World Wide Fund for Nature- Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) and Brighterlite Pakistan PrivateÂ Limited have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to kick-start cooperation for a Pay-As-You-Go solar home systems project in Pakistan.
BrighterLite Pakistan (BLP) is pioneer of this technology which has a key focus on healthyÂ environment and affordable electricity. The memorandum was signed by Hammad Naqi Khan,Â Director General, WWF-Pakistan, and Stein Eitrheim, CEO Brighterlite Group.
The MoU reaffirms WWF-Pakistanâ€™s commitment to develop and support policies on alternativeÂ energy sources which will help in reducing the threat of climate change and making air safer toÂ breathe. It commits that WWF-Pakistan will provide solar home systems to off-grid populationsÂ at large as well as support the capacity building of human resource in order to see through theÂ five-year long project.
BLP will facilitate WWF-Pakistanâ€™s established communities with the provision of solar homeÂ systems according to the Pay-As-You-Go mechanism.Â The WWF-Pakistan and BLP will facilitate cooperative initiatives to promote the use ofÂ renewable energy sources. In the first phase of the project in collaboration with K-Electric, basicÂ electrification will be provided to 1,745 households with the objective to scale up to 10,000Â households in Karachi and its suburbs.
It is intended that WWF-Pakistan and BLP by joint initiatives will provide distributed electricityÂ by means of solar home systems to more than 100,000 households during the next five years.Â WWF Pakistan and Brighterlite Pakistan have successfully tested some of the products in Sindh,Â especially Districts Thatta and Sanghar and hope to scale up the outreach in the coming months.
Hammad Naqi Khan welcomed the opportunity to conclude an MoU with BLP andÂ acknowledged the contribution of BLP in working with local partners to help expand renewableÂ power. â€œIf the products could include small water purification unit it would help thousands ofÂ poor communities across Pakistan meet their most critical needs,â€ he said.
Stein Eitrheim said he was looking forward to both organizations working in a collaborative andÂ optimistic way to effectively address the energy needs and concerns of the country. â€œSolarÂ energy will get more advanced and accessible for the people of Pakistan in the coming years,â€ heÂ said.
â€œSo far more than 11,500 people had benefited from BLP products and the priority is to targetÂ off-grid communities,â€ he added.
On the occasion, Ibrar Khattak from International Financing Cooperation (IFC) lauded theÂ partnership and hoped that it will bring a positiveÂ change in the off-grid areas of Pakistan. HeÂ said that IFC is actively pursuing quality assurance of solar companies in Pakistan through theÂ Lighting Pakistan project, andÂ that partnerships like these are vital to ensure that companies workÂ with organizations that have the capacity to mobilise communities at the grassroots level inÂ favour of such technologies.
The principal source of electricity generation in Pakistan is currently oil, which accounts forÂ 35.2% of the total generation, hydel (29.9%), natural gas (29%) and nuclear and importedÂ (5.8%). The country has witnessed some of the worst energy crises in the past few years with aÂ yawning gap of 5,000 MW between the supply and demand of electricity. The InternationalÂ Energy Agency forecasts that the total electricity demand of the country will increase to 49,078Â MW by 2025.
Pakistan has to start exploring options of alternate energy sources such as solar and wind to meetÂ its current and future energy demands. According to a 2008 national greenhouse gas inventoryÂ 50% of Pakistanâ€™s CO2 pollution comes from power plants and from the transport sector burningÂ fossil fuels.
There is therefore no path to protecting the climate without dramatically changing howÂ electricity is used and produced. Although Pakistanâ€™s global carbon emissions are very lowÂ compared to large emitters like China, Russia, India and the USA, globally but it is placed in theÂ top ten countries that are highly vulnerable to climate change, with impacts such as floods,Â droughts, heat waves and glacial lake outburst floods increasing yearly.
Renewable energy minimizes carbon pollution and has a much lower impact on the environment.Â Globally it is having its moment in the sun following the Paris Agreement where 195 countriesÂ agreed to shift to a low greenhouse gas emissions development path, among others.
This news item is the press release issued by Brighterlite.