Union of Small and Medium Enterprises urges Govt to support SMEs in installing renewable energy systems

LAHORE: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the government to get serious and support the SMEs in installing renewable energy systems for their unmet energy needs as the energy crisis is becoming more and more acute and remove unnecessary formalities and hurdles and facilitate investors.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said that it is very difficult for an investor to install a renewal energy system as at every stage the entrepreneur receives unfriendly treatment and instead of welcoming the initiative he receives hostile treatment from the regulators.

The government needs to get critically involved in Renewable Energy Projects (REP) as well as research in the Solar, Bio Fuels, Wind and Hydrogen Fuel Cell and not only that the government will have to initiate a couple of challenging projects with private public sector partnerships he reiterated.

He emphasized that the government will have to select locations and commission/install medium sized wind and solar energy projects. Provide market insights in the renewable energy industry and order the Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) Wind Energy of Pakistan (WEP), Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) to work jointly and take the local consultants on board and also the Small and Medium Enterprising Development Authority(SMEDA) to help them in project planning for wind and solar energy projects and inform the entrepreneurs about regional policies and concerned authorities and provide contacts of local and international manufacturers of renewable energy systems.

Obaid ur Rahman Convener UNISAME Renewable Energy Committee said the misconceptions about renewable energy must be removed that the technology is quite costly and involves huge initial capital investments , low energy density as compared to conventionally available energy systems and less efficient. In fact renewable technology is the key in getting rid off the fossil fuel dependency.

Obaid said that “Renewable Energy is the key to get freedom”. He added that there had been a lot of serious activity/developments going around in the renewable energy sector of Pakistan this year and many European countries notably Netherland, Germany and Turkey have shown their commitments in the field.

He pointed out that new small enterprises and companies have already started selling micro scale renewable energy products, but there are many hurdles involved in the overall process from Importing to the final commissioning of the renewable systems, many elements contribute in the overall cost increment of the project along with the time delays. Though import duties and other taxes could be rounded off to 0%, but the whole process of clearing the green stuff from the hands of the customs is quite complicated and costly. Moreover, the policies are also quite vague and a project must have proper NOCs and paper work done to avoid any chances of getting busted by KESC or government authorities.

He stated that the best solution is to get AEDB and WEP on board with the project along with proper marketing campaign done to get government attention as well.

He suggested that UNISAME must highlight the importance of Carbon Credits and must also recommend subsidy & benefits to the entrepreneurs investing in renewable energy industry. Moreover, like other countries, even a micro scale (100watts-5kW) investor must have the freedom to sell his electricity to the National Grid. It will not only encourage the locals to buy their own systems, but small and medium scale enterprises can also benefit from the suggested clause.

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