International Solar Expo and Conference held at Peshawar

The First International Solar Expo and Conference #ISE2024 was held on June 1-2, 2024. The Event was attended by delegates from the industry, civil society, academia and government organisations. The Event was organised by Prof M Subhan Qureshi, as Chief Patron, Engr Zeeshan Saeed Shah CEO, Engr Saad Rashid CTO, Engr Irfan ul Haq Qureshi Coordinator General, senior staff of SunSaviour and Volunteers.

Industrial products, services and academic contributions were displayed through 30 stalls by private companies and universities. Three Panel Discussions were held, participated by 22 senior academicians and industry leaders. Keynote lectures were delivered by 7 notable leaders from academia and industry. xxxTen postgraduate scholars and researchers presented their research findings and ideas through powerpoint while xxx16 posters were presented by young scholars. Three top presenters were awarded cash prizes of Rs.50,000, Rs.30,000 and Rs.15,000, respectively. All the delegates were provided certificates of attendance on request. 

Mr Ghulam Ali, Ex-Governor KP inaugurated the Event as the Chief Guest. He compared the status of Kashgar and Peshawar during meetings of the respective Mayors during 1983 and highlighted the tremendous potential of development for this region. The current event was the best model of engaging the educated youth in productive activities. GreenWend Energy was demonstrated as the best startup model in delivering solar energy services to the residential and commercial entities. Its products wing, the SunSaviour developed advanced versions of the inverters and lithium ion batteries, produced the same in Chinese factories and marketed in Pakistan with higher acceptance levels of the consumers. Best option for our youth would be to launch their solar energy related business setups for overcoming the energy, employment, environmental and financial crisis prevailing in the country. 

President, Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Mr Fuad Ishaq chaired the Concluding Session. The President SCCI urged the government to take steps to promote the solar and green energy sector, which is the only way to fulfil the growing energy needs of the country that will not only provide a clean environment but also create employment opportunities. Keeping in the prevailing scenario, the SCCI chief identified solar energy as the only path to overcome the increasing energy crisis and needed to encourage this important sector at governmental level. He agreed on the Recommendations presented by Prof M Subhan Qureshi, Chief Patron ISE2024 and establishment of a Steering Committee on Solar Energy to oversee the issues faced by the to: 1) oversee the issues faced by the stakeholders; 2) facilitate the ongoing university graduates to establish entrepreneurship models and; 3) to work on reducing the burden on public treasury through solarization of the state owned entities like universities, schools, colleges, offices, tubewells, etc.


Based upon the advice of the Chief Guest of the Inaugural Session, Haji Ghulam Ali, Ex-Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Ex.Member Senate of Pakistan and Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Commerce and Textile Industry; advice of the Chief Guest of the Concluding Session, opinion of the members of the Panel Discussions and the Audience, the following recommendations are presented: 

  1. The recent bloom in the solar industry through investment of private sector and the residential and commercial consumers have resulted in expansion of the volume of business several folds (1.41 GW in 2024), but rumours of unjustified taxing of the consumers instead of incentivizing it, is resulting in an unrest among the people. A duty of about 40-50% has been imposed on import of inverters and lithium batteries, which is strange as the solar panels have been exempted from such duties. Hence, we recommend that Solar Energy Applications must be taken as a higher priority policy item at federal and provincial levels through legislative, administrative and financial coverage.
  2. The practice of approval of the green energy metres for the solar systems installed in the province is troublesome for the consumers as it takes a very long time and passess through many hands expecting illegal favours. An transparent, user-friendly, online system may be introduced for allotment of greenwend energy metre to the consumers after uploading the essential document and the government approved fees.
  3. The outgoing graduates from the universities would be facilitated in establishing solar based business setups in manufacturing, marketing or service delivery. ORIC offices of the Universities would be tasked to oversee such activities in coordination with the local and international solar companies, investors and donor agencies through an appropriate Endowment Fund not less than Rs.2 billion to be managed jointly by a 15- members Steering Committee of the private and public sector organisations, hosted by SCCI. Successful models like Inverex, GreenWend Energy, SunSaviour, Sky Electric, Tesla Pakistan would support the Committee in identifying startup models. 
  4. Financial Institutions would provide access to easy finance for such startups. The State Bank of Pakistan and Bank of Khyber would allocate special packages for supporting this initiative.  
  5. Manufacturing solar energy devices within the country and through joint ventures abroad, must be supported through an incentive package, covering regulatory, financial and marketing aspects, as an import substitution measure.
  6. A special package may be provided for solarizing of the vulnerable families and individuals and houses located in the remote regions, with meagre power consumption, through reduced costing.
  7. The Solar Energy sector may be provided legislative cover, not to be affected by political disturbances. 
  8. Bureaucratic hurdles usually hinder the development process in the country in spite of a strong political will for change; which needs to be overcome through legislation.
  9. Universities may introduce postgraduate training and degree programs in designing, manufacturing, marketing and entrepreneurship development. 
  10. Food Security may be ensured through Solar Energy Applications like water pumps, solar dryers, pest control, electric fences in livestock farms, solar tractors and other farm vehicles, solar greenhouses, solar cold storage, solar sensor and monitoring systems, solar irrigation controllers, solar grain mills, may be introduced. China, India, Kenya, Netherlands and the USA have adopted such technology resulting in boosting agriculture and livestock productivity. 
  11. The issue of payment to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) has been a permanent headache for the government, national exchequer and the common man. A serious dialogue may be initiated with the IPPs and a one time Golden HandShake must be made to get rid of these chronic issues.  
  12. Training accreditation and certification of service providers, installers, engineers, and technicians to ensure the quality of services and inputs to the clients of solar energy applications.
  13. A Steering Committee on Solar Energy (SCSE) will be established at Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industries to: 1) oversee the issues faced by the stakeholders; 2) facilitate the outgoing university graduates to establish entrepreneurship models based upon their academic wisdom, in manufacturing and services in solar energy and; 3) to work on reducing the burden on public treasury through solarization of the state owned entities like universities, schools, colleges, offices, etc. The SCSE will be backed up by an Endowment Fund of Rs.5 billion and will comprise membership from 4 universities, 3 private companies, 2 government departments, 2 civil societies and 2 SCCI.

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