Punjab To Solarize New Hospitals & Universities To Conserve Energy

The pandemic may have slowed the world down in 2020, but Pakistan is quickly getting back on its feet. For about a year, all four provinces have been diligently working towards tackling a number of issues. For example, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa greenlighted billions of interest-free loans to boost employment, Punjab introduced a slew of measures to make Ramzan more affordable for everyone and Sindh is investing more resources in the digitization of the property sector to make transactions more efficient. Another major effort worth mentioning here is Punjab’s new plan to solarize new hospitals and universities.

As reported by one of the country’s reputable newspapers, 70% of the electricity produced in Pakistan is consumed by the Punjab province, which, in terms of population, is also the biggest province of the country. The electricity demand of the province is expected to grow further by the year 2027/28 and in order to manage that effectively, the Government of Punjab has in principle approved to solarize new hospitals and universities. This is in an effort to reduce the burden on the government and national grid and produce as much energy as one facility can using solar panels.

energy conservation through solar panels
The solar powered hospitals and universities will conserve 45% of energy

Initiative To Solarize New Hospitals And Universities

At present, the total electricity production of Pakistan is 33,961 MW out of which Punjab produces 16,322 MW. The consumption of electricity of the province is around 16,915 MW which is expected to increase by 7,123 MW by the year 2027/28. With the slogan “Make electricity for yourself and the nation”, the province is gearing towards the promotion of electricity conservation and generation through sustainable means. 

The Government of Punjab is taking steps to cut down its reliance on the national grid by generating its own electricity through solar panels and hydropower projects. The recently approved project of transferring all new hospitals and universities to solar energy will conserve up to 45% of energy. This was discussed in a meeting of the cabinet standing committee for finance and development chaired by the Chief Minister of Punjab.

Punjab’s Potential To Generate Electricity

Earlier this year in February, Punjab Minister for Energy had a conversation with one of Pakistan’s prestigious newspapers in which he revealed meeting the province’s energy demand through renewable energy resources. The province has numerous ways of generating electricity through a number of resources and it is promoting the use of all these. 

To utilize the canals and barrages in Punjab, the government is keen on exploring the hydel power potential of the province. To use the abundantly available resources such as solar, wind, waste and biomass, the provincial government is interested in looking into waste to energy projects in urban areas, solar power plants and hybrid solutions in rural areas and biomass-based power plants in agricultural areas.

Punjab also seeks a number of installations and improvements in already established power projects. Pakistan naturally has a number of ways to generate electricity some of which even include harnessing the energy of natural phenomenon. A project that is expected to be installed is the development of a 1,000 MW windmill corridor at Rajanpur and the one to be improved includes building on the capacity of a 600 MW Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park by 300 MW.

Action Plans in Drafting By Punjab Energy Department

energy conservation
Energy conservation will put less burden on the government and national grid

Punjab Energy Department is working on devising three different kinds of action plans depending on the number of years it will take to build a project. These action plans are:

  • Short-term (0-2 years)
  • Medium-term (2-5 years)
  • Long-term (5-10 years)

Short-term Plans

The short-term plan consists of projects that will be completed anywhere between 0 to 2 years. Under this, the government plans to establish a grid company for the transmission of electricity and the establishment of an energy conservation agency.

Medium-term Plans

Medium-term projects will be completed in a time period of 2 to 5 years. Some projects falling under this category include building a 250 MW wind hydropower plant in Rajanpur, developing four waste to energy projects each of which has a capacity to generate 120 MW, a 135 MW Taunsa Hydropower project, 18 mini-hydropower projects of 170 MW and solarizing 1000 villages to generate 15 MW of energy.

Long-term Plans

The long-term plans will be finished in a period of 5 to 10 years in which there is an ongoing 750 MW wind power project in Rojhan. There are solar power projects and each of which has a capacity of generating 400 MW in Rahim Yar Khan and Dera Ghazi Khan. It also includes solarizing 5,000 villages to increase energy production by 150 MW.

Solarization of a number of hospitals is already underway. This includes solarizing General Hospital Lahore (over 3 MW), basic health units (7.24 MW), 12 DHQ hospitals (5 MW). This also includes solarizing 4,200 schools having a capacity of 6.8 MW in the north and south Punjab.

We shall now wrap up our overview of Punjab’s initiative to solarize new hospitals and universities. You can provide us with your feedback at blog@zameen.com and follow Zameen Blog for updates on the real estate sector of Pakistan.

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