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KARACHI: Energy experts on Wednesday said that power consumers in Pakistan have a huge opportunity to reduce their electricity bills by installing solar power panels on their rooftops and connecting them with the national grid.

Through a system called net-metering, the government pays consumers the price of electricity that their solar panels inject into the grid, these experts say. This not only reduces the electricity bills of these consumers but also helps the government decrease power shortages, experts add. But, the experts point out, that this opportunity is not being fully utilized because of the financial barriers that the consumers face in installing solar panels.

The experts were speaking at a webinar on “Net-metering in Pakistan: Potential, Challenges and Way Forward”, held on Wednesday by Policy Research Institute for Equitable Development (PRIED).

Naila Saleh, Project Manager, Agora EW, and Technical Advisor, PRIED, said net-metering can advance renewable energy uptake in Pakistan and reduce dependency on unreliable power supply.

“Distributed solar photovoltaic [PV] systems can shift electricity generation from fossil fuels and supply more affordable energy than the grid does. Yet, the overall growth in net-metered systems in the past seven years remains insignificant in Pakistan,” Saleh said.

She added that easy financing is critical to adopt capital-intensive technologies such as solar PV, which have a high upfront cost but lower operating costs.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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