With the tremendous extent of electricity shortage in Pakistan, people are finding all means of alternative methods to compensate for the lack of electricity supply. Being very creative at using modest things with highly technologized application, a “Solar Auto Rickshaw” had been developed in Pakistan by M/s United Services International Group (USIG) of Lahore along with the help of Pakistan Institute of Technology for Minerals and Advance Engineering Materials Lahore. Although this is not the first time that a solar auto rickshaw has been produced as people have made such an innovation in India, but this is the first time occurrence in Pakistan.
Applying collaborative research to the project, they were able to develop this indigenous and innovative Solar Auto Rickshaw. The solar-powered rickshaw can work independent of any petrol use or CNG. There are five solar panels operating on the rickshaw with five batteries and is driven by one Direct Current (DC) Motor. However, the cost of this innovative solar rickshaw is Rs.30,000, but it can be covered within a year. The normal speed that it can give is 50 km/hr to 70 km/hr.
On the other hand, it is good news that inaugural ceremony for the production of high quality solar panels from mono-crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells will be held on December 21, 2012, Friday by Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET). Formerly, National Institute of Silicon Technology (NIST) and the Pakistan Council for Appropriate Technologies (PCAT) were operating separately. However in 2001, they were merged together to form PCRET.
Most of the innovative research and development on renewable energy technologies is undertaken by PCRET with experts from all across Pakistan contributing their research and ideas to various projects. PCRET has offices in every major city in Pakistan, including at Abbottabad, Muzafarabad, Bhalwalpur, and Ghokti. It is important that further research projects are undertaken to meet the needs of energy crisis and also to use renewable energy resources which are both safe for the environment and better for the economy.