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ISLAMABAD: World Bank will finance the Sindh Solar Energy Project by providing $100 million loan for generation of clean energy in the province.

The bank is likely to approve the loan next month. The Sindh energy department, which will implement the project, has prepared an initial list of buildings in Karachi and Hyderabad, including hospitals and health centres, to be supplied with solar power under the project.

Grants will be provided to scale up the provision of solar house system by commercial solar solution providers in areas with low access to electricity.

At least 200,000 households, equivalent to 1.2 million people, would be provided the solar power system within the areas selected according to pre-defined prioritisation criteria.

The project will finance 20MW of distributed solar photovoltaic panels on rooftops and other available space on and around public sector buildings in Sindh, in a phased manner.

The department would identify portfolios of sites, and would liaise with other government departments to set up a leasing agreement for target institutions.

The grant scheme would be complemented with a major public awareness campaign and continuous outreach to solar solution providers.

The solar home systems often suffer from high rates of system failure and abandonment, especially when no long-term operations and maintenance is provided.

The project involves a series of solar parks to leverage private sector development of solar photovoltaic panels through the use of competitive bidding, starting with an initial 50MW project that aims to be the first international solar auction in Pakistan for a pre-identified solar park site.

Further solar parks in the 50MW to 200MW range would be developed to facilitate a total of 400MW of solar power capacity, following a comprehensive geospatial planning and dispatch analysis.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2018