Solar Power in Pakistani Homes, Schools and Factories

“I use the solar light for cooking at night. We save money because we had to buy candles and kerosene before. We also use it to charge our mobile phones.” Marvi, Yousaf Babar Village in Sindh, Pakistan


About 250 schools and 12,000 homes in Pakistani villages have so far been lit by solar lights. The program is funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) to help flood-affected people in rural Sindh and Punjab.

Plan International Pakistan and the Punjab education department have rebuilt 400 schools destroyed by floods, and implemented solar panels in 250 schools that did not have electricity. In addition to the solar panel installation, the DfID funded project also provided water and sanitation, school furniture, school paper, schoolbags and uniforms, sports equipment and health education for 54,000 primary school children.

The solar lights cost about $15 each and give sustainable, free light for up to 10 hours after each charge, and can last for up to five years. The cost is recouped within a couple of months, providing excellent value for money, according to DfID sources.



The solar technology is also used for recharging mobile phones, which provide vital communication lifelines in rural areas, enabling people to keep in touch with family and community. The mobile phones are helping reunite displaced families and communities, and helping people to try to get back to a normal life.

In addition to growing number solar energy users in Pakistani villages, the city dwellers are also increasingly turning to solar to cope with frequent power cuts, and gas shortages. There is growing demand for low cost Chinese solar products such as solar street lights, solar garden lights, solar generators, solar heaters, solar water heaters and solar water collectors for industry, according to a report in Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper. Many consumers told ET they prefer solar over UPS (un-interruptible power supplies) and diesel or gas generators.

“Sales of solar energy panels have increased about 40 per cent compared to winter of last year. Sunshine in Pakistan remains for approximately 10 hours a day, which is enough to produce 1,000 watts per square meter. Producing electricity from the sun is very easy,” the paper quotes Tariq Nurani, a solar products dealer, as saying.

The Express Tribune story also features Khawaja Cotton Industries CEO Muhammad Amjad Khawaja who said he invested Rs 5 million for solar water boilers which helped deal with increasing gas load shedding in the textile manufacturing sector.

The rapid cost declines and increasing availability of solar equipment are enabling energy-starved but resilient Pakistanis to cope with the twin shortages of gas and electricity.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Shakti Solar Model For Pakistan

Pakistan's New FIT Policy For Alternative Energy

Media & Telecom Revolution in Pakistan

Pakistan Building 1000 MW Wind Farms

Pakistan Launches Wind Farm Projects

Renewable Energy to Solve Pakistan's Electricity Crisis

Electrification Rates By Country

Wind Turbine Manufacturing in Pakistan

Pakistan Pursues Hydroelectric Power Projects

Solar Energy for Sunny Pakistan

Wind Power Tariffs in Pakistan

Pakistan's Twin Energy Shortages

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
AEDB to launch one wind power project every month, according to Power Engg:

As part of an ambitious strategy of the government to bridge gap between demand and supply of electricity, the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) would launch one wind power project every month. "The 2012 will be remembered as the year of wind power in Pakistan as we are planning to inaugurate one project every month in the current year," an AEDB official told.

Last week, Federal Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Liu Jian jointly performed the groundbreaking of 50 megawatt wind power project, which would be set up in Jhimpir area of Sindh. The official said that Pakistan has vast potential to generate electricity through alternative energy sources, which is reflective from the fact that alone the Thatta district has the capacity of producing 15,000 MW wind power.

Sources in the board said the project is being executed in collaboration with a Chinese company : Three Gorges : which has been mandated to set up total 20 wind-farms of 50 MW each during next five years.

This is the company's first project in Pakistan, while in total, it is third wind power project initiated in the country, the sources added.

They said that AEDB has set a target to generate 1500 MW wind power by 2013, which seems achievable because of the serious and accelerated efforts of the government.

The government has introduced an 'effective and attractive' renewable energy policy, which is bringing foreign investment in the power sector, the sources said, adding "It is an achievement that renewable and wind energy sectors are attracting the highest amount of private investment as compared to any other sector of the economy."

Special attention is being paid on other resources to produce electricity like hydro, hydel and wind, which are cheapest modes of generating power.

Besides, the focus is being given on the Thar coal reserves to use in power production, they added.

The Thar coal reserves worth $ 25 trillion have potential to generate 5,000 MW electricity for at least 800 years to meet growing energy demand of the country.

While, the power generated from coal gasification is the cheapest than other sources like furnace oil, natural gas and hydel. According to a report, a single reserve in Thar has about 850
trillion cubic feet coal (TCF).


http://www.power-eng.com/news/2012/01/1576631431/aedb-to-launch-one-wind-power-project-every-month.html
Solar Perth said…
I bet the government and the residents in a certain area that uses Solar Powered Energy is able to save a hefty amout of money since it is more affordable, efficient and environmental friendly. I am hoping that our government here in Australia would also encourage and push through the use of solar energy. Thanks for posting this, it's quite encouraging.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an assessment of the impact of energy crisis in Pakistan by Sky News:

Energy shortages across Pakistan are crippling the country's economy and costing businesses millions in lost productivity.

Electricity is cut off for hours at a time, fuel is rationed at filling stations and people are forced to run expensive generators to keep their homes lit.

Pakistan is not producing enough power to meet the growing demand and economists estimate the shortages are shaving 2% off its gross domestic product.

At one time most of the world's hand-stitched leather footballs were made in the town of Sialkot in the Punjab.

It is still a profitable business, but only just.

The power cuts keep production lines idle for hours at a time, orders take longer to make, some have to be flown abroad at great expense to make their deadlines rather than shipped.

"The energy crisis has been here for the last five or six years but it has become very severe over the past couple of years, very very severe," manager Ali Sheikh told Sky News.

"At times it is as if the government is trying to shut industry down altogether. It seems deliberate at times."

Add to that rising unemployment, a negligible tax collection rate, rampant corruption and a security situation that puts buyers off from travelling to Pakistan.

Businessman Asad Bajwa believes many foreigners are now reluctant to visit his factory in Sialkot and orders are down 40%.

But do not write Pakistan off just yet, one leading economist says.

