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Pervez Hoodbhoy goes solar for his household energy needs

Updated Feb 18, 2017 07:18am


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Perched atop Pervez Hoodbhoy’s rooftop are 10 solar photovoltaic panels with an installed capacity of 2.8 KW that supply his home with enough energy in the daytime to run an air conditioner in the summer, light bulbs, a refrigerator and a few other household appliances. He also has a solar geyser that gives him hot water “even in the coldest of Islamabad nights”.

The nuclear physicist believes properly designed homes can save huge amounts of energy. His house is well ventilated and properly insulated so it stays “fairly cool” in summers and “reasonably warm” during winters.

In an informal chat with, Hoodbhoy discussed the lifestyle changes that he had made on a personal level to reduce his carbon footprint, as well as the concerns he has for Pakistan’s energy security.

Zofeen T. Ebrahim (ZTE): Does your home, and all electrical appliances in it, run entirely on solar energy?

Pervez Hoodbhoy (PH): No, solar does not fulfil all our needs, but it takes care of about 60% of our electricity needs, and 90% of our hot water needs.

ZTE: What other fuel sources do you supplement solar power with? Are there many cloudy days?

PH: We buy one gas cylinder every month for cooking, and grid electricity is used at night. Solar electricity and heating are in good supply for about 310 days of the year.

ZTE: How much does your monthly electricity bill come to?

PH: Far too much! I think I have a faulty meter connection and I don’t have the patience to go and argue it out with the Islamabad Electric Supply Company. The solar electricity generated is probably more than the amount we consume daily. However, most of it goes waste because I am not allowed to return this excess amount to the grid.

ZTE: That sounds bad. Is there a solution?

PH: Of course there is! In Europe, America and China excess solar electricity can be pumped back into the grid and the consumer is only charged for the net amount of electricity consumed. This is called “reverse metering”. If more energy is produced than is consumed, he is paid in cash.

In Pakistan, I hear that reverse metering has been approved by parliament and a few people are already taking advantage of it. But it is not widely available for lack of the special meters needed – these meters need to measure both the energy coming from the grid as well as going back into the grid.

ZTE: Has anyone tried to run their home on solar as well after seeing yours?

PH: Several people made inquiries and I know that a couple bought similar systems. The solar geysers are very cheap and I see quite a few on rooftops. I really can’t understand why people use gas geysers which are more costly to operate when such a cheap, environmentally friendly option is easily available.

ZTE: Do the solar cells, batteries etc. require a lot of maintenance?

PH: Four years after installation, all that was needed was washing of the rooftop panels to remove dust and blowing air through the control panel. The solar geyser has an electric rod for supplementary heating on cold days and it burned out once but was easily replaced at a minimal cost. The batteries have lasted four years and are going strong but will probably require replacement in 1-2 years. They are used at night or whenever the grid electricity goes off — which happens frequently.

ZTE: Do you think it makes more sense to harness energy from solar than nuclear fission?

PH: The reasons are pretty obvious – solar is safer than nuclear and it is now cheaper than oil or gas. Nuclear energy has not turned out to be so cheap if one adds up all the real costs. The fact that solar energy is available only during daytime means that better energy storage is needed, and this is coming fast in the form of high capacity batteries as well as techniques more suitable for large generating stations.

ZTE: You are aware that Pakistan’s fourth nuclear power plant began operating last month. Why is Pakistan continuing with investing in nuclear reactors if this is an expensive alternative?

PH: Let’s be happy about this – and that we have not had a major accident so far. After all we do need electricity. At the same time, one hopes that truth about radioactive incidents will not be kept from us. More nuclear plants don’t make economic sense to me. We are going for nuclear electricity because the Chinese badly want to sell their reactors to Pakistan – we are China’s only customer for nuclear power plants. China has loaned Pakistan 80% of the amount needed for the Karachi Nuclear Power Plants (KANUPP).

