Licencing issues for solar panels?

A wonderful discussion topic sent in by a reader wellwisher, which i think is a good follow-up to umers post on solar energy. Since im not too sure what the rules or regulations regarding this sector, i invite some of our more learned readers to shed some light on this issue:

I have heard that it is illegal to buy or use solar panels unless you have the licence and pay taxes for using it… It some cases it is totally illegal. Why so? What harm we are doing to the country and government? We will solve the loadshedding problem doing so and we will also produce electricity using environmental friendly ways. In foreign country esp the oil producing ones where solar panels are not allowed such as Saudi Arabia, Iran etc, the reason is that much of the electricity they produce will become useless… they want more of their total electricity to be used because they have a big surplus in electric production.. above that they charge much lower rates for greater consumption!! But where pakistan stands in this case, the government should take notice at this.. what do you think?

If indeed there is such a requirement, do you think its feasible to control it this tightly here?

9 Comments so far

  1. Saadu (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

    Strange! I did not know that. Someone confirm this with an authentic source please. I was hoping to install solar panels in my future home.

    If it is true, i would not be surprised as many rules in Pakistan are made by monkeys out of touch with the reality. Or its a conspiracy to milk us more. But say, you have solar panels and you don’t mix it’s feed with regular household power, who is stopping you from connecting your heater or cooler in to it directly?


  2. Mr Profanity (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 5:22 pm

    Yeah i agree, i mean really whats the harm in deploying your own solar solution! Not only that but these morons should move their collective asses and think of it as a bigger commerical project alongwith the windmills idea. You put a couple hundred windmills in a windy area somewhere in pakistan and presto, more energy. But nooooooooo these schumcks dont get it. Maybe ill jump on the solar bandwagon and the first thing ill do is shoot these bastards with bolts of lightning from my ass.


  3. ny (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 5:48 pm

    Sun will loose its light if you consume solar power.


  4. Alz (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 7:57 pm

    Nice one NY!!

    may be government wont be able to analyse the amount of electricity consumed. or the govt. still looking for ot measure amount of sunlight used by solar panels so they can tax people for using solar energy


  5. podracer (unregistered) on July 4th, 2006 @ 10:12 am

    Technology crippling by the Pakistan government is common-place here, which is quite sad. Look at the telecom sector. I mean, why can’t I use my CDMA phone just like a cell phone? The reason they give is that it will result in huge losses for the GSM companies. So what? Isn’t this what a free market economy is all about? What use is privatization if you keep crushing competing alternatives? In the end only the consumer will lose.

    Come on, this is plain common sense! The government is self-contradictory in its own policies :(


  6. mansoor (unregistered) on July 4th, 2006 @ 1:09 pm

    podracer: that is called ‘regulation’. You may not agree with it, but its a sad reality that investors do need to be assured that their investment will be worth it and show returns. As far as saving the GSM operators from the WLL operators, it is a reality that GSM operators invest more in the country, and that foriegn exchange is needed. If they’re put at risk, they will pack up and leave.. then who will be benefiting?


  7. podracer (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 11:16 am

    Let me elaborate a bit on this.

    Following are just a few of their typical characteristics (this goes for all telecom operators):

    1. They are already reaping humongous profits at the cost of the consumers
    2. They have pathetic quality of service.
    3. They refuse to cooperative with steps the government takes against cell-phone theft/dacoity (this is a serious issue here, people get killed!)
    4. Technologically, they are DECADES behind the rest of the world

    What do you have to say about that? Where are those “important” government regulations now?

    They are staying and will stay in Pakistan for their own benefit. Government sponsored monopolies have no place in a free-market economy fueled by privatization. This is sheer hijacking by a group of companies meaning to fleece consumers.

    The general question at hand is: What has the government done to protect consumers?

    Let me answer that myself: There is no consumer protection in this lawless country anyway. We can dream on :)


  8. mansoor (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 11:37 am

    podracer:

    1. Cost of the customer? how do u say that? rates have gone WWAAYY down, different packages are coming up, its now much cheaper to call from a mobile than using a payphone… and so on

    2. pathetic quality of service.. if your talkin about mobilink, then i may agree with you, but the other 3 are still going pretty good. i dont hear complains about them so often..

    3. This i may concede to you, however, two out of the six companies have installed the systems, with two more in the later stages (read a news report on this in dawn the other day).

    4. Technologically podracer:

    1. Cost of the customer? how do u say that? rates have gone WWAAYY down, different packages are coming up, its now much cheaper to call from a mobile than using a payphone… and so on

    2. pathetic quality of service.. if your talkin about mobilink, then i may agree with you, but the other 3 are still going pretty good. i dont hear complains about them so often..

    3. This i may concede to you, however, two out of the six companies have installed the systems, with two more in the later stages (read a news report on this in dawn the other day).

    4. Technologically


  9. podracer (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 12:20 pm

    I don’t want to get into a debate or sound unreasonable here… but it’s slightly tempting… so just this once :)

    1. Comparing mobiles and payphones is not fair. I agree that rates have gone down, but still its a hugely profitable business. We need to move ahead.

    2. You agree… I use ufone… it sux too… and ever try calling their support? I was unfortunate enough to do that once and did get through after trying for half an hour (and even that is ‘record’ time). The first question they asked me was… “What’s your phone number?” How lame :)

    3. I don’t see any effect of these “newly installed systems”. Check the metro pages in Dawn… 50 stolen cell phones a day is a common average. All the cell phone companies can do is block your SIM and not your set.

    4. I would say that we sure are decades behind others, but we might get there in the next couple of years. Can’t say anything about quality of service though.

    We have gone slightly off-topic, but I wanted to use this as an example for lack of protection for the consumer here. Adding hurdles in the way of the consumer to opt for other viable options is self-destructive in nature for the market as a whole. Be it GSM vs. CDMA or KESC vs. Solar Panels.



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