Pakistan’s Energy Independence
Renewable solar power makes energy independence possible.
Our planet captures more than billions of photons (tiny packets of energy) from the sun (natural nuclear reactor) every day. These photons determine the climate and support life on earth. Even though the sun is the massive source of energy, its benefits have not been exploited to its full potential.
It is estimated that Sixty Four Thousand (64,000 km²) square kilometres or Twenty Five Thousand (25,000 mi²) square miles of solar panels (an area roughly half the size of Thar Desert in Sindh), can generate abundant electricity to power the whole world. By investing in solar power, you can help take advantage of the sun’s abundant resources and bring Pakistan one step closer to energy independence.
Energy independence is the goal of reducing Pakistan’s dependence on foreign energy imports, particularly imported oil, coal and petroleum. Economically, supply and price stability drive the concept of energy independence. With a more diverse array of energy sources to draw upon, Pakistan can become more secure in these economic considerations. Politically, energy independence will allow Pakistan to remain politically flexible in international relations.
Global energy markets are notoriously volatile, and changes in prices can have a significant effect on the Pakistani economy. You are experiencing this fluctuating trend in many forms; if we look at the average closing price per barrel of crude oil every year in the international market, we see a significant rise. From the year 2000 to 2018, crude oil prices have risen from $30.38 to $64.90 per barrel. Note that in 18 years, the price has more than doubled.
This fluctuation has an impact on our daily lives. We all buy oil from countries to satisfy our thermal energy needs. Why is that? Wouldn’t it be better to be energy independent?
The adoption of solar energy is increasing in Pakistan. Just look back 10 years; there were fewer renewable energy systems in Pakistan than they are at the present moment. So, at least things are moving in the right direction. When we expand our capacity to generate electricity using solar, we inherently protect ourselves from the ever-changing unstable market fluctuations and ensure a clean and sustainable source of energy for the future.
The best part is that as more Pakistanis embrace energy independence by adopting solar power and other renewable energy sources, the effect will be seen throughout the market; an increase in solar energy produced during peak hours, such as a scorching hot summer day, equals decreased utility grid demand, and decreased utility grid demand means lower costs of energy during peak hours. The reality is that solar has the potential to bring the price of energy down for every person across Pakistan.
In 2012, even Saudi Arabia, one of the largest oil producers in the world, recognized the economic and political advantages of energy independence and announced a goal to increase its solar capacity to 41 gigawatts (GW) by 2032.