ZTE: You have never openly objected to the Chashma plant but have been quite vocal about the two nuclear reactors that are being built near Karachi? Why?

PH: After the tsunami initiated disaster at the plants in Fukushima, it became clear that having nuclear plants near any city was a bad idea. If something ever goes wrong with KANUPP, what will happen to Karachi defies the imagination. Fukushima was a small town of 80,000 disciplined people. Karachi has 22 million people most of whom feel no twinge when going through a red light. Evacuating them in any disciplined manner would be impossible. And evacuate to where? A catastrophic disaster doesn’t have to be caused by a tsunami – an act of terrorism, sabotage, earthquakes, or operator error (as happened at Chernobyl in 1986) could all take us down that path.

ZTE: But with technological improvements and better safety mechanisms, would you say Pakistan should explore nuclear options?

PH: The global nuclear industry obviously aims to make safer reactors. But the problem is that no one can foresee all the ways in which things could go wrong. The fuel contained in a typical reactor core has more than a thousand atom bombs’ worth of fissile material. And, even though a reactor cannot blow up in the same way as a bomb, it can release thousands of times more radioactivity than was released by the bomb explosions over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As far as our options go, Pakistan does not make nuclear power reactors. These are beyond our technological capability. Making bombs is far easier and obviously we are making lots of them.

ZTE: Clean, cheap nuclear energy is often touted as a means to battle climate change. But how close are we to having nuclear plants that fit the clean, green bill?

PH: Climate change can be better fought by concentrating on solar and wind power, making more efficient electricity grids, and by cutting down on wastage. Also, if one looks into the carbon cost of making nuclear plants, the savings due to cheap nuclear fuel are much less.

ZTE: How about if we use thorium fission reactors, or is this still an academic discussion?

PH: India has been planning on doing this for 40 years. There’s still no electricity being produced by thorium fuelled reactors. In any case, it’s not an option for Pakistan because we don’t have thorium deposits and do not have the capacity to make our own nuclear power plants.

This article originally appeared on The Third Pole and has been reproduced with permission.


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Comments (104) Closed

saudagar Feb 17, 2017 04:54pm


sodawaterbottleopenerwala Feb 17, 2017 05:09pm

guys i am from india and i still know he is not only nuc physicist but a mathe -MAGICIAN . i may say!

Feroze Danish Feb 17, 2017 05:11pm

How refreshing - great news in the midst of all this depression.

Sk Feb 17, 2017 05:38pm

There are over a million private homes, apts and villas around Pakistan will similar or better apparatus installed.

Anjum Shehzad Feb 17, 2017 05:40pm

I wish we build our homes in Pakistan with double wall containing insulation inside to keep warm in winter and cold in summer. Also our Windows in general are badly installed and insulated, making homes cold in winter, bringing up energy bills. Well, for this article, If these guys won't do it, who else do you expect to do?

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN Feb 17, 2017 05:41pm

We are proud of our scientist always and always.

Harmony-1© Feb 17, 2017 05:44pm

What a sane voice! His recommendations of solar power (and wind power too) applies to any country really but more suitable to our region as we have far more sunny days.

kumar Feb 17, 2017 05:49pm

Kudos to Pervez Hoodbhoy saab, he followed what he spoke about high values and rational thinking...

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN Feb 17, 2017 05:49pm

@Harmony-1© True dost.

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN Feb 17, 2017 06:02pm

@saudagar Thanks yaar. My Indian friend. :)

gil Feb 17, 2017 06:18pm

A real hero of Pakistan! More people like this and the country will change! Nuclear power waste will be dangerous for 1000s of years-and the bill is paid by future generations! Thanks for this article!

Prakash Rao Feb 17, 2017 06:18pm

I live in Hyderabad, India. There are many homes and offices which use solar power to generate electricity for domestic use. I generate my own solar electricity. Electricity supply company has installed a meter which takes into grid excess units produced by me. My bills reflect units generated by me and units consumed by me from the grid. I pay for the difference. If I generate more units than I consume it is pumped into the grid and I will be paid for it or adjusted in future bills. Similarly I use solar panels to heat water. There are many homes and hospitals in my city which have solar panels to heat water. It is the same story all over India.

