Peshawar (Staff Report): A pivotal one-day seminar titled “Impact of Digitization on Municipal Energy Management” was successfully conducted in Lahore, where it brought together 100 mid-level staff participants from various municipalities across Punjab. The event, generously funded by REEE-SCALE, GIZ, was efficiently implemented by the Center for Intelligent Systems and Networks Research (CISNR) at the University of Engineering & Technology, Peshawar.

Dr. Gul Muhammad, the Director of CISNR, took the stage to enlighten the audience about the primary focus of the project – implementing the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) System in targeted municipalities across KP and Punjab. Dr. Muhammad emphasized that bolstering the local energy management industry has the potential to create job opportunities for the youth and play a pivotal role in mitigating Pakistan’s ongoing energy crisis. Additionally, he underscored the crucial role of data in decision-making and showcased the project’s notable achievements in the targeted municipalities of KP and Punjab. Dr. Gul also highlighted the adverse consequences associated with energy wastage, including the potential for GHG emissions, which could exacerbate issues such as flooding and global warming.

Mr. Abdur Rehman, the Managing Director of Punjab Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency, expressed his gratitude to GIZ and CISNR for providing this platform. He acknowledged the global significance of the energy crisis and emphasized the urgent need to modernize outdated energy management systems to reduce energy costs. Mr. Rehman advocated for lowering energy costs and subsidies for clean and green energy, while encouraging private sector investment to support government funds for the energy sector.

Mr. Detlef Borst, a GIZ consultant, emphasized the importance of implementing digitalization in a sustainable manner. He pointed out that such an approach not only enhances transparency in management and the energy sector but also contributes to the reduction of carbon footprints, aligning with GIZ’s sustainability goals.

Furthermore, the panelists highlighted the necessity of gaining public acceptance of new technology and maintaining consistent energy efficiency standards, regardless of changes in government. They proposed the appointment of trainers in each municipality of Pakistan to provide ongoing energy management training. Additionally, they recommended collaboration between institutions and academia to incorporate energy efficiency into coursework, equipping the youth with knowledge of new technologies for the energy sector. The panelists also urged policy makers to provide more autonomy to municipalities in investments and public-private partnerships.

This seminar represents a significant stride in addressing Pakistan’s energy challenges and promoting sustainable energy management practices, aligning with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 7, 11, and 13. The event serves as a beacon of hope for a brighter and more energy-efficient future.

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