𝐖𝐇𝐘 𝐒𝐎𝐋𝐀𝐑 𝐏𝐎𝐖𝐄𝐑 𝐈𝐒 𝐈𝐌𝐏𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐀𝐍𝐓 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐏𝐀𝐊𝐈𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐍?
Pakistan has some of the highest values of insolation in the world with eight to nine hours of sunshine per day, ideal climatic conditions for solar power generation. However, the country has been slow to adopt the technology.
Solar irradiance in Pakistan is 5.3 kWh/m²/day.Pakistan set a target to add approximately 10 GW of renewable capacity by 2030.
Energy generation is heavily dependent on fossil fuels in Pakistan. Due to the huge population and current progress in industrialization, these sources are not fulfilling the existing energy needs of the country. Meanwhile, they have adverse environmental impacts and are economically unsuitable to electrify remote areas. Consequently, there is a need to look for alternate energy sources. The aim of this paper is to find out the best renewable energy option for Pakistan. For this purpose, we have collected data for solar radiation and wind speed for a period of one year in some major areas of Pakistan. Results indicate that solar energy is the best renewable energy option for Pakistan in terms of price, life span, operation and maintenance cost. Key barriers have been identified over the whole solar energy spectrum through semi-structured interviews with industry professionals. And finally, important policy recommendations have been proposed for institutions and government to overcome these barriers and utilize maximum solar energy in the country
Fortunately, Pakistan is among those countries in which sun warms the surface throughout the year and therefore has a strong potential for solar power generation. This study was conducted using fifty eight meteorological stations covering the whole country. Angstrom equation and Hargreaves formula was used to calculate monthly solar energy potential by utilizing monthly climatical data of bright sunshine hours, mean maximum and minimum temperatures. The lowest solar radiation intensity 76.49 W/m2 observed at Cherat during December and highest 339.25 W/m2 at Gilgit. The average monthly solar radiation intensity remains 136.05 to 287.36 W/m2 in the country. The results indicate that the values of solar radiation intensity greater than 200 W/m2 were observed in the months: February to October in Sindh, March to October in almost all regions of Balochistan, April to September in NWFP, Northern Areas and Kashmir regions while March to October in Punjab. For 10 h a day, average solar radiation intensity ranges from 1500 W/m2/day to 2750 W/m2/day in Pakistan especially in southern Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan regions throughout the year. In an area of 100 m2, 45 MW to 83 MW power per month may be generated in the above mentioned regions.