Ramiz Feb 17, 2017 06:21pm

He is great person and physicist. But reverse metering is common and should have been introduced why so late and compete Somalia?

nks Feb 17, 2017 06:25pm

for 1kW, solar installation costs 0.1 million rupees (approx.), so for lower classand lower middle class families its not a viable option. Secondly, pakistanis are reputed well among the World Association of Nuclear Operators. and nuclear power plants have the zero greenhouse gas emissions. pakistan should go for nuclear but keep the diversity in sources of energy.

D-Nawaz Pakistan Feb 17, 2017 06:57pm

This is pretty much common in the US. He did not invent the technology. You add more panels and will have more energy. Simple as that! Well he may be among few in Pakistan who are using these panels for home energy use.

saeeds Feb 17, 2017 06:59pm

Homes are poorly design with no consideration of energy saving . We like to blame government for every misdeed but as nation we are more guilty for not taking right steps in right directions. With little common sense and more sincerity we can solve 50% energy and water crisis

KR Feb 17, 2017 07:04pm

We have just completed our first winter in Abbotabad and I feel guilty about the amount of gas we have burnt just to keep our poorly insulated rented house bearable.

The amount of solar radiation in the clear hilly atmosphere is enormous and is quite sufficient to keep houses warm and we'll supplied with hot water and electricity.

Thermal insulation should be a legal requirement for building houses and financing should be made easily available for retrofitting existing houses with proper thermal insulation and solar panels.

The public should be educated directly and indirectly about the benefits of converting to solar and installing thermal insulation.

D-Nawaz Pakistan Feb 17, 2017 07:07pm

These panels are not cheap but a very good option if you can bear the initial cost.

MALIK FROM AUSTRALIA Feb 17, 2017 07:08pm

Use of solar power in homes is common in Australia. Apart from this, it is a standard practice to insulate walls, windows and roof. Use of sun and protection from sun is nothing but common sense. I wish education about physical environment is imparted in schools throughout Pakistan.

Hoodbhoy is a man of words - and of action. We should learn from him. Thanks Dawn for publishing the interview.

Incidentally, there is a need for building solar power plants throughout the country along the lines of the Quaid-e-Azam plant in Bahawalpur. Imagine the availability of sun rays in Punjab, Balochistan, Sind, NWFP, Azad Kashmir and FATA! Why waste such a resource?

sudhir Feb 17, 2017 07:12pm

I also want to go solar for my house hold on my rooftop...But government has to take measure to have cost in reach.

Jaydeep Feb 17, 2017 07:17pm

I think he can help both Pakistan and India , He is a real genius and can contribute in such a positive manner to improve the lives of the people of the sub continent . This makes us less on the conventional ways of generating electricity .

AbhiManue Feb 17, 2017 07:19pm

I really jealous wish that he belong to India. Joke apart I think he deserve the post of education minister of Pakistan with all the power . He can change the whole Pakistan as future generations of Pakistan would be benefit from his creative and scientific thinking. Why govt of Pakistan seeks outside study model for development whereas they have gem in coal mine.

ghaznavi Feb 17, 2017 07:21pm

I hope his solar initiative starts a trend in Pakistan.

SS India Feb 17, 2017 07:20pm

A picture or two would have increased the joy of reading. Anyway it is always refreshing to read about Dr. Pervaiz Hoodbhoy. A 'gem' indeed !!

Brar Feb 17, 2017 07:24pm

Reverse metering is allowed in East Punjab and many big industrial houses have installed solar system there is a factory near my village in Ludhiana whos whole roof is covered with solar panels the Government gives 30% subsidy for this and a 10 kw plant costs about 7 lakh IRS excluding subsidy.

kaliraja thangamani Feb 17, 2017 07:26pm

Great work.

