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Feed-in tariff

Tuesday, February 14, 2012, This is apropos a news item regarding incentives to sugar mills for their own power generation (The News, Feb 10). It is worth pointing out that a scheme dubbed feed-in tariff, which provides significant concessions and rebates on the electricity tariff for power from the national grid, has emerged as a major incentive for the use of alternative renewable energy sources, especially the solar energy, in most of the major industrially developed nations around the globe. Started by Germany, through the single-minded initiative of a dedicated energy conscious member of the German federal parliament, the idea caught on with active adoption by most of the developed world, resulting in revolutionary progress in the use of solar energy as an alternative power source during the last few years.

Consumers in the sunbelt countries (which include Pakistan) in the developed world have thus been incentivised to produce power from solar-cell modules, which is not only sufficient for their own use, but the surplus power generated is fed back into the grid with attractive financial rewards. This has, in turn, led to a phenomenal growth in the world solar-energy market, bringing a marked reduction in the price per watt. It is time our government and parliamentarians also thought of implementing such innovative schemes to address our ongoing energy crisis.

Dr M Zafar Iqbal Islamabad

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