant, being installed at the National Assembly building with assistance from China.

During his welcome address at the joint session, called in honour of the visiting dignitary, National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq informed lawmakers the project will make Pakistan’s parliament the first in the world to ‘go green’.

He said the solar power plant will meet the building’s power needs and set a precedent for other private and public sector buildings to switch to renewable sources of energy.

The brief for Green Parliament Solar Generation Project states that the plant is part of the Speaker’s vision of promoting green or sustainable building in Pakistan. It is also hoped the project will spur local production of solar invertors and isolation transformers.

According to an estimate by the National Assembly Secretariat, the switch to solar power is expected to save Rs28 million per year while the cost of the project is Rs280.61 million.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2015

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