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PU inks accord to switch over to solar energy

By Our Correspondent
February 20, 2020

LAHORE :Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has said that all universities in Punjab are being switched over to an independent electricity system and not a single penny of public exchequer will be spent on all the process rather private institutions will make initial investment.

The Punjab governor said this while talking to the media after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Energy Department and Punjab University at Governor’s House here on Wednesday. Punjab Governor Muhammad Sarwar said that 10 major universities of the province, including Punjab University, were being switched over to solar energy in the first phase.

The project will ensure saving of Rs 256 million annually and a total of Rs 6.41 billion will be saved during 25 years, he said and called for an immediate review of all costly agreements made by the previous rulers in LNG, power and other sectors. He said, “I hope Qatar and other countries will cooperate with Pakistan on this matter.” All the matters, including the one relating to the sub-campuses of private universities, will be sorted out through dialogue and for this purpose, he along with the provincial higher education minister, chairman of Higher Education Commission and education secretary will soon hold a formal meeting with representatives of private universities. According to details, Punjab University Vice Chancellor Dr Niaz Ahmed and Energy Department’s Punjab Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency Director General Adnan Mudassar singed the MoU document on behalf of their respective sides for switching over Punjab University to solar energy system. Provincial Energy Minister Dr Akhtar Malik, Punjab ACS (Energy) Iram Bokhari and others were also present.

The project will not only provide inexpensive electricity to universities but the energy saved will also be added in the national grid. According to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision, all the universities of Punjab will be switched over to solar energy. In addition to this, he in coordination with Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar will work on switching over all public sector departments to solar energy as well.

To a question, the Punjab governor said that power generation through solar, wind and hydro resources was indispensable to ensure low-cost and environmental friendly electricity, adding that it would not only help save billions of rupees of Pakistan but also abolish oil import bill on account of power generation. LED lights and air-conditioners with inverter technology will have to be installed while getting on solar energy and it will help conserve 20 per cent of electricity every year. Provincial Energy Minister Dr Akhtar Malik told the media that the present government had lifted all solar energy system related restrictions imposed by the previous rulers just to benefit the IPPs (independent power producers). “In addition to universities, we are also planning to switch over all public sector departments to solar energy.

We have launched a pilot project in University of Engineering and Technology and it is ensuring an annual saving of Rs 17.08 million, while in Punjab University, this project will help save Rs 42.7 million every year,” he said.