Ahsan Gul Feb 17, 2017 07:32pm

Way to resolve energy requirements naturally. Government initiative is necessary to extend knowledge and basic installation finance.

bull's eye Feb 17, 2017 07:37pm

He is as respectable as Dr Abdul kalam. He one of the most sane voices in Pakistan. Hope students in pakistan learns more about him and his values

Apache_indian Feb 17, 2017 07:54pm

I only have respect for Dr Hoodhboy! I would love it if we can steal him to teach Physics at our institutions also :-).

BUDDHIR DHEKI Feb 17, 2017 08:00pm


"With little common sense and more sincerity we can solve 50% energy and water crisis"

You are correct Saeed. If you do a Google check, you'll see India is third on the Ernst & Young (now only EY) "Global Index of Renewable Energy Attractiveness"....after US in No 1 and China at No 2, but before Germany at No 4.

What am trying to say is, the framework is in place....and slowly global players like Softbank of Japan have begun investing in India's green energy sector. There is no reason why it can't be so for Pakistan as well.

Taj Feb 17, 2017 08:00pm

Solar is good but in Pakistan cost of installing solar energy does not gives you any saving in power generation cost. Here is how Assuming average monthly bill: 20K so 240K annual Cost of Solar (2.8KW) : 280K (approx) providing only 50-60% need So the breakeven will be in around 2 years and this is the time when you have to invest again on replacing batteries. So there is no saving as such instead you just end up spending more or same amount.

Bottom line is that solar will only be viable if the cost of the system is subsidized significantly (upto 50%) and there is an option to pump it back into the grid just like its been done in other more sane countries.

azmat shah Feb 17, 2017 07:58pm

The MOST PERTINENT question was not asked by the interviewer. How much did it cost to install and how long does it take to recover its cost based on the current electricity price in Pakistan. Other then that, everyone knows in this age that and time that you can produce electricity from solar panels. Not a rocket science, is it? Not Hodhboys fault of course but the interviewer instead

Backseat Driver Feb 17, 2017 08:03pm

We also use solar at our home.....its hefty investment at the start but during the day we don't take any electricity from the grid and if you have big enough batteries and actively manage your electricity don't need much in the night either. During the summer when you need most electricity for air conditioning solar makes more electricity as well. Our house bill is now quarter of what it used to be.

Houlbelat Feb 17, 2017 08:16pm

Most important question is missing. How much does it cost today, to install a 2.8 KW solar electric system as in Hoodbhoy's home?

brr Feb 17, 2017 08:41pm

My house is 90+% solar, using TESLA wall batteries to store excess produced during daytime so that they can be used at night is essential. In fact I get a credit (money) from the local power company for the excess I have provided them.

This is nothing new in several places in the world.

brr Feb 17, 2017 08:44pm

A 6KWH solar unit (enough for a family of 5 and every possible electric appliance at home) costs $21K to install, ROI payback in 7 to 10 years.

thought Feb 17, 2017 08:55pm

Whats so special about installing solar panels?

TechScribe Feb 17, 2017 08:57pm

Wow. Good to read an interview with the amazing Pervaiz Hoodhabhoy.

Syed Ali Feb 17, 2017 09:04pm

Installation of solar cells should be made compulsory for the users of Air Conditioners.

Shahid Feb 17, 2017 09:06pm

Big deal. What is so special about it? Did he make all those elements himself or bought pre-assembled elements and sought to install them? Is be the only person in whole country?

