Pakistan is getting ready to launch the first solar panels made in the country. The third-generation solar power panels will be manufactured by a branch of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) starting next month.
“We are launching our output and will deliver our first order for generating 2MW power very soon,” said Dr. Najeeb Ullah, the university’s research director.
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According to Dr. Najeeb, Pakistan currently generates 6% of its total power from wind and solar projects; however, the solar panels used to produce electricity are imported and are not as efficient as those built by the university’s Center for Advanced Studies in Energy.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based independent intergovernmental body, predicts that Pakistan’s total energy demand will exceed 49,000MW by 2025 as a result of population growth.
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Pakistan’s annual energy demand is currently 19,000MW, with a generation capacity of about 15,000MW. During the summer, demand approaches 20,000MW, and failure to meet it results in power outages.
According to Dr. Najeeb, locally assembled solar panels would lower the cost of power generation.
The power panels are not only cheap, but they also have a 15 to 20-year lifespan.
“The panels used to generate electricity cost about Rs. 60 per watt. Dr. Najeeb said, “We will manufacture AAA quality power panels, taking the production cost down to Rs. 48 per watt and eventually to Rs. 10 per watt.”