Dr Rashid Amjad , the Vice Chancellor of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in Islamabad, said: "The bottom line is we need to revive growth as soon as we can.

"The government has to give it the highest priority and go in for serious economic thinking to ensure macro-economic stability.

"But I still come back to the basic fact that there is a resilience in its people and a resilience in its economy.

"Everybody thinks Pakistan is going to collapse - it never has."


http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16163280
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an Energy Matters report on solar lights for flood affected villagers in Pakistan:

A cheap Australian-designed solar light is changing lives in developing nations, including 80,000 refugees in Pakistan still struggling to rebuild after the country suffered devastating floods a year ago.

As we've reported before, the adverse effects caused by the estimated one billion people living off the grid in poor countries who use kerosene lamps for lighting often outweigh their benefits.

Kerosene can account for a third of a family’s monthly income and toxic fumes from the lamps, which are often included in aid packages, can cause a number of illnesses. Soot and carbon dioxide created when burning kerosene also adds to the world's carbon emission woes.

Recognising the problem, Melbourne inventor Shane Thatcher founded illumination Solar in 2010, and the Mandarin Ultra solar light was born.

The Mandarin Ultra can provide up to four times more light than a kerosene lamp from 12 super-bright LEDs, illuminating a room for up to eight hours on a full charge, which is sourced by exposing the Ultra’s back solar panel to sunlight for six hours or more.

At a cost of less than $10 per unit, the Mandarin Ultra is touted to be the cheapest, quality solar light in the world. It costs a fraction of competing designs because it was designed with the income level of the target customer and the generation of UN accredited carbon credits in mind.

"What makes the lights affordable is the generation of carbon credits as the lights are sold and used. We worked with our alliance partner, CarbonSoft (a Standard Bank joint venture) on the complex accreditation program," says Liz Aitken, illumination’s CFO.

The governments of Britain, the USA, Japan and the EU have all bought the new lights and supplied them to refugees via the International Organisation for Migration.

"We created this light for the billion people who live off the grid and survive on less than a dollar a day. Buying fuel for a kerosene lamp can take a third of their income, the kerosene fumes are polluting, and the lanterns often start fires," Thatcher says.


http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3098
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an Express Tribune story on solar water pumps for Balochistan:

Ministry of National Food Security and Research has planned to introduce a pilot project of Solar Irrigation Pumping System in selected districts of Balochistan at an initial cost of Rs520 million.

Sources in the ministry said that Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Mir Israrullah Zehri would take the pilot project to his own province and introduce it in selected districts of Balochistan.

Major chunk of the project cost worth Rs492 million will be borne by the federal government and Rs28 million by the amers/beneficiaries. Under the project, as many as 190 solar pumps will be installed. According to the documents available with The Express Tribune, the objective of the project is bringing potential areas under cultivation, generating livelihood and improving the socio-economic conditions of the farmers/community. The water will be used for both irrigation and drinking purposes.

Lack of water severely constrains agricultural development in Balochistan, according to some reports only 1.5 million hectares of Balochistan’s 35 million hectares are under cultivation.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/330702/innovation-solar-irrigation-system-for-balochistan/
Riaz Haq said…
China's solar push has cut solar energy prices down to 17 cents per KWhr vs 12 cents per KWhr for wind, reports Bloomberg:

For years, solar took a back seat to wind as China’s preferred form of renewable energy. Solar was less efficient and cost about four times as much per kilowatt hour of production. As raw materials costs for panels have fallen, that gap has narrowed, says Ming Yang, vice president for business development at Shanghai panel maker JA Solar (JASO). Today, producing a kilowatt hour of solar power costs about 17¢, he says, vs. 12¢ for wind, and prices are falling fast.

That’s gotten the attention of Chinese officials. “There’s been a big change in the mindset of policy makers,” says Yang, whose company is on track to sell “north of 20 percent” of its production in China this year, more than double last year’s share. Like most in the industry, JA has benefited from an initiative dubbed Golden Sun that offers state support to developers of solar installations. Although introduced in 2009, Golden Sun started to take hold last year, when the government approved more than 600 Mw of projects. NPD Solarbuzz says there will be about 1,000 Mw of new Golden Sun projects in 2012.

Like Europe, China has started requiring “feed-in tariffs”—guaranteed prices utilities must pay solar power producers for their electricity. Though the rate fell to 16¢ per kilowatt hour this year from 18¢ in 2011, with production costs falling the lower amount is plenty, says NPD Solarbuzz analyst Ray Lian. “If this rate is maintained, we expect to see another surge in installations,” he says.

A larger Chinese market should be good news for renewable energy worldwide, with growing demand from China helping shore up prices at a time Europe is reassessing its solar energy policies. On Feb. 23, German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said his country would cut its assistance by as much as 29 percent. Although U.S. producers such as First Solar (FSLR) have made little headway in China, the country’s growth “will open up a much-needed source of demand,” says James Evans, a senior analyst with researcher Bloomberg Industries in London. A bigger Chinese market “will continue to allow the cost of solar technology to come down,” Evans says, “even without the European subsidized markets.”


http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-03-15/firing-up-chinas-solar-market
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an excerpt of an AFP report on solar adoption in Pakistan:

Arif Allaudin, who heads the Alternate Energy Development Board, would like to see more of that help coming from renewable sources, saying there was a 2.4 million megawatt potential for solar energy alone in Pakistan.

Niaz Ahmed Kathia, director of private company Alternate Energy Systems, said abundant and free sunshine was the answer to Pakistan's energy woes.

"Energy is our biggest issue, more than terrorism, and if we replace our one million tubewell pumps with solar ones, we can save 7,000 megawatts," Kathia told AFP at the demonstration of a solar well in the capital.

The majority of Pakistan's tubewell pumps, which pump out underground water, run on the strained national grid or on diesel power.

There is no pretence that solar power is the only answer, but this month the prime minister ordered the government to provide solar electricity in remote villages far from the national grid.

The government described renewable energy as the "investor's choice" and said the private sector has offered to produce 1,500 megawatts a day.

In the mountains of Kashmir there is no gas pipeline and in the cold winter months electricity bills are prohibitively expensive.

In Azam's hometown of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, solar panels light up a public park and mosques.

