July 10, 2024

Punjab Approves Solar Systems for 4.5 Million Power Consumers

In a major step towards sustainable energy, the Punjab cabinet has approved the installation of solar systems for 4.5 million consumers using up to 500 units of electricity.

This decision, made during the 11th cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz, aims to mitigate rising electricity costs and promote renewable energy adoption under the Punjab Solar initiative

Energy Costs with Punjab Solar

Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz announced, "We are bringing solar systems to 4.5 million consumers who use up to 500 units. Due to the increase in electricity bills, there is anxiety among the public.

Together with my team, we have found a solution." The Punjab Solar initiative is expected to significantly reduce electricity costs for these consumers, alleviating the financial burden caused by rising energy prices.

The cabinet paid tribute to the Chief Minister for her efforts in stabilizing flour prices, a challenging task given the complexities of wheat procurement and market dynamics.

Maryam Nawaz emphasized the importance of monitoring and implementation to maintain low prices for essential commodities. She praised the individual performance of the food minister and highlighted the overall excellence of Punjab's young cabinet.

Socio-Economic Benefits

The Punjab Solar initiative is part of a broader effort to protect the interests of the poor and ensure equitable access to resources. The Chief Minister noted, "It is very important to protect the interests of the poor in the country.

It should not happen that the rich become richer and the poor struggle to make ends meet." The initiative also complements the Social Economic Registry of Punjab, which aims to collect data on beneficiaries to facilitate subsidies and relief measures.

In line with the Punjab Solar initiative, the cabinet approved a 15 million euro grant from KFW Development Bank, Germany, for the "Green Energy Project," which includes the solarization of schools and hospitals.

Legislation to establish the Punjab Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency (PEECA) was also approved, promoting energy efficiency across the province.

Press Conference Highlights

During a press conference in Lahore, Punjab Minister for Information and Culture Azma Bokhari announced the approval of the Roshan Gharana Program by the cabinet.

She detailed the Chief Minister’s initiative for providing solar energy to consumers using 50-500 units, with the Punjab government covering 90% of the costs and consumers covering the remaining 10%. The billion-rupee project details will be revealed soon.

The Punjab Solar initiative marks a significant step towards sustainable energy solutions in Punjab. By providing solar systems to 4.5 million consumers, the government aims to reduce electricity costs, promote renewable energy, and support economic stability.

This initiative, along with other strategic measures approved by the cabinet, underscores Punjab's commitment to a sustainable and equitable future.

Lighting Up Punjab's Future with Solar Power

The Roshan Gharana Program, recently approved by the Punjab cabinet, is a new scheme to help millions of consumers in Punjab keep their bills under control.

The programme is part of the Punjab government’s broader energy-security-and-sustainability programme for the province: a 90 per cent subsidy for the installation costs (to be paid for by the state) generally leaves consumers paying for only 10 per cent of the cost. For private citizens and corporations alike, the move towards solar power is not a huge financial risk.

‘We are responding to the public fears about inflating electricity bills,’ said Maryam Nawaz, the chief minister of the province who spearheaded the programme. Through Roshan Gharana, men and women living in the hills of northern Pakistan can significantly decrease their household costs while also supporting the province’s goals of adapting to renewable energy.

This can have a profound impact in Punjab’s fight against the climate crisis and short-term dependence on fossil fuels. The implementation process will result in large ecological benefits for example, reduction of carbon emissions, carbon footprint and so on.

Moreover, the Roshan Gharana Program is expected to generate economic benefits by creating job opportunities in the renewable energy sector. This will stimulate local economies and provide new employment avenues for residents.

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