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Solar tubewells... By Ali

12 February, 2014

The crippling energy shortage in Pakistan has affected almost all the sectors of the country, agriculture being one of them. At present, there are more than one million tubewells in Pakistan, out of which about 650,000 run on diesel and 350,000 on electricity. The worsening energy situation along with the diesel cost mean that farmers need to find alternate, cost-effective sources for running these tubewells. Each farmer can save Rs 314,400 annually by converting his tubewell to solar energy.

Solar tubewells are best suited for remote areas or areas with extensive load shedding. Such solar systems won't need any batteries as the energy generated by this system would be used to directly extract water. Around four to six solar panels would need to be installed, depending on the depth at which the underground water is available and the diameter of the pipe. The cost of the batteries would be eliminated. Farmers should be facilitated with a long-term loan scheme. If one solar tubewell can give a farmer Rs 314,400 in savings per year, how much amount would be saved by converting one million tubewells to solar energy in a year's time?

Ali Asghar

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