Solar street lights are also being installed slowly in cities such as Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi.

Pakistan's first on-grid solar power station, capable of producing 178.9 kilowatts, began test operations in Islamabad this month with a grant of $5.4 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

"It is a seed for thousands more solar power plants," Senator Rukhsana Zuberi, a former chairperson of the Pakistan Engineering Council told AFP.

This winter Pakistan suffered a two billion cubic feet a day shortage of natural gas -- usually the mainstay of millions delivered to homes and industry via pipelines -- sparking protests and forcing factories to lay off labourers.

The trouble is remedial plans are only at an embryonic stage.

"We plan to promote the use of solar geysers as the gas shortage is becoming acute," petroleum and natural resources minister Asim Hussain said.

"The gas companies would install solar water heaters at consumer premises and deduct the amount in installments in the gas bills," he added.

Power generated during sunlight hours can be stored in deep cycle lead acid batteries to power lights, radios, televisions and fans at night.

Norwegian company Telenor says it has set up 50 solar-powered cell sites, mostly in remote areas, capable of reducing 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per site by saving over 940 litres of diesel a month.

Traders say demand has certainly risen. A 170-litre (37-gallon) capacity solar geyser starts from 27,000 rupees ($300) and a 218-litre version for 32,000 rupees as a one-time cost.

"Solar geysers can reduce gas bills considerably. The technology is not only environment friendly but also pocket friendly," said vendor Shakil Ahmed.


Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/Energy+starved+Pakistan+eyes+solar+power/6365467/story.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a pvtech.org story on solar powered wells in Pakistan:

Syncronys International has announced it has received an order valued at US$4.5 million to install 400 solar powered well pumps in Pakistan.

Although financing and insurance is still pending, the company envisions around 9,000 additional solar well installations throughout the region over the next three years.

Rex Gay, Syncronys CEO, said. "We are very gratified to be able to utilize our technology to provide reliable, durable, and simple to use solar pump systems to supply water for rural Pakistan communities.”

Syncronys offers a comprehensive product and technology strategy to provide a wide range of green energy applications, Micro Utility, Micro Grid and Smart Grid initiatives on any domestic and international level.


http://www.pv-tech.org/news/syncronys_to_receive_us4.5_million_order_from_pakistan_for_400_solar_powere
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Daily Times report on Korean investment in 300 MW solar farm in Pakistan:

Global R&BD Division of CX Korea has informed after completion of formalities of NEPRA, Ministry of Water and Power etc their company would initiate project of establishment of 10 mw solar energy plant, which would later be extended upto 300 mw power generation through solar energy.

A four-member delegation of CX Korea Inc related to solar energy project, led by its Executive Director, Ko Young Sun informed CM Sindh Qaim Ali Shah the 10 mw plant would be ready by December this year and firstly the plant would be extended upto 100 mw while later it would be extended upto 300 mw by 2015. Sun said Germany and Korea have made good achievements in solar energy and Korean Global construction would fulfill the requirements and initiate and complete the project as per commitment. He informed KAPCO-Daewoo Engineering would provide project financing and for the purpose. They required 1200-acre land for 300 mw project as the project need four acre land per one mw power through solar energy. Qaim Ali Shah said the provincial government has made arrangements for provision of infrastructure and facilities to the investors.


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\05\08\story_8-5-2012_pg5_3
Riaz Haq said…
Conergy will plan and supply Pakistan’s biggest solar-power plant as the country seeks to increase access to electricity, reports Bloomberg:

The 50-megawatt project at Bahawalpur in the Cholistan region is owned by DACC Power Generation Co. and the Pakistani government and will supply 30,500 households with electricity, Conergy said today in an e-mailed statement.

Total investment will probably be about $170 million to $190 million, with Conergy’s share at about 60 million euros ($75 million) to 70 million euros, said Antje Stephan, a Conergy spokeswoman.

The government is seeking to spur investment, create jobs and expand access to power in a country where some areas can be without energy for as long as 18 hours a day, Conergy said. The company, working with developer Ensunt Inc., will supply 210,000 modules and 140 inverters, the Hamburg-based manufacturer said.


http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-04/conergy-agrees-to-supply-pakistan-s-largest-solar-energy-complex.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a News report on South Korean proposal to build 300 MW solar plant:

Board of Investment (BOI), Government of Pakistan and Concentrix Solar Company of Korea Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to construct a 300 MW Solar Energy Plant near Quetta, Balochistan.

The MoU was signed by M. Saleem Mandviwala, Chairman Board of Investment from Pakistan side and Dr. Choi Moon-Sok, Chief Executive Officer Concentrix Solar Company. The signing ceremony was held at the PM’s Secretariat which was witnessed by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ahsraf, Federal Ministers and Chief Ministers of Balochistan and Sindh.

Concentrix is a subsidiary of German Company and is keen to make investment in the energy sector in Pakistan. Dr. Choi Moon-Sok met the PM yesterday and apprised him of his company’s plans.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-16665-Pakistan-Korea-sign-MoU-to-build-300MW-solar-energy-plant
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Nation report on solar lighting for a Sindh village:

KARACHI - Pakistan still has thousands of villages that are not electrified and routine activities of villagers therein are limited to sunlight. Nevertheless, in a unique project, 115 households of Jhimpir area of Thatta district have been electrified through solar energy. The project has been implemented by the Centre for Environment & Development (CEAD) with the support of the USAID’s Ambassadors Fund Programme. The villages covered by the project are off grid and received electricity for the first time through solar systems. The area has moderate weather and average sunshine availability ranges from six to eight hours. The area is most suitable for the use of 40-watt solar house system that fulfils the requirements of the average household size for about four to five hours during the night time. Each solar unit consists of two energy savers of eight-watt, one for room and one for courtyard, and one portable emergency light to be used during night-time, one mobilephone charger to charge mobile phones that help the beneficiaries to have effective communication.CEAD Chief Executive Prof Qalander Shah said that people residing in far-flung and off-grid areas still used kerosene lamps and other forms of energy, especially during night-time for their security as well as of their livestock and other belongings. However, these communities use kerosene lamps for only a couple of hours because kerosene oil is costly and harmful for health as smoke emitted by it causes asthma and eye-related diseases.Observing that all economic activities were directly dependent on energy, CEAD Director Dr Ali Murtaza Dharejo and said that with provision of 115 household solar systems, life of Jhimpir families would be changed. The solution is long lasting and sustainable as it is based on renewable resources. He said that solar energy was not only cost-effective but also environment-friendly and was without any operation and maintenance cost. He said that the provision of solar systems at the household level would certainly bring far reaching benefits to communities, who earlier had no source of electricity. He added that the use of kerosene oil for lighting brought many health problems and as a result, poor people in rural areas were struck down with many diseases.

