The following is in addition to what I have stated through a letter to Editor carried by the newspaper yesterday.

It is important to note that the government is adamant about shifting the burden of their lack of competencies to affluent households without realising that responsible governments worldwide are encouraging and providing meaningful incentives for households to convert to clean energy sources. In their eagerness to punish households for the success of their own policy, they overlook many examples of countries where telemetry is encouraged due to its overwhelming benefits.

Successful implementations can be seen in countries like Germany, Australia, and the United States where households are encouraged to adopt solar energy systems due to numerous benefits. Firstly, at the household level, such systems can significantly reduce electricity bills, providing long-term savings.

They offer energy independence, particularly in Pakistan with unreliable grid power, and can serve as a backup power source during outages. Additionally, excess energy generated can be sold back to the grid, further offsetting costs and potentially providing an additional income stream.

On a national or country level, promoting solar energy reduces reliance on fossil fuels, which enhances energy security and reduces the risk of price fluctuations in fossil fuel markets. Diversifying the energy mix with renewables like solar is the right approach that also helps to mitigate climate change by reducing carbon emissions.

This shift towards cleaner energy sources can lead to improvements in air quality and public health while contributing to biodiversity conservation by reducing habitat destruction and pollution associated with fossil fuel extraction and use.

Governments worldwide have introduced various incentives to promote solar energy adoption. For instance, Germany’s feed-in tariff scheme guaranteed fixed payment rates for renewable energy producers, including households with solar panels, leading to a rapid increase in installations.

In the United States, federal and state-level tax credits, rebates, and other incentives help reduce upfront costs for households and businesses. These incentives not only benefit individual households but also society as a whole by reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality, and creating jobs in the renewable energy sector.

Foregoing in view, instead of blaming affluent households for a crime they never committed, the government should devise a plan to subsidize the poor segments of society to convert their households to solar systems.

The government should also consider phasing out Independent Power Producers (IPPs) that were created due to incompetence, lack of relevant knowledge and foresight by government policy makers, planners, and implementers. A third viable option is to reduce electricity prices, which would automatically discourage further conversion to solar systems, though this is highly inadvisable.

Furthermore, the government should, in all fairness, bring to justice all those who were responsible for the installation of IPPs, grid losses, electricity theft, making faulty and short-sighted policy decisions, and those who received massive kickbacks in the process. They should desist from victim-blaming, which in this instance is not the government but the people of Pakistan.

Qamar Bashir

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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