Danubius International Conferences, International Conference Circular Economy: Opportunities and Challenges 2022

Linking energy poverty and solar energy in Pakistan: A way forward towards sustainable future

Muhammad Irfan, Asif Razzaq, Usama Awan, Mohammed Khurrum Shahzad Bhutta
Last modified: 2022-11-17


Energy poverty has been escalated in Pakistan, owing to huge power demand-supply gap. The country primarily depends on fossil fuels, which are not only expensive but have adverse environmental impacts. To cope up with this situation, the Pakistani government has announced the "Medium-Term Development Framework" to generate 9,700 MW renewable energy by 2030. This study aims to provide prospects of solar energy in order to reduce energy poverty in the country. For this purpose, the authors collected solar irradiation data in the six largest Pakistani cities, namely Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Gilgit, and Islamabad during 2021. The data was analysed using MATLAB and the performance of photovoltaics (PV) was measured using RETScreen. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was then carried out to further investigate the other aspects of solar power, such as fuel efficiency, cost, average lifespan, service and operating costs, and land needs. Results reveal that solar energy is durable and has a good average lifespan but can be little costly, as PV become less efficient amid pollution and dust. Key policy proposals have been proposed based on study findings to meet the country's energy needs while moving toward a sustainable future.