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/karachi/10-Dec-2012/over-100-jhimpir-households-electrified-through-solar-energy
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a report on Punjab govt's Ujala solar lights scheme:

Punjab Govt Ujala Solar Lamp Kits Scheme For Students Launched by the Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif as under this scheme around 5,000 students of Pakistan government schools in the whole Province Punjab can get solar energy kits and table lamps so this will help then in studying in the day and night during load shedding in Punjab.

In the first session of this table lamps and Solar kits distribution scheme there are 36 districts of Punjab us under consideration. This scheme is given a name of “Ujaala Scheme” as it will bring light in the students life so they are not disturbed by the load shedding even in the load shedding hours at night they can study and this will help in strengthen our country.

After the first phase in the second phase the same number of Lamps and Solar kits will be distributed among those who are new comers and are most junior. So those students who are in 9th class and obtained 50 to 55 percent marks in the annual board exams will be able to get these lamps and solar kits which also has chargers and bulbs in it. These solar system are so much power full that it can provide up to 18 consecutive hours light if there is a sunny weather not rainy or cloudy.

Students will be able to get these lamps an solar kits in the next month that is December the schedule for the distribution of solar kits are not yet announced by the any officials but officials just declared that it would be in December anywhere. These Solar Energy kits have these silent features

Solar PV 30Wp
Battery 12 V, 30 Ah SLA Gel type Battery
Battery charger
LEDs 3×5 W each of 100 lumens
Charge Controller 10 A with LVD (Low voltage disconnect)
Load Limitter
DC Wires with LED Holders
Mobile Phone Charging facility
System Autonomy 3 days
Reverse Polarity protection provision


http://ilm.com.pk/education-news/news/punjab-govt-ujala-solar-lamp-kits-scheme-for-students-launched/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's PV Magazine on solar pumps in Pakistan:

The solar company Phaesun GmbH from Memmingen has installed 200 solar water pumping systems in 12 districts in Pakistan.

The latest systems were successfully put into operation together with the Pakistani partner Izhar Energy by December 2012 in the district of Sukkur. The project has been initiated and financed by the United Nations Development Programme UNDP to counteract the destructive tidal flood in Pakistan in the summer of 2010.

Thousands of families will benefit from the project that secures the water supply for drinking water, irrigation and livestock farming. The people in Pakistan still suffer from the devastating consequences of the flood disaster in 2010: Thousands of people lost their lives, 6 million people urgently needed humanitarian aid, the infrastructure was severly damaged in many parts of the country.

Even the water supply was disastrous in many places. Clean drinking water was often only available after having covered long distances. Organised water supply for agriculture and livestock farming was often not existent in many places. The UNDP-project aims at a sustainable water supply for local communities by means of renewable energies.

In twelve districts of Pakistan, local communities have been identified where the water supply was almost completely disrupted. The 200 solar water pumping systems have been individually sized according to the needs on site such as water amount and pumping head and were installed from November 2011 until December 2012. The systems use pumps of the manufacturer Grundfos which are operated with solar modules between 400 and 700 watts.

Russom Semere, managing engineer at Phaesun reports: "It was an enormous logistical effort to realise that project. The infrastructure in many regions of Pakistan has not yet been rebuilt. The components often had to be taken to their point of destination with the help of donkey carts and boats. The project could be realised in the first place due to the cooperation with the local partner Izhar Energy and the UNDP members on the spot!"

The project has a sustainable effect on the development of the affected regions. "The local communities are enthusiastic and grateful," Faiz Butta, managing director of the Pakistani solar company Izhar Energy reports. "They are now responsible for the operation of the pumps. During the time of installation, we carried out detailed training courses for the local community authorities.

"When we visited systems we had already installed the year before, I could convince myself that they have been perfectly maintained and serviced. The responsible authorities are aware of the fact that the economic development of their communities depends on the water supply of agriculture and livestock farming."

The UNDP initiated and financed the project, Phaesun sized the systems, prepared and supplied the components. The logistics and installation on site was organised together with the local partner Izhar Energy.


http://www.pv-magazine.com/services/press-releases/details/beitrag/solar-water-supply-in-pakistan---200-solar-pumping-systems-installed-in-flooded-areas-of-pakistan_100010319/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Daily Times report on solar lights in Pak villages:

Creating a new micro-finance system to empower women with a unique blend of production of much-needed renewable energy to electrify over 50,000 power-deprived villages of Pakistan is the best ever innovation so far being implemented successfully by Bukhsh Foundation in various villages of Punjab.

Over 100,000 villagers are the direct beneficiaries of this project under which solar lanterns have been provided to around 50 houses each in 40 selected villages of Punjab where electricity was an imaginary thing for people, even in this modern era of second decade of the 21st century. Hence the project has achieved 10 percent of its target, 90 percent is left to reach the mark of lighting one million lives.

The project titled Lighting a Million Lives (LaML) has been implemented successfully in 10 villages of Sahiwal, besides achievements in Lodhran, Minawali, DG Khan, Dera Ismel Khan and other villages.

The cost of the project in one village is $5,500 (over Rs 50,000).

Besides lightening their house and proving these villagers the facility to continue their household work with an ease at night, mobile charging units have also been installed and sustainable employment opportunities have been created for over-40 needy women of these village. These women are now known as “roshna bibi” or “light lady” in the village. These chargeable lanterns remain active 6-8 hours depending on selection of light strength mode. Light charging system have been installed in the house of light ladies and this charging system is connected to the solar panels installed on the rooftops of their homes.

