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Parliament shifts to solar energy

Updated Feb 13, 2016 10:35am


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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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Comments (37) Closed

pure Ind Feb 13, 2016 11:06am

great move....

Zak Feb 13, 2016 11:23am

Thanks to our all weather friend

Asif Feb 13, 2016 11:24am

Very good. Keep this up. I hope there is no corruption in this

Fazal Karim Feb 13, 2016 11:42am

We should be able to produce solar cells in the country. What are we doing in this regard.

A Peshawary Feb 13, 2016 11:49am

@Fazal Karim Send a lucrative business proposal to PM or CM Punjab; you find astonishing quick response and result.

A Peshawary

Khan Lala Feb 13, 2016 12:22pm

62 MW used by the Parliament House - A huge consumption!!!

Awes Khan Feb 13, 2016 12:57pm

I don't get it, the only major solar plant we have in the country is Quadi-e-Azam Solar Park (QSP) which requires a huge area for the installed 100 Mw capacity, at best time of the day it generates ~80 Mw and the 24 hr average comes down to 18 Mw.

Where did they install the plant for the NA to be installed by Solar Power ? From experience of QSP and politically technical statements without a proof, i have just had it enough. These people don't have the funds to support the Research Project of Dr. Samar Mubarakmand on Under Ground Coal Gasification and they want to spend billions to run their political gimmicks.

R S Chakravarti Feb 13, 2016 01:45pm

A good achievement which should be emulated by India.

Rustom E Hind Feb 13, 2016 01:48pm

Nawaz saab zindabad

the ocean will be filled drop by drop

AAN Feb 13, 2016 02:02pm

Total 342 parliament members have the right to use 62 MW of energy. Which mean on average every member is consuming nearly 180 KW if all are present in the assembly. As majority of them is usually do not attend office like PM himself which makes the figure like 500 KW (Half of MW )on average member where as for more than 200 Million people we had not even 15000 MW of electricity which means on average 1 Million people are using 75 MW which is almost nearly the usage of parliament. I am often embarrased

AAN Feb 13, 2016 02:10pm

For 342 Members construction of 62 MW power plants and for 200 Million not even 15000 MW available in the system which mean the average electricity consumed by 1 Million population is about 75 MW which is almost equal to the requirement of the national assembly alone 62 MW. I am often becomes sad when our Minster of Khawaja Asif Say that we as nation are extravagance in the usage of electricity as we consume more. What an irony. Any how the good part is that some part like of 18 MW will also go to the public.

Awaami Feb 13, 2016 02:11pm

I think there is a "period" missing. It is 0.8MW not 80MW. Also the total project, financed by Chinese company, is of 1MW. Moreover, total demand for whole building is 2.3 MW out of which 1 MW (peak) will be solar powered. This information is available on NA website. Also, a 5 page PDF is uploaded there as well.

Good move by government. Some comments are really negative, a mindset getting deeply ingrained in our society.

A Peshawary Feb 13, 2016 02:24pm

PM does not come to the parliament on important national issues like relation with India, visit to Iran & Saudi Arabia, LNG deal, BKU massacre etc. But, he will definitely come for "switch on" ceremony along with the crown prince CM Punjab.

Most of time the attendance in Parliament is less to the shameful levels

Khan Lala Feb 13, 2016 02:56pm

@Awaami --- Right. Your comments are logical and make some sense!

Mubashir Mahmood Feb 13, 2016 02:58pm

Great. Can anyone tell what is the cost of one unit when electricity is generated through solar energy?

M Jamal Feb 13, 2016 04:09pm

62mw consumed by National Assembly. It's hilarious.Now the bill amount comes to 1,000,000 watts (=1 mega watt) ×62mw×24 hours×Rs 15 per unit=Rs 22 billion 320 million annually

Hissan Feb 13, 2016 05:17pm

@Mubashir Mahmood about 1-2 rupees

Hissan Feb 13, 2016 05:17pm

about 1-2.6 rupees per unit

Yogi Vinayak Feb 13, 2016 05:47pm

Good job Pakistan!

kaka Feb 13, 2016 06:17pm

why only for assembly.why not for every home ??

Awais Ali Feb 13, 2016 06:35pm

Fabulous. Pakistan is changing indeed.

Iqbal Khan Feb 13, 2016 06:40pm

Our elite deserve 'added power' of 62mw for glorifying one building.

Samir Feb 13, 2016 08:17pm

What about the rest of the country?

Aditya Feb 13, 2016 08:52pm

Excellent. ..

We should do it for all. Govt to set incentives for gen. Puclic.

Remember, the upkeeping solar panel has cost. But at least not till next 10 years.

ak Feb 13, 2016 11:53pm

Agree. That should read 0.8 MW.

In India meanwhile, Kochi Intl Airport recently became the first fully functional large airport to be run entirely on Solar power. You can check technical details on Wikipedia.

The revolution though lies in rooftop solar. Make that and netmetring as ubiquitous as recharging a prepaid sim has become today. Then we will have an energy revolution.

truly speaking Feb 14, 2016 12:39am

very good... keep it up... hope this is just the start

Zubair Feb 14, 2016 10:45am

Wonderful. It means that ,Pakistan will be in surplus of Energy,if it shifts to Solar Energy.

Ahsan Iqbal Feb 14, 2016 10:48am

the figures like 80 MW or 62 MW are either extremely exaggerated or its an irresponsible journalism by Dawn...

in this very article published on your website, it is stated that 1.8 MW is what Parliament needs.. and now you are telling that its producing 80 MW.. come on man!

Anonymous Feb 14, 2016 01:57pm

All the electricity saved can now be provided to the parliamentarian's houses (read mansions).

Muhammad Khursheed Feb 15, 2016 10:45am

The figure of 86 MW production , 60 MW consumption and 16 MW export all are unrealistic and unachievable thru rooftop solar PV installation in Parliament premises; hence must be reviewed and corrected as they are giving wrong impression and ignorance !.

Omar Feb 15, 2016 04:08pm

That's great!

Shakeel Feb 15, 2016 06:32pm

Now that the politicians have electricity, maybe they could extend the courtesy to the rest of us?

Ali B Feb 15, 2016 08:55pm

Lets bring things into perspective, approximately 4000 solar panels are needed to produce 1 MW of power. That's an area of 72,600 square ft. In layman's terms thats 270 feet x 270 feet. Similarly 80 MW solar system will need an area of 80 x 72600 square ft = 5,808,000 square ft. = 0.54 square km. Two lengths of 2400 feet x 2400 feet! That is a whole lot roof space for a the parliament building! Unless they put the system far away from the parliament building, it is not making any sense to me.

Ali Feb 15, 2016 08:55pm

Hope this one is not like the water fueled car project!

Syed Ali Feb 16, 2016 05:09am

62MW ? the figure should be wrong, the biggest solar power plant is Bhawalpur is 100MW and this rooftop project is 62MW, i don't think national assembly demand is 4-50MW. A big fertilizer plant has demand of 20-25MW.

kashif ali Feb 16, 2016 02:43pm

62 MW ........what is the utilization factor ???????????? and cost/kW based on actual power produced. ?

Munawar Zaman Feb 16, 2016 02:53pm

62 MW for only parliament, being engineer, i cant digest it

62 MW is enough for the energy requirements of whole small city