Afridi Feb 17, 2017 09:08pm

I live in USA and have had solar panels for 6 years. I have ZERO electricity bill although my big house has a built up area of 6000 sq feet and have 15KW capacity solar panels. I have a centrally air conditioned house and during summer they run constantly yet no electric bill. In the last 6 years I have had no technical issues with solar panels at all. During daytime, excess that I generate goes into the electric grid and I get credit for it, at night when my solar panels do not generate, I get electricity back from the grid from all the credits that I earned during the day. Net result no electricity bill even during the short days of winter when I don't generate enough but then I don't use too much electricity in winter as no air conditioners are required at that time. Next step, buy the electric car---Tesla and have no bill for "petrol". In Pakistan, especially Sind, days are long with minimal rain/clouds so solar panels are even more effective and will pay off in a few years.

jalaluddin s. hussain Feb 17, 2017 09:41pm

I am a Canadian of Pakistani origin but am proud of Pervez Hoodbhoy, for his intellectual, scientific and teaching abilities. Pakistan needs more level-headed people like him.

Tryste Feb 17, 2017 09:46pm

Great invention

Parvez Feb 17, 2017 09:46pm

Makes complete sense.

flipflop Feb 17, 2017 10:09pm

It is time to revamp the real estate industry in my opinion. Instead of building huge houses why not make small houses as it saves land, saves electricity costs as well as maintenance costs. Also, houses must have have insulated windows, proper design to ensure enough sun light enters during the day and other necessary appliances must be fitted in order to save heating and cooling costs. 2500-3000 square feet houses is big enough for about 7 people 3 cars and a reasonable size back yard and front yard. Instead of having those huge bunglas and 5 acre houses smaller houses will save on construction time too.

Ahamad Feb 17, 2017 10:54pm

Greatest and most intelligent of Pak in present phase

Hugh Jorgen Feb 17, 2017 10:58pm

@thought You can wrap the leads around your nether regions and amuse yourself in idle moments by zapping yourself.

anony Feb 17, 2017 11:01pm

One of the best articles published by DAWN ever.

Thank you.

Anjan Feb 17, 2017 11:38pm

Unfortunately his efforts have been a failure to inspire a generation! But he has the earned the salute from many of us from the neighboring country! .... Anjan from India

MA Feb 17, 2017 11:39pm

What's new and what is the purpsoe of this article? Its all common man information. Over the years, I have never heard anything productive / positive from this so called scientist - each time he speaks useless and/or againt this country. This so called scholar and "nuclear expert" is against Pakistan's nuclear programme but never ever said a single word about India. Also, he is the man who strongly criticised HEC and PhD foreign scholarships / programmes started by Dr Ata-ur-Rehman which brought a revolution in the higher education sector of Paksitan. Interestingly, he did not present any alternative plan for higher education except criticising expanding facilities in higher education and opening of new universities in the country. I remember that at that time few European countries including France were very interested in opening three top rate universities in Pakistan but when his negetive article was published in "Foreign Affairs" they walked away from the proposed projects.

aslam shaikh1 Feb 17, 2017 11:44pm

News of the century!!! Such a great personality such a great talents science and religion.

Asif Feb 17, 2017 11:50pm

There are many people using solar panels and batteries in houses in Pakistan much before PH.I live in small city of Sadiq abad and there are many houses rooftops with solar panels.

JATINDER NATH JOLly Feb 18, 2017 01:07am

Some people in Delhi can learn from the personal example of Prof. Hoodhbhoy. There are number of people in the most polluted city of the world that can afford solar panels. This can mitigate the toxic air pollution to a large extent. India and Pakistan should collaborate in advancing the solar technology instead of beating war drums. The air in beautiful Lahore and the sacred Amritsar is equally polluted and is often exchanged with change of weather. Let us exchange science and technology instead of toxic air.

JAved mirani Feb 18, 2017 01:56am

@MA He carries weight, so his opinion will change many minds who are sitting on the fence.

