Pakistani women studying renewable energy at SEI |

Pakistani women studying renewable energy at SEI

John Colson Post IndependentSamina Iqbal, left, and Aria Daniel, two Sisters of Loretto nuns from Pakistan, were studying solar hot water installations last week at Solar Energy International, a nonprofit located at the Third Street Center in Carbondale.

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Two women from Pakistan were in class last week at Solar Energy International, one of the nonprofit occupants of the Third Street Center, learning how to install solar hot-water systems on buildings.

Samina Iqbal and Aria Daniel have returned to Carbondale from Punjab Province, the largest province in Pakistan, to take another class from SEI.

Both are nuns with the Sisters of Loretto, an international Catholic religious institution that celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. It has chapters in 16 states as well as Bolivia, Chile, China, Ghana, Peru and Pakistan.

This week’s class is Daniel’s sixth seminar at SEI and Iqbal’s second.

They are studying renewable energy technology as part of their mission to bring electricity, clean water and other necessities to impoverished parts of their homeland.

“We have lots of sun, and it is just resting there,” said Daniel, 40. “There is solar distribution, but not much.” She said some entrepreneurs in Pakistan are selling solar panels made in Germany and China.

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The women have been back and forth between the U.S. and Pakistan, and have installed some renewable technology on some buildings, they said.

“People are open to it, but it is very expensive in Pakistan,” said Daniel. Any equipment shipped into the country is subject to “very high import-export duties,” she said.

Iqbal said the two have traveled to 22 states in the U.S. as part of their mission.

They planned to leave Carbondale after the SEI class ended on Friday, but expect to return for another class later in the summer.

Both women are scheduled to leave the country and return to Pakistan in August.