A drive to bring solar power to northern Pakistan may result in 5,800 off grid homes being given access to clean energy in the one of the country’s poorest provinces.Â Â
The scheme is part of the Green Growth Initiative launched a year ago in Peshawar by Imran Khan, the legendary Pakistani cricket captain, who has since become the chairman of the Tehreek-e-Insaf party, which is presently in power in that province.Â
The scheme has now been extended to Pakhtunkhwa province in the northern Khyber region. Under its terms, 29 households in 200 villages will each receive a 200W panel over the next nine months. The provincial government has said the project will cost $4m.Â
Khan said: "We will exploit renewable energy resources and produce our own electricity, after which we will not need to beg from the centre."Â
The initiative is currently working on running buses using renewable resources, such as biofuel and rechargeable batteries. Atif Khan, the provincial minister for education, energy and power, said that over the next three years, the government planned to bring solar energy to one in 10 homes among the 40% in the region that have no access to grid electricity.Â Â
Altogether,Â 44% of homes in Pakistan are not connected to the grid, of which 80% are in rural areas.