Each light lady charges Rs 4 to charge the lantern with the solar system every time and out of this amount she deposits Re 1 to a bank’s account for repair works, while the rest of Rs 3 is her earning. She earns around Rs 1,000 a day to support her family. Most needy women – mostly widows – have been selected to make them self reliant under this micro-credit project, launched with the help of various donors. The villagers have been provided lanterns free of cost.

Buksh Foundation, a concern of HKB Group, was established in 2009 with its two offices in Lahore – in Shahdara and Township – to provide soft loans of up to Rs 100,000. Later, Buksh Energy, a sister concern of the foundation, was also established, when CEO Faiza Farhan met with Indian Nobel laureate Dr Pachauri, who is also the director of Teri Technical Energy Resource Institute, at an energy summit in New Delhi.

India’s Teri institute was already working on this project and they had provided electricity to some 260-plus villages in the last few years.

Now, this model is also available in Uganda and Bangladesh.

With some innovations and local wisdom, Ms Faiza brought this project to Pakistan. Now, Teri is the technical partner of Buksh Energy. Out of total 40 villages, Coca-Cola provided funds for lightening of 15 villages in Sahiwal, Jahangir Tareen supported 14 villages in Lodran, USAID supported 15 villages in Bahawalpur and Imran Khan Foundation supported three villages – one each in Mianwali, DG Khan and Dera Ismael Khan. Engro Corp, Silk Banks, Bank Alfalah and UBL are some other donors....


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C05%5C21%5Cstory_21-5-2013_pg7_16
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a pv magazine report of a local NGO working to light up Pakistani villagers' homes:

Working with local and international partners like Coca-Cola, China Mobile's Zong, the Imran Khan Foundation and Engro Corporation, Pakistan's Buksh Foundation has set a goal of illuminating 4,000 off-grid villages by 2017.


Pakistani village Chak 113
The village of Chak 113, in Punjab's Sahiwal District, installs its new lantern charging station.
Buksh Foundation
As part of a pilot project to increase the use of solar power, the Lahore-based microfinance institute Buksh Foundation and the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in India, working with national and international partners, have electrified 72 off-grid villages in Pakistan's Punjab province.

The Buksh Foundation, launched in 2009 by Pakistani retail giant Buksh Group, has sought to increase financial inclusion for rural and peri-urban population.

The organization has launched a unique solar energy access model, Lighting a Million Lives, which aims to provide energy access to rural un-electrified areas of Pakistan.

"Under this project, 72 villages in the districts of Sahiwal, Mianwali,
Lodhran, Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan, Bahawalpur and Chiniot have already been electrified, with 70 more in the pipeline for this month, further reaching out into Mardan, Khushab, Gujrat, Kasur and Bahawalnagar in a period of only six month," Anam Elahi, the Buksh Foundation's business development manager and head of the Lighting a Million Lives project, told pv magazine.

The project has already impacted some 25,000 people and the Buksh Foundation is planning to light a total of 4,000 Pakistani villages, directly helping a million individuals, in the next three years. Recently scheduled projects include electrifying the villages in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

"The project with its multifold benefit model, has not only helped in providing a sustainable energy alternative, but has also encouraged female empowerment, increased economic capacity of the rural areas, created literacy about the needs for environmental friendly energy alternatives and the benefits they provide," said Buksh Foundation CEO Fiza Farhan.

The initiative seeks to empower females in rural communities by putting them in charge of photovoltaic charging stations, which are used to charge lanterns during the day. The women then either sell or rent the lanterns to villages for PKR 4 (€0.03) a day, providing a much cheaper alternative to high-priced kerosene traditionally used for lighting.

Each solar lantern replaces about 500-600 liters of kerosene during its 10-year lifespan, mitigating about 1.5 tonnes of CO2, according to the Buksh Foundation.

The organization said that about 43% of the population of Pakistan lives without access to electricity, of which 70% live in rural areas in 50,000 villages, completely detached from the national electricity grid. By 2015, the figure is expected to climb to 46% as the energy deficit worsens; by 2025, it will rise to 64%, with 187 million people having no access to the power grid.

By reaching its goal of providing a million lanterns to people the Foundation said it could reduce 1.5 million tons of CO2, save around PKR 25 billion (€188 million) and reduce oil imports by 6% a year....


http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/initiative-lights-up-off-grid-villages-in-pakistan-_100012117/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a CleanTechnica story on 500MW solar power plant in Cholistan desert in Pakistan:

The chief minister of the Punjab government in Pakistan has just announced plans for the development of a 500 MW solar energy project in the Cholistan region — a project that will apparently be completed with the aid of the Canadian government.

While much remains unknown about the project, a few details are known — the project deal involves the Canadian government, the project will be completed in two phases, it’s not clear exactly how the Canadians will be involved, and the first phase will see 200 MW of capacity go online before the second phase is finished. The chief minister also announced plans for a 1 GW electricity generation scheme at the same press conference


http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/12/500-mw-solar-energy-project-developed-cholistan-pakistan/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Reuters' report on homeowners installing solar panels to deal with load-shedding in Islamabad:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – After months of sleepless nights and uncomfortable days in sweltering heat, Hussain Raza has found relief.

But it’s not just the cooler winter weather that is making Raza happier. It is, somewhat ironically, the sun.

The 35-year-old banker and his family have bought a solar-powered electricity supply that kicks in during the frequent power outages that afflict even his upscale residential neighbourhood in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital.

A chronic shortfall in electricity in Pakistan makes life miserable for much of the country’s population and hampers industrial growth, experts say.

Until he bought his 300-watt solar energy system in October last year, Raza and his family often had no electricity to keep the lights on in the evening or run a fan during hot nights.

“How can I be at ease seeing my children go to school without homework (being done) and feeling sleepy in school due to inadequate sleep at night?” he asked. “Now I feel really relieved that I have a solar energy system that runs two fans that give us a good night’s sleep,” he said.

Mounted on the roof of his two-storey house, the solar installation stores energy in a battery that can power two fans and four 23-watt energy saver light bulbs for 10-12 hours through the night.

Apart from the comfort and convenience the system provides, Raza’s monthly electricity bills have dropped from around 4,500 Pakistani rupees (about $43) to less than 2,800 rupees ($27).

