February 12, 2008 (The International News) – A household can lit a candle or an emergency light to illuminate the house, but it does not work for the industry, as it requires uninterrupted power supply. Industry is facing a production loss due to current power crisis.
Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) President Shaikh Fazal Jaleel told The News that there was 50 per cent decline in production due to power breakdowns. When asked whom he considered the biggest enemy of investors in Pakistan; the so-called terrorism or energy crises; “energy crises,” he said.
A large number of industrialists in Karachi are generating their own electricity due to recurrent power breakdowns. Country is going through the worst energy crisis both at the domestic and the industrial level, but no measures have yet been adopted. Experts call it lack of policies and not the potential.
Pakistan has mostly been focusing on hydroelectric power generation ignoring other potential areas including coal, solar and wind. The policy makers have been focusing over construction of Kalabagh dam, which has proved to be the most controversial water project in this country, as people of the three provinces Sindh; the NWFP and Balochistan have repeatedly rejected this project.
According to the Energy Information Administration, Pakistan is among countries that fully depend on hydroelectric power generation. Pakistan’s total hydroelectric power consumption in 2005 was 30.55 billion kilowatts against 22.23 billion kw in 1998. During the first few years of the military coup the energy consumption and generation went down. In 2000 and 2001 it was recorded at 17.02 and 18.75 billion kilowatts respectively.
Nepal, having much potential in hydroelectric generation used only 2.39 billion kilowatts in 2005. Indonesia more populated than Pakistan, used 10.65 billion kilowatts and Malaysia only 5.73 billion kilowatts of hydroelectric energy in 2005. United Kingdom used only 4.46 billion kilowatts of energy in 2006.
Pakistan despite of having nuclear capability did not match other nuclear states in power generation. Its nuclear power generation remained at only 2.55 billion kilowatt-hours in 2006 against India’s 15.59 billion kilowatts. The US, France, Japan, Germany and Russia are leaders in the nuclear energy consumption.
The United States generated more than three times of Pakistan’s total energy from alternate sources like the geothermal, wood, wind, solar and waste electric power. Pakistan contributes zero percent in this category. India used 7.68 billion kilowatts of alternate energy in 2005. Indonesia generated 6.27 billion kilowatts energy.
Dr Suleman Shaikh, Secretary Board of Trustees Szabist who supervised Szabist Renewable Energy Research Centre at Gharo told The News that the country had potential of generating 3000 megawatts through wind alone from Gharo to Badin.
He said since Szabist did the research only, it could not afford the equipment, as it was not focusing on commercial basis. However, he called solar energy a very much sustainable way of power generation.
Pakistan does not make solar cells. China is producing the cheapest solar cells in the region followed by India. Generally in Pakistan but particularly in Sindh sun shines between 6 to 8 hours daily. In Sindh, there is occasional rainfall, so the solar energy can be used effectively, said Shaikh.
India has been using solar energy in Rajhistan. In Sindh, at smaller level solar energy has also been generated in Thar. It can be replicated; he said.”Once you put up the system, then there is no running cost. You can conserve it in batteries. Technology is available,” Shaikh said.
He said the coal at Soonda Thatta and Thar could be the biggest and the cheapest source of energy but it would end the monopoly of Wapda. At policy level they prefer hydropower, as dams could be controlled for other purposes. Hydropower is not sustainable source of energy, water depends on seasons and rainfall. The dam would be developed in 7 to 10 years while coal project would generate power in 2 years only, he said.
5 thoughts on “Need to focus on sustainable power generation stressed (Pakistan)”
Shaikh Fazal Jaleel is perfectly correct. Pakistan has no alternative but to do all in its power to access renewable energy in tandem with releasing its coal assets.
There is no possibility of Industry reaching full production when loadshedding can reduce the working day to a few hours. Pakistan has enough waste and natural resources to become 100% independent of imported oil and coal.
The technologies are available and the country has no shortages of wealthy companies and individuals, as well as access to Asian Development Bank and other soft loan sources.
A boutique approach is required using a combination of all the renewable technologies.
Wind, Solar, Geo-thermal, biomass, tide, heat recovery. All these tehcnologies and more will save Pakistan foreign currency and protect the environment.
Many billions of rupees are available under the Clean Development Mechanism, to RE projects that protect the environment.
The high price of oil has made the ROI of Renewable Enegry projects comparable with the most profitable industries World Wide.
Come on Pakistan, go for it, and become the Tiger Economy your people deserve.
Half my month every month is spent in Pakistan and I can vouch for the huge potential in the most hospitable of Nations.
thank you, mr. robert orr, for your appreciation of the potential you see in pakistani people. i am a young, educated pakistani, and a recent interest in solar energy and the potential commercial implementation in pakistan led me to this article (google is great). i am planning to initiate some sort of solar energy implementation in pakistan – at this point, i am just studying the technology and doing preliminary research.
ure guidance to the Clean Dev mechanism for funding is hoepfully going to come in handy.
mr ron mahabir, thanks for writing the above article. it definitely gives me starting points in my planned entrepreurship endavour. i have lived in pakistan and suffered the retardedness of electricity shortages and the effects on family’s and businesses.
i feel that if solar energy is feasible and marketed correctly then it can definitely take off. im thinking of some sort of co-branding venture with some of the larger fmcg companies – where they would invest the capital, and in return receive space for brand marketing. ideas are just starting to come through and i hope to go ahead with my project.
any guidelines / reading materials / resources etc that you can share with me will be very much appreciated.
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While Solar is indeed a very potential source of energy, it is not yet base load and so does not yet fulfil the nations requirement for 24/7 electricity. The cost has to be compared with technologies that will give more power for longer periods and so is expensive compared to biomass, which can give 24/7 gas to be used for electrical generation, both from anaerobic digestion and gasification, depending on the organic waste composition.
Pakistan has Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in all its towns and cities that can be gasified producing significant electrical capacity (from syngas), and significant levels of animal by-products, distillery wastes and other organic materials, such that it can reduce its dependence on imported oil to a very great degree.
Both these gas producing technologies are profitable, and qualify for the UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism, enabling the projects to earn CER’s (commonly known as Carbon Credits).
Geothermal heat pumps can be used to operate air condioning systems, for 30% of the electricity needed for standard A/C units.
Geothermal energy, using the heat from deep in the earth is 24/7 base load technology, fuel free and available in many parts of the nation, using just conventional oil drilling technology.
Its time for Pakistan businessmen to step up to the mark, and put their money, into making green money by making the country work toward energy independence. Profit with Pride should be the mantra when it comes to renewable energy.
I’m doing my bit making bio-gas and great organic fertiliser from buffalo dung in Landhi Cattle Colony but much more is needed if we are to remove Pakistans’ dependency on other countries who may not have her best interests at heart.