JAved mirani Feb 18, 2017 02:01am

@Shahid He can change many minds who are sitting on the fence.

mba Feb 18, 2017 02:45am

Smart move. It is almost a crime, we use combustible fuels and water dams, etc. which cause a lot of environment problems instead of using solar energy. I have seen in south Germany and in the Switzerland a lot of households using solar energy. We are talking about geographical areas which don´t have even 100 sunny days in the year. We certainly have more than 250. Mr. Hoodbhoy is the right person to furnish us with such technical parameters. Compiling a catalogue on nuclear standards (some thirty years ago) made me turn my against nuclear power. Writing my thesis on coal liquification taught me that solar energy is the least polluting source available to us. I visited the annual fair of alternative energies in Verona (Italy) a couple of years ago and found to my great surprise, that many European and American solar firms have a Chinese name in the management boards. Do we have our own production of solar cells? Please continue to keep the subject alive in mass media.

syed & syed Feb 18, 2017 03:18am

A very interesting article regarding the publicity of Hood Bhai. The author should have breakdown cost of parts and material used including panels. Just a rough estimate will help which will induce a person to go to market or agent.

Asif Feb 18, 2017 03:24am

Dr Sahib leading from the front.Great Job. Setting great examples!!

Arslan Feb 18, 2017 03:51am

He's a bit late in solar .. especially for a scientist

Vijay B. Feb 18, 2017 03:48am

While admittedly, using solar panels is no rocket science, I would like to avail this opportunity to pay a well-deserved tribute to Dr. Pervez Hoodhbhoy himself as a person. I am sure he is a proud Pakistani as he should be, but he is a straight-talker and expresses his views "without forethought or malice, with hatred towards none" Of course he is a very intelligent man, so he gets the respect he well deserves but even more than that he inspires pure love and affection even from those of us across the border from his beloved Pakistan. I have religiously read most of his interviews and articles and followed him on U-Tube and all he brings forth from deep within me is Love, Love, Love. All said and done, I could unequivocally say that "Dr. Pervez Hoodhbhoy is probably the most loved and respected Pakistani not only in India but across the planet."

jA-Australia Feb 18, 2017 04:16am

A little bit surprised, considering Pervez Hoodbhoy has been championing wind power for decades.

ADEEB Feb 18, 2017 05:34am

You walk the talk.

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN Feb 18, 2017 05:54am

Pakistan has scientists in every field, who have been trained at world top facilities from M.I.T to Cal Tech and have been there for decades. Our scientists have been working in research labs across Europe and CERN. We have all the knowledge and expertise, we just need good leadership. India on the other hand has amazing brilliant minds also, I hope that IndoPak scientists and common people meet each other on regular basis and share Ideas for our mutual benefits.

Nafratoon ki dewar khatam kar do yaar. Is mein kuch nahee rakha.

Sab ko Khan ka salam, or Om Shanti Om ka message. :)

SECULARIST Feb 18, 2017 06:48am

To appreciate how easy it is to install ad maintain solar powered systems for homes I recommend watching on YourTube "The Rural Women Solar Engineers of Africa". From over 30 African nations, village women, often illiterate grandmothers, travel to Tilonia, Rajasthan in India to be trained by local women from Barefoot College run by Bunker Roy, in installing and maintaining solar powered lights. With the price of solar cells going down significantly, solar option is one to most countries int he Indian subcontinent where sunshine is abundant.

J. Gamble Feb 18, 2017 07:12am

Indeed, it is a great news. The government should encourage the use of solar energy by offering subsidy. It is going to help Pakistan economically in a big way.

last word Feb 18, 2017 07:36am

Highly informative article. Thanks to Dawn.

CRICKET LOVER Feb 18, 2017 07:54am

"Reverse metering" to sell excess electricity to the grid has been approved by the parliament and for dunctioning of it, "met meters" are being installed. People who have installed solar system in their houses and have excess produced of electricity can apply for selling it to the government. One of my friend in Lahoer has great expertise in installing solar panels from whom I learned about it.