“It is worth the bill we paid for the renewable energy system,” he said. The kit cost the equivalent of $560, he said.

WORSENING OUTAGES

Power outages in Islamabad have been a problem for more than seven years, in part because of rising electricity demand due to the increasing size of the city’s population.

Pakistan’s daily power demand averages 16,000 megawatts (MW), but the country produces only around 12,000 MW. This shortfall can soar to 7,000 MW during peak summer months.

As a result, power authorities must resort to load shedding for more than 15 hours a day in the summer months, and six to eight hours daily in the winter.

The outages have also been getting longer because of a lack of investment in energy systems, particularly hydropower, which accounts for one-third of Pakistan’s total power production. The rest of the country’s energy is produced with oil and coal...


http://www.trust.org/item/20140116230113-87r9a/
Riaz Haq said…
The 1.25 MW installation in the Punjab province connects to the grid and becomes the largest single utility-scale installation in the country.

Chinese solar firm Phono Solar – a subsidiary of the SUMEC Group – has connected Pakistan’s first large-scale PV plant to the grid.

The 1.25 MW installation was completed this week in the hot and humid Punjab province under the “Go Global” policy backed by the Chinese central government.

Spread across 16,000 square meters, the plant is expected to maximize the high levels of solar insolation in the region to produce an estimated 1,745,000 kWh of solar power annually, and will meet the power demands of 110 local villages.

Phono Solar won the bid for the installation nine months ago, and over the course of the installation formed a team with local partner Green Volts Technologies, which brought a cost-effective approach to the operation as well as much-needed local knowledge.

The plant will take advantage of Pakistan’s recently introduced Upfront Generation Tariff, which was created to support the country’s fledgling solar PV sector. China’s “Go Global” policy intends to encourage greater investment in the solar sector via working with local engineers and technicians and training them on manufacturing and engineering procedures.

"The successful grid connection of the first MW-level PV power plant in Pakistan has brought full recognition of overseas markets for engineering and general contracting capabilities of SUMEC; especially in renewable energy fields," said SUMEC president CaiJibo. "Most of the equipment used in this project is made in China, and I am proud that our equipment has successfully supported the ‘Go Global’ policy and obtained affirmation of new overseas markets."

Last month the Pakistan government approved the country’s first net metering program as it attempted to ease the power burden on the power grid, while in December Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Opens external link in current windowscrapped the 5% customs duty on imported solar panels in an attempt to bolster foreign investment in the country.



Read more: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/phono-solar-completes-pakistans-first-mw-scale-pv-plant_100018206/
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan's northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province plans to supply solar power to 5,800 off-grid households in 200 villages, promoting clean energy amid conventional electricity shortages.

The provincial government has earmarked 400 million rupees ($3.94 million) for the nine-month solar project, which will equip up to 29 households in each village.

The scheme is part of the Green Growth Initiative launched a year ago in Peshawar by former international cricket star Imran Khan, who is chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, which governs the province.

The initiative aims to boost economic development in a way that uses natural resources sustainably, by increasing uptake of clean energy and forest cover, for example.

The provincial government plans to hook up at least 10 percent of the 40 percent of the province that is off-grid in the next three years with solar power and small-scale hydroelectric plants, said Atif Khan, provincial minister for education, energy and power.

It is already setting up micro-hydro plants - which harness running water and do not require dams - in the mountainous north of the province, while off-grid households in the south will be provided with solar energy.

The government will pay 90 percent of the cost of the solar equipment, with the rest shouldered by households.

Families will receive a 200-watt solar panel, two batteries and other accessories to run a ceiling fan, a pedestal fan, three LED lights, and two mobile phone charging slots.

NO MORE 'BEGGING'

In total, the project will generate 1.2 megawatts (MW), in the first stage of a wider plan to provide all off-grid households in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with solar energy.

Across the province, total demand for electricity in grid-connected areas is 2,500 MW, but they receive only 1,600 MW from the national grid run from Islamabad, the country's political center.

“We will exploit renewable energy resources and produce our own electricity, after which we will not need to beg from the center,” said Imran Khan.

---

“The government should start building small dams in the province as this would not only help generate enough electricity but also provide water for irrigation and drinking,” he (ANP's Senator Zahid Khan) said.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/18/us-pakistan-energy-solar-idUSKBN0LM0OR20150218
Riaz Haq said…
Module manufacturer Aleo Solar enters the Pakistani solar market in cooperation with energy provider GreenIndusTree. Electricity supply in Pakistan is very unreliable and for this reason many households use diesel generators during the daily power failures that last several hours. To solve the problem of energy shortage, Aleo Solar now delivers PV-modules for 18 solar plants with an overall performance of 100 kW.

With solar power, households are able to produce power sustainably as well as reducing fuel costs, while depending less on them. "Power cuts are a daily occurrence in Pakistan, even in major cities – and both industry and private homes are suffering as a result. The country has a population of around 200 million and is one of the up-and-coming emerging markets in Asia, but the demand for energy cannot be met.”, reports Dr. Kaiser Chaudhary, Managing Director at GreenIndusTree. Comparing peak demand and maximum installed capacity, the country suffers from a rather large energy deficit of up to approximately 6 to 7 GW.

Security of supply through storage batteries

"We want to provide homes and companies with solar storage systems as a quick and independent power supply", continues Dr. Chaudhary. The solar energy systems – which also contain 278 modules by Aleo Solar – were chosen as they are said to run efficiently, even under the extreme climatical conditions in Pakistan with outdoor temperatures of up to 45 °C. Starting in April, GreenIndusTree will install the 18 solar power systems in Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan. To help the homes achieve independence from power cuts and the availability of diesel, GreenIndusTree furthermore uses solar storage systems with a capacity of 5 to 10 kWh.

"The current solar projects are just the beginning", explains Günter Schulze, Managing Director at Aleo Solar. "The energy consumption in Pakistan is increasing continuously and is predicted to reach 35 GW by 2018. The many of hours of sunshine and the favorable irradiation angle make Pakistan perfect for using solar power."

