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PCRET gives solar power to 500 houses

Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) installed 300 Solar PV systems with total capacity of 100 KW electrifying 500 houses, mosques, and schools, 265-street and garden lights in different cities.

Pakistan started using renewable in sixties when 18 villages were electrified using photovoltaic, and solar stills were installed to desalinate the seawater at Gawadar.Giving details, Deputy Director PCRET, Sarfraz Khattak, said PCRET has installed 538 microhydel power plants (5-50 KW capacity) with total capacity of 7.8 MW and around 70,000 houses were electrified in rural areas.

PCRET has also installed 155 small wind turbines (0.5 KW to 10 KW) with total capacity of 161KW in Sindh and Balochistan, electrifying 1560 houses and 9-coast guard check-posts. Besides, PCRET installed 4,000 biogas plants, developed 6-models of efficient smokeless cook stoves for cooking and space heating, and 100,000 mud stoves have been built in rural houses; saving 36,500 tons of fuel wood per year. More recently PCRET has electrified three villages of Balochistan using wind/PV/ diesel hybrid and solar home light systems.

Another four villages are in the PCRET pipeline for electrification through PV. A number of parks have been illuminated through solar garden and streetlights. Photovoltaics are also being used to power the telecommunication systems. Sarfraz Khattak said currently solar technology is being used in Pakistan for stand-alone rural telephone exchanges, highway emergency telephones, refrigeration for vaccine and medicines in hospitals etc. A number of other solar thermal appliances such as solar cooker, solar water heater, and solar stills have been designed and introduced by PCRET. Solar drying is another application that is effectively being employed for drying fruits in the Northern mountain region.

Recently 1,200 biogas plants have been installed by PCRET throughout Pakistan on cost sharing basis, where 50% cost is to be borne by the beneficiary.Fuel wood is still the cheapest of all energy sources in the country and is the main source of energy in rural areas. It reduces the family’s consumption by 30-40% and eliminates smokes. The Council has so far installed/disseminated more than 60,000 energy conserving, improved stoves devices all over the country and has provided training in construction and use of such stoves to the workers of various NGOs and local population.