Govt to include local manufacturers in Solar policy making

The government has decided to initiate a meeting involving local solar panel, glass, and inverter manufacturers to pinpoint the deficiencies in the Solar Panel and Allied Equipment Manufacturing Policy 2023 and establish a roadmap for its effective execution. Led by the Joint Secretary (LED) of the Ministry of Industries and Production, the meeting included representatives from various key entities such as the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), Ministries of Finance, Commerce, Energy (Power Division), Science and Technology, Board of Investment, Federal Board of Revenue, and EDB.

Neelofur Hafeez, Joint Secretary (LED), MoI&P, outlined the meeting’s objectives, referring to decisions made in the 5th meeting of the Apex Committee of the SIFC, emphasizing the need for a local manufacturing policy for solar panels and an assessment of current capabilities and gaps in the sector. She stressed the cost- effectiveness of solar energy production and the potential for attracting investments and promoting exports.

Raza Abbas Shah, CEO of EDB, detailed the policy formulation process, highlighting stakeholder consultations and efforts to gain policy approval. Shah underscored the importance of rectifying tariff anomalies and ensuring a consistent policy to drive investment, predicting increased demand for solar glass manufacturing as local solar panel production expands.

Khuda Bakhsh Ali, General Manager (SDG/tariff) at EDB, presented the policy’s key aspects, emphasizing the potential for generating affordable electricity through solar technology. He also highlighted industry gaps and ongoing efforts to establish internationally accredited testing lab infrastructure for solar modules’ certification by 2024 under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoS&T).