Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday expressed determination to utilize in every possible way the available resources for generating solar energy to save the precious foreign exchange reserves being spent on import of oil and gas for generation of expensive thermal power. He was talking to a delegation of China Three Gorges International (CTGI), Kohala Hydro Power Project and Karot Hydro Power Project led by Charge d’ Affairs of Chinese embassy Pang Chunxue. He said the government was determined for solarization of Pakistan. The prime minister thanked CTGI for timely completion of Karot Hydro Power Project and provision of free electricity to Pakistan before the start of the commercial operation of the project. He evinced keen interest in working with China for generating electricity through alternative sources of energy including hydel, solar and wind. He asked the CTGI to present a comprehensive technical, financial and economic plan after Eid to generate at least 7000-8000 megawatts. Later, CTGI delegation requested extension in the time for Letter of Support for securing investment from Sinosure China for the completion of the Kohala Hydropower Project. The prime minister directed the relevant officials to issue new Letter of Support till July 20 and ordered them to remove all obstacles as soon as possible in completion of Kohala Hydro Power Project. The member of Pakistan Muslim League (N) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Power Engineer Khurram Dastgir, Minister for Water Resources Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah, Advisor to Prime Minister Ahad Cheema, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Zafaruddin Mehmood and officials concerned attended the meeting. The government is set to announce a comprehensive National Solar Policy on August 1 to provide cheap and environmental-friendly electricity to the general public. The decision was taken by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as he chaired a high-level meeting of the Energy Task Force aimed at addressing the problems of energy shortage in the country. The implementation of the National Solar Policy will be subject to approval by the Council of Common Interests. The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Energy Engineer Khurram Dastagir, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Petroleum Minister Mussadik Malik and the officials concerned. The chief secretaries of four provinces joined the meeting through a video link. PM Sharif directed the task force to get feedback from the provinces on the draft solar policy and stressed ensuring unanimity of views at the provincial level on the projects of alternative energy generation. Also, it was decided to shift the Prime Minister’s Office and the PM House to solar energy within one month. The prime minister said the government was committed to making the country self-reliant in energy generation. He mentioned that solar power was a clean and green way of electricity generation and said the solar projects would mitigate the issues such as distribution losses, power theft, and circular debt. PM Sharif said affordable solar power would reduce the burden of inflation on the common man. The meeting was informed that a proposal for converting the fuel-based powerhouses and the 2,000 feeders of 11 KV to solar generation was on the cards. Switching the government buildings to solar power generation was also discussed in detail. It was told that in the next 10 years, solar plants with 1,000 megawatts generation would be installed at the government buildings on a BOOT (Build-Own-Operate-Transfer) basis. The meeting also discussed the proposals for B2B (business-to-business) and mini solar grids. It was highlighted that a plan to convert 30,000 tube wells in Balochistan to solar power was under consideration with a cost of Rs300 billion. The meeting also discussed the proposal to provide solar plants to individuals with a facility of net-metering.