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Punjab to evolve energy roadmap for power generation: Shahbaz

CHIEF Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that in order to cope with the problem of energy crisis, the provincial government has decided to evolve a comprehensive energy roadmap for meeting domestic and agricultural requirements through solar energy and biomass projects in cities and villages of the province.

He said projects of solar energy and biomass through private sector would be encouraged in the next budget so that domestic requirements of the people could be fulfilled. He directed the Energy and Planning & Development departments to present him a comprehensive energy roadmap within 10 days so that work on power generation projects could be accelerated.

The chief minister was presiding over a meeting regarding energy resources in the province in his camp office at Minar-e-Pakistan on Thursday.

He said energy experts should pay special attention to the development of the technology and equipment of solar energy in accordance with the local requirements so that the common man could meet his energy needs at an affordable cost. Research and development should be promoted in energy sector for this purpose, he said, adding that solar energy techniques should also be included in the World Bank’s drip and sprinkle irrigation project of five years costing Rs32 billion for the benefit of small farmers.

Shahbaz said biomass project was closer to the traditional rural culture and was also simple in its nature which would specially facilitate farmers. He said a comprehensive plan should be evolved for the promotion of biomass and attractive subsidy should also be offered to farmers . The CM said Punjab was lucky as solar irradiation in south Punjab had been estimated at 5.6 kilowatts per square meter due to which solar energy projects would be extremely successful. He said the provincial government had ensured supply of free electricity in model villages through provision of solar energy equipment.Similarly, he said, solar energy equipment was also operating successfully in Cholistan.

An international expert in energy sector, Farhat Ali, informed the meeting that the federal government’s solar energy equipments were lying in cartons. He also stressed the need for utilising the facility of carbon credit.

Secretary Agriculture informed that projects of setting up a total number of 1,500 biomass plants were being speedily implemented in the province.

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