Promotion of solar power with feed-in tariffs

A feed-in tariff for private homes will be announced over the next few weeks. Since the beginning of 2014, NEPRA, the electricity regulatory authority in Pakistan, has promoted the solar power input from PV plants with a capacity between 1 and 100 MW. The feed-in tariff depends on the location of the plant, due to differences in solar radiation. In the north of the country, every kW/h fed in will be reimbursed with around 22 Pakistani Rupees (PKR) for 10 years, which corresponds to around 15 €-ct. After this time, system operators will receive PKR 9 or 6 €-ct. for 15 years. In the south, the feed-in tariff will be PKR 21 or 14.6 €-ct./kWh, followed by PKR 8.7 or 6 €-ct./kWh.

http://www.sunwindenergy.com/pv-helps-fight-power-cuts-pakistan
Riaz Haq said…
In #Pakistan, solar lamps turn women into green energy entrepreneurs http://reut.rs/1LNLOUD via @ReutersUK


BAHAWALPUR, Pakistan, July 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A s the sun sets and darkness falls over a village outside Bahawalpur, Shama Bibi switches on her solar lantern and starts sewing clothes for an upcoming family wedding.

Not long ago, nightfall would have forced her to stop working. But now with access to solar-powered lamps, Bibi can sew as long as she needs to.

"The solar lantern has changed my life," said the 35-year-old widow and mother of three. "I can sew clothes even in the night and earn enough to make both ends meet."

Bibi has recently become a "Light Lady", one of the women that the Buksh Foundation, a non-profit organisation in Lahore, has trained to help spread the benefits of solar energy throughout rural Pakistan.

Under the foundation's project Lighting a Million Lives, in collaboration with The Energy and Resources Institute in India, women are taught how to operate and maintain solar charging stations in their homes.

The two "Light Ladies" in each of the focus villages also are given 50 solar lanterns to rent to others in their community.

The one-time cost of around $5,500 to set up a solar charging station and set of lanterns is funded by donors. Bibi says she charges a daily rent of 4 rupees ($0.04) per lantern and earns around 5,500 rupees ($54) each month.

"I've started sending my youngest son to school as I earn enough now to meet all the expenses," she said.

Villagers can also charge their mobile phones at the solar station, instead of having to travel to Bahawalpur and back.

The foundation has so far installed solar charging stations in 150 off-grid villages around the country and plans to reach 4,000 villages by 2017.

LIGHT BEYOND THE GRID

According to the World Bank, about 44 percent of households in Pakistan are not connected to the grid. More than 80 percent of those are in rural areas.

There, almost half of households use kerosene as a primary or secondary source of lighting, a 2012 World Bank survey found. Some use candles, due to the high cost of kerosene.

"Our target is to provide sustainable energy to far-flung rural off-grid areas of Pakistan and we especially want to empower women in these areas through the project," said Fiza Farhan, CEO of the Buksh Foundation.

She said the solar lanterns not only are convenient and a source of income for some villagers but also help reduce climate-changing carbon emissions, as each lantern replaces around 500 to 600 liters of kerosene during its 10-year lifespan.

The foundation has a permanent help line at its central office in Lahore to keep in touch with the "Light Ladies" and provide them technical assistance round the clock, Farhan said.

She said dozens of people contact the foundation daily asking for more solar lanterns in their villages and requesting the installation of charging stations in nearby villages.

"More women want to become Light Ladies, but for the moment we have been training only two women in each village," she said, to ensure that each woman makes a decent income once the profits are split.

MORE SOLAR, FEWER BLACKOUTS?

Qamar-uz-Zaman, a climate change advisor to the sustainable development organisation LEAD-Pakistan, said Pakistan's energy shortages could be reduced substantially if the government would provide technical and financial assistance for sustainable development initiatives such as Lighting a Million Lives.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/07/27/pakistan-solar-women-idUKL5N10734920150727
Riaz Haq said…
Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park: World's largest solar park in #Bahawalpur, #Pakistan #solar #renewables http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2pdnn9

Pakistan and China are on their way to building the world’s largest solar farm, with the completion of a 100 Megawatt, 400,000-panel pilot power project, the first solar power plant ever built in Pakistan. Spread out over almost 500 acres of flat land in the Punjabi desert and known as the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park (QUASP), the $130 million project took just three months for Chinese company, Xinjian Sunoasis to build. And it is just the first part of a larger project, the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. According to Chinadialogue, when the project is complete in 2017, the same site could see a total of 5.2 million photovoltaic cells producing up to 1,000 Megawatts of electricity – or enough to power about 320,000 homes. Critics say the project will create new environmental problems while it solves others.

Read more: China and Pakistan are building the world's largest solar farm in the Punjabi desert | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

Built in an area that used to be simply wilderness, and gets 13 hours of sunlight every day, it’s an ideal location for solar power. According to QUASP CEO, Najam Ahmed Shah, it will make energy in Pakistan much cleaner by displacing about 57,500 tonnes of coal burnt each year and reducing carbon emissions by 90,750 tonnes yearly. It will also help Pakistan meets its goal of reducing hydrocarbon usage to 60 percent by 2025, down from the current number of 87 percent.

Related: New artificial leaf technology could revolutionize renewable energy production

But the project is not without its detractors. Some experts say the project is being built too far from where the energy will be consumed, and require the costly installation of grid infrastructure and subsequent maintenance. And others point out that renewable energy sources still have their own environmental impacts, such as water usage for solar power production. Solar panels need to be kept clean, which requires water to wash them. According to Chinadialogue, the water needed to clean the expected 5.2 million solar panels for the project would be massive – especially for a country like Pakistan that already faces water shortages.

And since the project is being built in a wilderness area, the construction and increased human activity will undoubtedly affect biodiversity and fauna and flora in the area.



Read more: China and Pakistan are building the world's largest solar farm in the Punjabi desert | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

http://inhabitat.com/china-and-pakistan-building-the-worlds-largest-solar-farm-in-the-punjabi-desert/
Riaz Haq said…
#USAID, #Pakistan banks partner for $88 million small-scale #renewable energy projects financing https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/153912-USAID-banks-partner-for-88mln-energy-sectors-financing …

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Friday partnered with five banks to lend an estimated $88 million for the development of clean energy sector in Pakistan.

