Session 3.3: Solar Plus: Alternatives and Enhancements to Solar for Power Generation

June 9th, 2020

Description:Solar PV as a proven technology presents opportunities for integration of cost-efficient cross-sectoral innovations and value-added benefits in its applications. This session looked at an off-grid community in Pakistan that achieved resilience through enhanced community stewardship and training in operation and maintenance of solar-based appliances. Two cases addressing the climate-energy-water-food nexus challenges in FCAS and SIDS were also presented: hybrid renewable energy systems for agriculture and cold storage as well as greenhouse rooftop solar with rainwater harvesting and solar pumping system. Panelists described a smart-micro grid system that combines a lightweight wind turbine with solar and battery for remote island applications and highlight innovations in ADB’s clean energy financing for FCAS and SIDS.

Moderator: Emma Veve, Deputy Director General, Pacific Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Scene-Setter Talk: Carmela D. Locsin, Special Senior Advisor, OPR, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Demonstrating Benefits of Renewable Energy towards Building Resilience of Marginalised Communities to Climate Change Impacts in Karachi, Pakistan
Presenter: Hamera Aisha, Manager Conservation, WWF-Pakistan

Pakistan is not a significant contributor to carbon emissions yet it is ranked among top ten countries most vulnerable to climate impacts. This paper highlights key outcomes of a WWF initiative focused on enhancing energy security and resilience of climate change vulnerable off-grid communities in the peri-urban setting of Karachi – the largest metropolitan city of Pakistan. The initiative provided solar energy to 2000 HHs, in partnership with K-Electric – one of Pakistan’s leading power companies. The solar energy offered to these household was estimated to mitigate approximately 68.92 tCO2e per year and contributed significantly towards social and economic well-being of the target households. A prime success factor was the enhanced community stewardship and effective training and capacity building to ensure the sustainable adoption of RE solutions. This involved integrating livelihood opportunities, achieved through training of 41 community members in maintenance and management of the solar based appliances. Other indirect gender focused benefits from the provision of reliable solar energy included women’s use of their extra time for making traditional handicrafts, contributing towards their household’s income up to 20%, and more time for children’s safe play and education in the evenings. The initiative also contributed substantially to beneficiary health by curtailing the rate of snake bites, eye infections and pulmo-cutaneous disorders.

A Game Changing CSP Solution for the Livelihood of Islands/Seaside Communities
Presenter: Jey Lain, President, Allogroove Corporation

This CSP system is a complete, self-contained renewable energy solution that addresses many critical livelihood issues facing islands/rural seaside communities. These issues include satisfying daily utility needs and enabling development for the inhabitants. It provides power and water through ECO autonomous adaptation and at the same time creates economic values in greenhouse and fish farming for these isolated and often underserved areas.

Climate Change & Agrivoltaics: Solar Greenhouse
Presenter: Sunit Tyagi , Managing Director, InSolare Energy Private Limited

Climate change will impact the crop growth and resilience of food supplies, it is imperative to build better infrastructure with temperature and humidity-controlled greenhouses to reduce water usage, improve yields and deliver higher-value vegetables, fruits and grains.

Here we proposed the use of Solar PV for energy-intensive farming that reduces the impact of weather on the crops and makes it possible to deliver better performance.

On the one hand,  greenhouse has had limited acceptance because it is difficult to justify the cost of extra capital when solely amortized over pure agricultural benefits. The biggest capital expense is in constructing a greenhouse goes into the structure to be used for the enclosure. While during operational lifetime it is the energy required to run the facility that adds significantly to the operational expense.

On the other hand, large scale solar photovoltaics suffer from misallocated use of precious fertile land. Combining greenhouse design with rooftop use of Solar PV allows saving of land resources for agriculture and allows control of temperature, humidity, lighting & micro-climate by using energy-intensive technology. Today Vertical farming can use LEDs to control light spectrum matched to growth needs of types of vegetables, combining agroponics, hydroponics techniques allow pest-free higher yields. Majority of the PV generated energy can be sold to local grid or provide power for pumping from tube wells and rainwater harvesting.


  • Tom Clausen, Director, Flowgen Technology
  • Annika Seiler, Senior Advisor to the Vice President, VPFR, Asian Development Bank (ADB)