Waqas Feb 18, 2017 08:37am

NFP - I look forward for their next blog

wellwisher Feb 18, 2017 08:45am

In India solar water heaters are common.Solar electricity is yet to catch on.Wind energy is costly but gaining foothold.

qurban Ali Zardari Feb 18, 2017 08:48am

Good knowledge shared

Tamza Feb 18, 2017 09:56am

Even if just such elitists got PV and-or wind a portion of the energy problem would be solved.

Syed ali Feb 18, 2017 09:57am

There are some very remarkable home building technologies, where the solar will provide enough energy for heating, cooling and lighting.

Salman Feb 18, 2017 10:13am

This is called leading by example.

You first practice, what you preach.

Further more; one must ask why there is an unacceptable delay to provide the Special Meters for Reverse Metering?

Does not Pakistan want to generate more power or energy to overcome on load shedding?

Asif Feb 18, 2017 10:39am

@JATINDER NATH JOLly : You are right on the money my Indian friend but you understand Politicians from both sides has no vested interest in making peace but have a lot of reasons to keep things same. I wish we have more folks like you in India and less corrupt people in Pakistan Government. Life will be a lot easier for everyone if we can get rid of these killers and thugs who call them politicians on both sides of the border as we have so much to gain if collaborate and so little to gain if stay as arch enemies.

INdian -Truck-DrIVER Feb 18, 2017 10:47am

I am surprised by how small his capacity is . In smaller Indian cities you can get at least two and even up to five suppliers of complete domestic solar based electricity . You can buy 5 /10/15 KW sets complete , installed within three weeks , with net metering . the ROI is 18 to 22 % depending on state and location .The cost is not more than Indian Rs 75K per KW , with App based monitoring . These are all small or small companies .

Pakistani1 Feb 18, 2017 11:27am

Dr sahib it will be great to know the approximate cost of the system?

Khanm Feb 18, 2017 12:31pm

Pervez Hoodbhoy goes solar for his household energy needs...He can cos he got money and resources...What about average people...They have not got any energy to do anything..Let us energise our body and brain first...

Saudaagaar Feb 18, 2017 02:13pm

Interesting to see many Indians are amazed at solar net metering maybe not everyone in India get this feature like we have in Hyderabad(TS) where solar energy is used and excess units are fed to the grid and we get deduction in bill,Initially I placed solar panels to power inverter but now due to lack of frequent power cuts we have surplus energy, Many street lights have also been converted to LED powered by solar panels.

Aly Alp-Ercelan Feb 18, 2017 02:38pm

wonderful - as always PH is ahead of us!

iz Feb 18, 2017 02:47pm

Nuclear energy is well and alive and being used by many countries around the world and new plants are being built. For example, UAE that has plenty of oil, is building a large nuclear reactor for its energy needs of the future. Similarly, UK and France have gone back to Nuclear. Yes, this energy source has to be safe but the accidents are far and few in between. Pakistan needs an energy mix like most people know.

iz Feb 18, 2017 02:50pm

@Houlbelat Typically the global costs are $1 per Watt (in India, for example) so we are roughly looking at 2 to 3 lac Rs.

waseem Feb 18, 2017 05:03pm

Now doubt, a cheap source of energy, either the discussion is around cheap solar energy or the discussion of Nuclear energy pertaining to Pakistan, quite obvious

Asif Feb 18, 2017 05:32pm

Solar panel based power sysyems are available in all cities of Pakistan and ordinary people are also using them for domestic electricity needs.PH should work to improve the efficiency of solar cells and should give some idea to improve battery life on the basis of his scientific knowledge.

Shahid Feb 18, 2017 06:22pm

Cost concerns. There are two aspects of cost structure in solar energy regime (in a way any other system has the same). First in the initial installation and commissioning cost, e.g., solar panels, storage batteries, inverter(s), wiring, switching, installation, etc., and, second part is the maintenance cost. Initial cost is quite large depending on the location quality of parts, etc. Since solar panels are not hermetically sealed, they have limited life due to environmental effects. On ongoing basis it can be significantly large. It depends on manufacturing quality of solar panels, storage accumulators, etc., and location where they are installed. Most certainly it is a cleaner option if one can afford it which unfortunately most people anywhere cannot.

