LAHORE-Renewable energy is a cheap source of energy and has changed the approach of big economies from conventional sources of power to more efficient, cheap and nature friendly resources.

These views were expressed by the president of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, senior vice president Ali Hussam Asghar and vice president Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmed during a meeting with a delegation on renewable energy here on Monday. They said Pakistan is full of resources needed for renewable energy as it can receive about 1KW of solar energy for square meter of its landmass for 6- 7 hours on the average per day. 

The office-bearers of LCCI said Pakistan receives 3000-3300 sunshine hours per year on average and provides a great opportunity to the investors to focus on this sector. 

They said Punjab province has a vital importance in Pakistan’s economy as it contributes around 55% to the national GDP and accounts for about 68% of electricity demand in the country. Energy is an important component of the investment climate in our province because of its role as an important input in the production process.

In addition to the environmental concerns, the increased dependence on expensive thermal power generation results in tariff hikes, subsidies, circular debt, inefficiencies which hamper the competitiveness of industrial sector in Punjab.

They further added that Pakistan needs around 20,000 to 25,000 MW electricity and the shortfall varies from about 4000 to 9000 MW. This shortage is badly hampering the economic growth of the country. Pakistan has a rich resource of energy in the form of hydel power and only 34% of total electricity generation is coming from hydropower.

They said that there is a great scope of marketing solar solutions in Pakistan as it is ideally located in the Sun Belt to take advantage of solar energy technologies. The major barriers in the growth of renewable energy in Pakistan are high cost of solutions, import duties and other taxes etc. 

They further said Lahore Chamber is a hub of business and trade activities and always tries to play a supporting role to promote innovative ideas which are beneficial for the economy. So far as the renewable and alternative energy sources are concerned, we always voice up in favour of this idea so that the current energy mix that is more concentrated on fossil fuels should be transformed by way of increasing the share of renewable sources.