The US Consul General Karachi Grace Shelton presided over the signing of a partnership agreement between the USAID and Habib Bank Limited, MCB Bank Limited, Faysal Bank Limited, Meezan Bank Limited and JS Bank Limited.

Under the 15-year partnership, the U.S. government agency agreed to settle half of the total bad loans. Approximately, $88 million in financing will be available to support the development of the clean energy sector.

Partner banks will be able to provide debt financing to small-scale clean energy projects undertaken by developers, companies or households. The loan is for purchasing energy equipment.

"The U.S. Government is excited to partner with some of Pakistan's leading private commercial banks and support the banks' efforts in promoting clean energy," said William Hammink, USAID Assistant to the Administrator for Afghanistan-Pakistan Affairs. "Under the program, small scale clean energy projects will be able to access long-term, Pakistani rupee financing.”

Hammink said the facility is expected to significantly improve access to financing for the smaller scale projects and encourage private investment in clean energy.

-----

Working with other US agencies, as well as donors and international development partners, USAID has focused its program over the last year on five areas essential to Pakistan’s stability and long-term development and reflective of Pakistani priorities: energy, economic growth, stabilisation, education and health.

Over the last year, USAID has streamlined the number of projects from approximately 150 to less than 70 and has also chosen to implement over half of all funding through local organisations in Pakistan – both government and non-government.
Riaz Haq said…
20,000 #Schools In Pakistan To Go #Solar. #renewables https://cleantechnica.com/2017/04/14/20000-schools-pakistan-go-solar/ … via @CleanTechnica

The government of Punjab province in Pakistan has reiterated its commitment to install rooftop solar power systems on about 20,000 schools.

According to media reports, the chief minister of Punjab province, Shahbaz Sharif, recently reviewed the progress of the Khadam-e-Punjab Ujala Programme. The government-backed scheme aims to set up rooftop solar power systems at schools, health centers, and higher education centers such as Bahawalpur University.

The Punjab government has support from Asian Development Bank and the AFD Bank of France for this program. Solar power, and renewable energy as a whole, has found substantial backing from the Pakistani establishment over the last few years. The country continues to grapple with demand-supply mismatch in its power sector with consumers suffering from long hours of load shedding.

Pakistan’s dependency on imported electricity has increased as it imports 100 megawatts of electricity from Iran and plans to increase this volume to 3,000 megawatts.

Over the last few months several international project developers have announced plans to set up large-scale solar power projects following the successful implementation of the initial phases of the 1,000-megawatt Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park, also in the Punjab province.

The South Asian country is expected to continue to see such interest from international project developers as the solar power tariffs in the country are at a massive premium to the bids being discovered globally through competitive auctions.

In late 2015, Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) announced a 25% reduction in solar feed-in tariffs. Even at these reduced tariffs the developers of these projects are expected to get around 11.0/kWh. In neighboring India, however, tariffs discovered through competitive auction have fallen to 6.5¢/kWh, and more recently to 4.9¢/kWh.
Riaz Haq said…
Kentucky #Coal Mining Museum in Harlan County switches to #solar power to save money. #Trump #renewables
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/06/the-coal-mining-museum-in-harlan-county-ky-switches-to-solar-power/?utm_term=.7f227bf3ba69


Housed in a former commissary building and tucked into the hollers of Harlan County — the heart of Kentucky mining country — is a museum dedicated to all aspects of extracting coal from the state’s mountains.

Mining equipment decorates its walls, while a two-ton block of coal at the front door greets visitors. Children can climb on the museum’s 1940s model electric locomotive that once carried Kentucky men into the mines. An exhibit dedicated to Loretta Lynn (who wrote and who is the “Coal Miner’s Daughter”) sits on the third floor. Guests can even wander through an actual underground coal mine.

Not much about the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum screams modern. Its website — nay, websites — boasts early 1990s Web design, and its advertisement on YouTube appears to have been shot on a handheld camcorder. It sits next to City Hall on Main Street, the only thoroughfare of Benham, Ky. That’s to be expected from a museum dedicated to an old form of energy, which is what makes its own power methods so interesting.

The museum is switching to solar power in hopes of saving money on energy costs, as reported by WYMT and EKB-TV. The installation of solar panels began this week.

“We believe that this project will help save at least $8,000 to $10,000 off the energy costs on this building alone, so it’s a very worthy effort and it’s going to save the college money in the long run,” Brandon Robinson, communications director of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, which owns the museum, told WYMT.

Robinson wasn’t blind to the incongruity of a coal museum being powered by solar energy, asserting that there’s a symbiosis between the two.

“It is a little ironic,” said Robinson, “But you know, coal and solar and all the different energy sources work hand-in-hand. And, of course, coal is still king around here.”

As Tre’ Sexton, owner of Bluegrass Solar, told EKB-TV, the runoff power collected by the panels will be fed back into Benham’s power grid. The entire town of almost 500 that bills itself as “The Little Town That International Harvester, Coal Miners and Their Families Built!” will be partially run on solar power.

“I know the irony is pretty prevalent,” Sexton told EKB-TV. “But all the same, it is making a big difference, I think, for not only the museum, which will probably eliminate a lot of their overhead, but the city in general.”

“We’re happy to be able to hopefully provide some power to the city of Benham that we’re not using here,” Robinson told EKBTV. “So it’s a great project; it’s a great effort.”

It’s difficult not to see a foreshadowing in the switch to solar power.

About 85 percent of Harlan County voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. The disparity between Hillary Clinton’s and Trump’s campaign promises concerning energy almost assuredly played a factor in that vote.

While Clinton, speaking about renewable energy, infamously said, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” Trump promised “sweeping deregulation” of the coal industry.

Trump’s plan struck a chord with some miners.

Former Harlan County coal miner Mark Gray, 58, recalled to the New York Times the moment a meeting was called at work: “They said we can’t go on with these regulations, we can’t go on with the way the government’s doing.”

Gray hoped Trump’s plan might help.

After all, coal mining was once a major American industry. In 1923, nearly 1 million of America’s 110 million citizens worked as coal miners. Now, the industry employs approximately 77,000 people, fewer employees than the Arby’s restaurant chain.

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