An agreement has been signed with Punjab Minister for Energy Dr. Akhtar Malik to shift all Basic Health Units to solar energy, provincial government’s health minister, Dr Yasmin Rashid informed the reporters on Wednesday. BHUs in Sargodha, Jhelum and Mandi Bahauddin would be shifted to solar and this would eventually be followed by all other BHUs around the province, she added. The project not only aims to cut down the costs of the electricity bills for the healthcare department but also assist in providing uninterrupted power supply to the BHUs. This cost-effective and environmental-friendly measures would contribute to resource conservation, said Dr Yasmin Rashid.
Signed agreement with Punjab Minister for Energy @Dr_AkhtarMalik to shift all Basic Health Units to solar energy
Cost effective and environment friendly measures will contribute to resource conservation. pic.twitter.com/3NscpZfWjA
— Dr. Yasmin Rashid (@Dr_YasminRashid) February 4, 2021
All the BHUs would be converted to solar during 2021 in phases, tweeted Dr Akhtar Malik. For now, the agreement has been signed for Phase 1 and 2 of the solarization of the basic health units. First two phases would be completed by June 2021, he added.
Contract signing ceremony Phase 1 &2 of Solarisation of Basic Health Units in Punjab done today. All the BHUs in Punjab will be converted to solar during 2021 in phases. First two phases will be completed by June 2021. @Dr_YasminRashid thank u for being there @GovtofPunjabPK pic.twitter.com/LQxh7sBtlc
— Dr.Akhtar Malik (@Dr_AkhtarMalik) February 3, 2021
This initiative by the Punjab Government is being lauded as it would help accelerate the solar revolution in Pakistan.
The world is going solar
Solar power has currently taken the center stage and rightly so because it is now a mainstream energy source that is said to become the primary source of electricity by 2050, contributing to more than half of the global electricity capacity. This is good news for our planet as it can facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy and help counter climate change. Moreover, it can simultaneously address the needs of the expanding global energy consumption and decarbonization. Today solar is more economical than new fossil fuel capacities in more than 30 countries.
The future of solar is limitless and governments across the world are acknowledging this technology and have set ambitious targets to escalate the deployment of solar power. Pakistan has also jumped on the bandwagon but it still has a long way to go.
The way forward for Pakistan
The government of Pakistan can play a crucial role in accelerating solar revolution in the country by switching its own consumption to clean, renewable energy sources. This would create an impetus for others to follow along with generating more demand for the solar technology. Punjab Government has taken the lead by converting the BHUs to solar power and has helped in creating awareness amongst the masses about the benefits of this revolutionary technology. Other provincial governments should also play their part in encouraging the population to transition to this viable energy resource.
Solar power is a 100% clean, renewable energy resource which can reduce the country’s reliance on oil, coal and natural gas for electricity production. Energy efficiency awareness is an important step to achieving the final target of having a sustainable environment in the country. To make this happen, Pakistan needs to address the yawning gap that exists in the area of energy education and awareness in the country. This can be done by educating the masses on popular energy issues through public awareness campaigns in schools, colleges and universities. Well planned social media campaigns can also be designed as they have the ability to disseminate information quickly and can reach to a wider audience.