ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s parliament is now the first parliament in the world to be completely powered by solar energy.

Members of the National Assembly met for the first time while the lower house was being powered by solar power on Friday.

Speaker Ayaz Sadiq announced that the solar panels in the house generate 80 MW of electricity, 62 MW of which are consumed by the National Assembly and 18 MW are contributed to the national grid.

The first ‘Net Metering’ license in the country was also issued to the National Assembly by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority.

A Net Metering system helps in delivering and adding surplus production of energy to the national grid. The project is also environment friendly because it reduces emissions of hazardous gases.

Speaker Sadiq acknowledged the assistance by the Chinese government in supporting the solar project.

He also thanked members of parliament, other employees at parliament and the media for their confidence and support in helping deliver a better future.

The solar project was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the former’s visit to Pakistan last year.

The prime minister is expected to formally ‘switch on’ parliament’s solar program later in the month.

Knesset, the Israeli parliament also generates its own solar power but only 10 pc of its energy needs are met through solar electricity.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2016

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