LAHORE: Stakeholders involved in renewable energy-related businesses have welcomed concessions announced in the federal budget on the import and local manufacture of solar panels, urging the government to immediately issue details in this regard.

“Perhaps, the government has realised that renewable energy (solar, wind etc) is the only way to save the public from expensive energy sources like thermal and coal.

“It has also realised that since the solar energy industry is booming fast, it cannot stop the public from using this to rid themselves of expensive, traditional sources,” explained Mr Mustafa Amjad, Programme Director of the Renewable First — an energy think tank based in Islamabad.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Amjad praised the government for offering incentives to local manufacturers of solar panels. “Incentivising the manufacture of solar energy equipment by allowing the tax-free import of raw material is a great move. The decision will save foreign exchange and create hundreds of jobs,” he said.

According to him, the “massive tax relief” has not been restricted limited to raw material for solar panels but also for the manufacture of inverters, lithium batteries, solar cells and solar batteries.

Mustafa Amjad said although hydropower is a cheap energy source, it demands huge sums of money and takes 10 to 20 years to complete such projects. “Solar power is cheaper than all other sources of energy.”

He said the prices of batteries would come down soon, making the installation of solar panels affordable for most people. “Chinese companies are trying to make cheap batteries and exporting to Pakistan. In this way the local battery prices will also be reduced considerably,” he added.

Talking to Dawn, Syed Muhammad Talha Akmal, an executive at a Chinese company, said although the government has announced concessions, “we have to wait and see whether the people engaged in the business pass on the benefit to the consumer or not”.

“At present panels being imported from China are much cheaper than the locally manufactured ones. It is necessary to issue SROs that will help us to know the extent of tax concessions given by the government on the import and local manufacture of solar panels,” he explained.

Mr Akmal said the concessions would enable the common man to install off-grid solar power system (excluding batteries for storage) and use cheaper energy. “If an individual installs a fully fledged off-grid system (with batteries), they can completely get rid of expensive power from Discos.”

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2024

Follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

On writing

On writing

There is no ceremony or ritual that marks any person as a writer except the simple yet unimaginably significant act of starting to write.

Editorial

A way forward
Updated 17 Jul, 2024

A way forward

Before political leaders inflict more damage, they must give talks a chance.
Export delusions
Updated 18 Jul, 2024

Export delusions

Plummeting exports as a ratio of GDP is one of the major reasons driving the current economic slowdown and the balance-of-payments crisis.
Diversity in UK politics
17 Jul, 2024

Diversity in UK politics

THE recent UK elections have ushered in the most diverse parliament in the nation’s history. Under the leadership...
Banning PTI
Updated 16 Jul, 2024

Banning PTI

It appears that the govt and its backers within the establishment have still not realised that they are in uncharted territory.
Nato at 75
16 Jul, 2024

Nato at 75

EMERGING from the ashes of World War II, and locked in confrontation with the Soviet-led Communist bloc for over ...
Non-stop massacres
16 Jul, 2024

Non-stop massacres

Netanyahu is cunningly pretending to talk peace while mercilessly pounding Gaza. What is clear is that a return to pre-Oct 7 status quo is impossible.