Pakistan has always been in the grip of sustainable energy scarcity. There is an ever increase in energy demand that cannot be fulfilled using the current resources.
“It is estimated that around 144 million Pakistanis out of 197 million face electricity load shedding. They can be grouped into (a) Off-grid, undeserved: About 69 million rural Pakistanis who are not connected to the national grid, and (b) On-grid, undeserved: About 75 million urban and rural Pakistanis who are connected to the national grid but experience daily load-shedding in excess of 12 hours on average. This amounts to almost 22 million households facing a serious energy crisis.”
Around the world, solar energy particularly, is positioned to become a new source of sustainable energy. The increased awareness towards environmental issues has prompted a new shift towards low-carbon energy alternatives that has enabled new investment in the alternate energy. “Pakistani households spend $ 2.3 billion per year on alternative lighting products.”
Commercial manufacturing of the PV Systems has served to decrease the cost of its components with the passage of time due to advancements in manufacturing technology, techniques and process. Pakistan predominantly requires alternate sources of energy to both deal with the environmental challenges and the energy shortage.
This feasibility study explores the opportunity that exists in the Home (PV) Distribution Business, in Pakistan. Hybrid Systems are more appealing because of the flexibility to connect along with the national grid electricity connection. So will enable the consumers to utilize the solar energy as an energy saving option in the presence of the electricity as well as to provide as a backup power in the absence of electricity in the day times with the ability to charge the batteries that will provide backup in the nights.
A photo-voltaic system employs solar panels composed of a number of solar cells to supply usable solar power. The direct conversion of sunlight to electricity occurs without any moving parts or environmental emissions during operation.
Following are the key parameters for the proposed distribution unit:
Technology: There are three types of Solar (PV) Systems widely available: o The first type is the Grid Tied Systems that are connected to the utility power grids, which is an alternative power generation method like the hydel or fuel or gas generators used by power companies to meet the needs of the area or city or country and they will only work in the presence of sunlight.
The second type is the Off-Grid PV System that are also known as standalone Systems. This type of Systems are not connected to the grid and it requires batteries. The batteries ensure the availability of electricity even in the absence of sunlight. These types of systems are mainly used in the remote areas, which are not in the reach of national power distribution.
The third type is the Hybrid PV Systems, it is best suited for households because of the flexibility to connect along with the national grid electricity connection.
Location: This solar back-up power business can be located anywhere in Pakistan, especially in urban cities like Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Multan, Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Rawalpindi, Quetta, Peshawer, Mirpur and Islamabad.
Product: This distribution business would buy the Hybrid PV Systems from the importers or distributors which would be sold to and installed at premises of the end consumers.
Target Market: The target market for the proposed business consists of three segments. The proposed segments are household consumers, small sized businesses and organizations, and educational institutions located in major cities of the country.
Employment Generation: The distribution unit would generate both direct and indirect employment. Direct employment would be provided to 6 people. One person who would look after the accounts and general administration activities, one person would handle marketing and procurement and three people with technical skills are proposed to be engaged to manage system installation and after sales services
The complete Pre-feasibility study for Solar system business in Pakistan by SMEDA, can be downloaded below: