Islamabad, Feb 23: Pakistan's parliament today became the first in the world to completely run on solar power, a venture supported by close ally China with a whopping USD 55 million funding. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a simple ceremony switched on solar-powered building of the parliament in capital Islamabad.
First announced in 2014, the venture has been funded by the Chinese government as an act of friendship, with the solar power plant costing around USD 55 million. "This the first time since independence (1947) that parliament has become self-sufficient in electricity through solar power.
Other institutions in private and public sector need to follow it," he said in his brief speech. The project to run parliament on solar power was launched last year when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited and addressed the parliament. China provided over USD 55 million to carry out the project.
"This is another example of Pak-China friendship," Sharif said. Chinese ambassador to Pakistan was also present during the ceremony. According to speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq, the parliament solar panels will generate 80 MW power. He said 62 MW will be sufficient for parliament while 18 MW will be given to national grid.
Pakistan's parliament has become the first in the world to run entirely on solar power. Officials said that there are some parliaments like the Israeli Knesset which are partly run on solar power.