B N Gururaj Feb 18, 2017 07:12pm

Very bold step to reduce dependence on public electricity supply co. Initial investment for ten panels won't come cheap. I wish he had discussed the costing aspects.

aukhan Feb 18, 2017 08:22pm

One of my friends son has recenty constructed a house in Edmonton Canada, no connection with any power supply company. That means its 100% solar. Remember during winter time the temerature dips as low as -35c.

Abid Feb 18, 2017 10:42pm

China is installing power lines and building thermal plants,if everyone goes solar,how will China get a return on investment?Pakistan cannot antagonise it's dearest iron friend China.Pakistan should ban people from installing solar.

shakil Feb 18, 2017 11:07pm

Solar energy is very good, but its initial investment is out of reach of common man, and it is available during daytime, and the batteries keep failing and have to be replaced after every one and half year if maintained properly, but their prices are rising astronomically. At night the batteries draw in wapda electricity destroying and nullifying the gain achieved by solar source during the day. Solar energy will become really useful when a battery's life will extend to 25 years.

Tim Wilkeson Feb 19, 2017 01:08am

Interesting article! Solar can work along side non-renewable resources to meet the needs of the typical home dweller. Solar is now profitable and efficient for all types of uses. Here are 7 things to consider before buying solar for your home

Regards, Tim

Irfan Feb 19, 2017 01:22am

What is the cost / investment to generate 1 KW.

syed & syed Feb 19, 2017 03:59am

@B N Gururaj Can Pakistan not produce panels, batteries and alternators.

Ravi Feb 19, 2017 06:05am

@D-Nawaz Pakistan he never said that he had invented it anyway.

ABOOD Feb 19, 2017 08:11am

@D-Nawaz Pakistan .no one said he invented.tgey aaid he is using kindly start using it

Sanjeev Feb 19, 2017 10:08am

I can suggest Mr. Hoodbhoy to install mirors at an angle to the photo voltaic panels. This will increase the solar radiation falling on the panels. The main cost of maintenance is the batteries which need changing after a few years.

Javed Feb 19, 2017 10:17am

I live in a village in Pakistan. In my village, there are many houses where solar panels are being used. I think this is good trend to use this abundant source of natural energy. Also, this will help to make our planet clean with less carbon emissions.

Muhammad Arshad Feb 19, 2017 11:01am

Good One.

paban kumar ghosh Feb 19, 2017 11:30am

Hope Pervez will inspire millions of people across the south Asia and elsewhere to go green . But I wish to know if solar panel would work if there is continuous heavy downpour for couple of days as it often happens in countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh .

Kau Feb 19, 2017 11:55am

Good to see that you are in roshni all day and night

pervez Feb 19, 2017 11:55am

The latest PPA in India is Rs 3.24 pkwh. Amazing drop in prices. Solar power will eventually replace dirty energy.

Syed Ali Raza Shah Feb 19, 2017 01:56pm

Solar is future, future is now. But still our nights go to past, because solar is only for day not nights.!

TamilselvAn Feb 19, 2017 02:06pm

@Afridi . Sir, but in practicality solar energy is still not economical in USA. Cost per unit is high if one includes the Capex spent in it. Tesla electric car is still not cheap even with subsidy (which is a bid word in USA). A solar panel home will take more than 39 years to break even . Agree it's a must in Europe, Asia and other places but the costs have to be brought down. InstaljTuin costs are high in USA and with the new administration which is tough on immigrants one can expect cost of installation to go up!

Patriot Feb 20, 2017 03:48am

The way to go.............SOLAR

Sachin Feb 20, 2017 09:34am

Reverse metering exists in India too.

Downsouth Feb 20, 2017 10:09am

In India an entire international air port is being run on solar power.