The government will announce a comprehensive national solar policy on August 1

ISLAMABAD: The government plans to unveil a comprehensive national solar policy to provide low-cost, environmentally friendly electricity to the general public on August 1.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif made the decision while chairing a high-level energy task force meeting to address the country’s energy shortage issues.

The National Solar Policy will be implemented with the approval of the Council of Common Interests.

Engineer Khurram Dastagir, Federal Minister of Energy, Minister of Finance Miftah Ismail, Minister of Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of Petroleum Mussadik Malik and other officials were present in the meeting. The meeting brought together chief secretaries from four provinces via video link.

Prime Minister Sharif called on the task force to get feedback from the provinces on the draft solar policy and stressed the need to ensure unanimity of views at the provincial level on alternative energy generation projects .

In addition, it was decided to switch the Prime Minister’s Office and the PM’s House to solar power within a month. The prime minister said the government is committed to making the country self-sufficient in energy production.

He mentioned that solar energy was a clean and green way of generating electricity and said that solar projects would alleviate problems such as distribution losses, electricity theft and circular debt.

Prime Minister Sharif said affordable solar power would reduce the burden of inflation on the common man. The meeting was informed that a proposal to convert the fuel plants and 2,000 11 KV feeders to solar generation was on the cards.

The transition of government buildings to solar power generation was also discussed in detail. It has been said that over the next 10 years, solar power plants of 1,000 megawatts of output will be installed in government buildings on a BOOT (Build-Own-Operate-Transfer) basis.

The meeting also discussed proposals for B2B (business-to-business) and solar mini-grids. It was pointed out that a plan to convert 30,000 tube wells in Balochistan to solar energy was under consideration at a cost of Rs 300 billion.

The meeting also discussed the proposal to provide solar power plants to individuals with a net-metering facility.