Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Pakistan's Parliament First in the World to Go 100% Solar

Business
Pakistan's Parliament First in the World to Go 100% Solar

Pakistan's parliament has become the first national assembly in the world to be powered entirely by solar energy. The legislative body, known as the Majlis-e-Shoora, is in the capital city of Islamabad.

Construction on the project began last year with funding provided by the Chinese government as "an act of friendship," the Independent reported.

The plant, which cost $52 million to build, produces 80 megawatts of electricity, 62 of which will power the national assembly and 18 of which will feed into the national grid. According to PV Magazine, the parliament could save an estimated $1 million per year in energy bills with the new solar power plant.

Feb. 12 marked the first time members of parliament met while the lower house was being powered by solar. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to formally "switch on" the program later this month, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported.

"This is the first project of its kind [in a public building] in Pakistan, and later more public buildings will be converted to solar power to overcome the energy crisis,” Munawar Abbas Shah, special secretary at the national assembly, said previously. “The consumption of electricity in the parliament even jumps over 2 megawatts in summers when the house is in session."

The Israeli parliament installed solar panels on its roof last year, creating at the time the largest solar array on any national assembly in the world. Its 1,500 panels covered 10 percent of its energy use.

In Pakistan, nearly half of all residents are not connected to the national grid. Residents who are connected to the grid regularly experience rolling blackouts and power outages. And the problem is only expected to get worse in the coming years.

"Within the next few years, Pakistan’s peak power demand is likely to exceed current installed capacity by nearly 10,000 megawatts," The Wall Street Journal reported. "Total energy demand will nearly double in the next 10 years, and quadruple in the next 60."

Pakistan's solar insolation is one of the highest in the world, and foreign investors are taking note. They invested more than $3 billion in Pakistan's renewable energy sector in 2015.

One example is the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park, a partnership between Pakistan and the Chinese company Xinjiang SunOasis. When the $130 million project is complete in 2017, it will be the world's largest solar farm. It's part of a larger project, the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Construction on the first phase, a 100-megawatt, 400,000-panel pilot project, was completed last year in just three months. When the entire project is operational, the site could have 5.2 million photovoltaic cells, “producing as much as 1,000 megawatts of electricity—equivalent to an average sized coal-fired power station—and enough to power about 320,000 households,” China Dialogue reported.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Solar-Powered Vacuum Could Suck Up 24,000 Tons of Ocean Plastic Every Year

World’s Tallest Solar Tower to Supply 120,000 Homes With Renewable Energy

Morocco Flips Switch on First Phase of World’s Largest Solar Plant

This Solar Road Will Provide Power to 5 Million People

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will boost the immune system. Stevens Fremont / The Image Bank / Getty Images

By Grayson Jaggers

The connection between the pandemic and our dietary habits is undeniable. The stress of isolation coupled with a struggling economy has caused many of us to seek comfort with our old friends: Big Mac, Tom Collins, Ben and Jerry. But overindulging in this kind of food and drink might not just be affecting your waistline, but could potentially put you at greater risk of illness by hindering your immune system.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A graphic shows how Rhoel Dinglasan's smartphone-based saliva test works. University of Florida

As the world continues to navigate the line between reopening and maintaining safety protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus, rapid and accurate diagnostic screening remains critical to control the outbreak. New mobile-phone-based, self-administered COVID-19 tests being developed independently around the world could be a key breakthrough in making testing more widely available, especially in developing nations.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less
A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

Read More Show Less

Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch