Renewable energy is the only solution of energy crisis

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Renewable energy is the only solution of energy crisis

Ismat Sabir

Energy is the lifeline of any country. Pakistan is facing chronic and severe energy crisis which has badly affected the industry and economy. The reasons for acute energy crisis in Pakistan are growing energy demand due to population growth, imbalance energy mix, and non utilization of indigenous resources, lack of proper planning, high transmission and distribution losses, circular debt and above all, lack of concern towards renewable energy sources. Pakistan depends too much on gas and oil, to meet industrial and domestic demands. Among all renewable energy sources the solar energy is the most plentiful and widely spread in the country. Solar PV power potential has been estimated as 1600 GW which is about 80 times greater than current non-renewable energy power generation in Pakistan. However, many solar plants are in pipeline under CPEC.
Pakistan has also the potential of generating electricity through wind. Wind in southern and coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan should be harnessed to generate electricity. Electricity in Pakistan can also be generated through biomass energy. Pakistan has the potential of 1500MW electricity generation through biomass based power.
Pakistan has massive hydropower potential of 60000 MW. Building potential dams does not only generate cheap electricity but it also mitigate flood and store water for irrigation. Hydro energy is cheap, clean and environment friendly, therefore, should be prepared to other sources for electricity generation. Thus, keeping in view its high potential for electricity generation through renewable energy sources should be used.

Pakistan’s green energy will reach 2,626MW in 2018
Pakistan’s production of Renewable Energy (RE), also known as green energy is increasing with every passing day and its total installed capacity of Renewable Energy (RE) would reach up to 2626MW by December, 2018, In addition, 2,600 MW would be added by 2019-20 with new wind power projects of 1200 MW capacity and solar power projects of around 1400MW capacity each are being planned to be developed, Amjad Ali Awan, Chief Executive Officer, Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) said. Pakistan becomes investment destination for private investors and has attracted foreign investment of more than US 4.6 billion, he said.
He claimed that with the continued efforts of AEDB in last couple of years, Pakistan for the first time was included in the top 40 globally most attractive countries for renewable energy investment as per the E&Y Renewable Energy Attractiveness Index (RECAI) issue, produced by Ernst & Young, in May 2016. Pakistan’s ranking has improved from previous 38 to present 25 numbers. This is strong indicator showing consistent progress of Pakistan in terms of its attractiveness for the investors in the alternative energy sector, he said.
Awan said that AEDB in cooperation with World Bank is implementing a Renewable Energy Resource Mapping activity covering all of Pakistan. The project is funded by World Bank’s Energy indicated of wind, solar and biomass resources, including ground based data collection, GIS analysis, and geospatial planning. Based upon the ground based data, the latest version of sole maps is developed first times in Pakistan. These Solar maps give an overall idea of power generation potential in the country based upon solar energy resources. Regarding wind energy resources in the country, the wind data is being collected through installed wind masts and the wind maps are expected to be released by next year, he added.
Pakistan’s renewable energy production increased to 1568MW and identification of five more wind corridors in Balochistan could add several more thousand megawatts of clean energy to the national grid. The production would increase to 1870MW by the end of current year, said Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) CEO Amjad Ali Awan said that wind power production through only one wind corridor in Sindh is 938MW and this power generation would increase to 1240MWs later this year. He said that at present hydro based power projects produced 38 percent power in the country.
If Denmark has set the target to stop consumption of fossil fuels by 2050 then Pakistan has all the potential of renewable energy to set a similar target, Awan said. The German energy model posed an excellent example for Pakistan for adoption as Germany swiftly overcome its power crisis by maximizing power generation through renewable means while gradually lessening reliance on conventional means of power generation that harm the environment.

He said that Germany once faced similar challenge as currently being encountered by Pakistan in the energy sector. She transformed the energy sector to increase sustainability of the power being supplied tour people. We changed to energy mix as we turned towards renewable energy and other innovative technologies, he said. He said that during favorable weather conditions, renewable energy accounted for up to 90 percent power produced in Germany.
He said that Germany was going to shut down all its nuclear power plants by the year 2022 under its drive to promote use of clean and renewable energy for power production. He said the heat to Pakistan should be exploited the option of doing renewable energy projects of hybrid nature to be utilized maximum potential of wind and solar power available across the country. PPIB Managing Director Shahjahan Mirza said that per capita consumption of electricity in Pakistan was 1/5th of average per capita consumption of electricity in rest of the world.
He said that Pakistan should go for a wiser fuel mix using all its indigenous energy resources including coal, hydroelectricity, and renewable means to produce electricity on a sustainable basis. PPIB had facilitated completion of new energy projects in private sectors capable of 8,200MW electricity. He said that by the year 2021, PPIB would ensure completion of private sector power projects having potential of producing 15,000MW power.
Secretary Planning and Development Commission Shoaib Ahmed Saddiqui said the incumbent government had done a lot in power generation sector and now transmission capacity was being enhanced. He said many investors were coming to invest in the energy sector of Pakistan. He urged the business community to come forward and join hands to provide affordable and clean energy to the consumers. Shoaib Ahmed also stressed the need for water integrated plan to construct small hydro projects which could easily be exploited. LNG Pakistan Ltd. Chairman Dr Manzoor Ahmed said Pakistan had lost around $100 billion on account of energy crisis. He said an amount of $2 to 3 billion could be saved annually by converting furnace power plants on RLNG.

Germany to help Pakistan increase renewable energy share
Pakistan and Germany have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for establishing a renewable energy platform which is expected to solidify Islamabad’s efforts aimed at capitalizing on the available potential for clean and green energy.
Highlighting its importance, the energy minister said, this Renewable Energy Forum will serve as a hub for renewable energy and energy efficient business networking, customer outreach and business development in Pakistan and Germany. Sustainable energy initiatives, UNIDO holds two-day training course. He hoped that the available potential in Pakistan and global developments in the sector would definitely play a vital role in ensuring sustainable, clean and affordable energy to consumers.
Pakistan government, in its thrust to have a large share in alternative and renewable energy, intends to get benefit from experiences of developed Germany is one of those developed countries that have exploited renewable power on a large scale, its experience, expertise and developments in this sector are of particular interest for Pakistan.
Renewable energy is the most promising option to meet the increasing energy demand without damaging economic conditions in the country and at the same time reducing carbon emissions that, in turn, result in managing global climate change. The German ambassador appreciated endeavours of the relevant ministries and departments in turning the dream of establishing the Renewable Energy Forum into reality. “Though its establishment took more than three years, we see this as an opportunity for expanding the energy mix portfolio of Pakistan by integrating a larger share of renewable power and bringing more private-sector investment to this sector.
About 556.52MW solar energy to be added in system by 2018. Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) has issued seven Letter of Support (LOS) and 17 Letter of Intent (LOI) for various solar projects will generate total 556.52MW electricity. Official sources said that seven project were in process of achieving Financial Closing and would 72.52MW electricity to the system by December 2017 and March 2018. The projects included M/s Access Electric Pvt. Ltd, M/s Bukhsh Solar (Pvt) Ltd and M/s Safe Solar Power Pvt Ltd (10 MW each), M/s Acess Solar Pvt. Ltd (11.52 MW), M/s Blue Star Hydel Pvt Ltd (1 MW), Harappa Solar Pvt Ltd

(18MW) and AJ Power Pvt. Ltd (12MW).
They said 17 solar power projects of 484MW were at different stages of development and would be completed by 2018-19. The projects included 50MW each as Integrated Power Solution, Jafri and Associates, s Solar Blue Pvt Ltd, Forshine (Pakistan), ACT Solar (Pvt) Ltd, Siddiqsons Energy Karachi and ET Solar Pvt Ltd, 20 MW each M.s R.E Solar-I Pvt Ltd, R.E Solar-II Pvt Ltd, 12MW each Janpur Energy Ls imited, 30 MW Asia Petroleum Ltd, 25MW ET Solar Pvt Ltd and 2MW each Crystal Energy Pvt. Ltd and First Solar Pvt Ltd. Similarly, four solar projects of 400MW capacity have already been operationalized and these projects are QA Solar Pvt Ltd, Appolo Solar Pakistan, M/s Crest Energy Pakistan and Best Green Energy Pakistan Ltd. (Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur). It is also pertinent to mention here that in a landmark decision the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) had already approved the upfront tariff and adjustments/indexations for solar power generation for delivery of electricity to the power purchaser based on solar PV power plants. The Solar energy is clean, environment-friendly and renewable and also provides benefit of carbon credits. The overall cost of project and generation cost is very much competitive.
Per MW cost of solar power although higher in the beginning but subsequent decline in cost makes it financially viable solution in the medium term. Its installation was also easy and quick and could play an important role for overcoming energy crisis, they said. They said low operation and maintenance cost of solar power project was an added advantage. It would help reduce reliance on external imports of fossil fuel, they said.
In Pakistan, connecting far off villages to the national grid would be very costly, thus giving each house a solar panel would be cost efficient and would save investment in transmission lines and transmission losses.They said solar power would facilitate the economy and industry of Pakistan due to its unique benefits and competitiveness. Many countries like US, Germany, Australia, Brazil, UK, Japan, India, China and Thailand were now generating electricity in bulk through solar system, they said.
It is also to be mentioned that Pakistan receives one of the best solar irradiation in the world and has a potential to generate over 2.324 million megawatts electricity per annum through solar thermal and photovoltaic systems but this potential is yet to be tapped.
Solar irradiation in Pakistan and India stands at 1,900 (kWh/m2), against China’s 1,500. The solution to Pakistan’s perennial energy crisis is renewable energy. Pakistan is witnessing a serious power crisis due to the depletion of conventional sources of energy. The need for exploring alternative, environmental friendly, and renewable energy resources has therefore become more inevitable. Experts believe that global warming and deteriorating environmental conditions are adversely affecting Pakistan’s water resources. The rivers are dying out at a slow but steady pace and Pakistan’s chances of producing cheap hydropower are diminishing as well.
Although huge coal reserves can be used for power generation and for resolving the prevalent power crisis have been discovered lately in Sindh, but mining estimated amounts of investment. Moreover, this is by no means an environment friendly solution to the problem. The most appropriate answer, according to some experts, is exploring renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar and even tidal energy. These not only have huge power-generation potential, but are also extremely environment friendly and are successfully being used for electricity generation in various countries of the world.
Unfortunately, not much research is being carried out in Pakistan for utilizing renewable sources of energy for power production. This is despite the fact that an Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) exists in the country. The purpose of this board is to raise awareness about renewable energy sources and to promote them in the country. Azhar Ayub, an expert on renewable energy sources, is trying to introduce solar and wind power technologies in Pakistan. He criticizing AEDB officials, and accused them of “doing business” instead of promoting the alternate energy resources. He cited the examples of various countries, including India, where government institutions invent products and provide them to people on easy installments. Solar energy is an expensive technology but it is a one-time investment and is also very user and environment friendly. In India, government institutions provide such products on lease, so that people can afford them. In Pakistan, however, people are making money through them,” Ayub said. According to some other experts, the total solar energy available to the earth is approximately 3,850 ZetaJoules (ZJ) per year while the worldwide energy consumption was 0.471 ZJ in 2004.
Another area with respect to renewable energy resources is the exploration of wind power, that is, the conversion of wind energy into electricity, using wind turbines. By the end of 2007, the worldwide capacity of wind-powered generators was 94.1 GigaWatts (GW). Currently, wind produces just over one percent of worldwide electricity use, and accounts for approximately 19 percent of elecricity production in Denmark, nine percent in Spain and Portugal, and six percent in Germany and the Republic of Ireland. Pakistan however, lags behind in this area as well, despite the fact that in neighbouring countries, such as India and China, the potential of wind power is successfully being used for electricity generation, albeit at a small scale. More importantly, extensive research is being carried out in this area in these countries. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has successfully completed a project through which several areas have been identified in Sindh and Balochistan and even in the KPK. These areas are such to have huge windm power potential. Unfortunately, no headway has been so far in this regard since the area identification project was completed.
Another area which needs the immediate attention of local authorities concerned is tidal power, also known as tidal energy. This is a form of hydropower that exploits the movement of water caused by tidal currents or the rise and fall in sea levels due to the tides.
Tidal power is yet to be widely used anywhere in the world, but it also has the potential for future electricity generation. Experts even believe that it is more profitable than wind energy and solar power. In Pakistan, which has been gifted with over 700 kilometers of coastline, tidal power can prove to be a solution to the perpetual power crisis. In order to do that, however, authorities concerned will have to change their mindset and attitude towards emerging as well as environmental friendly technologies. At a time when extensive research is being carried out around the globe for finding cheap sources of energy, many people in Pakistan have not even heard of unconventional technologies being used elsewhere in the world. These include geothermal power, which also has the potential to contribute towards eliminating the persisting power crisis in the country. Geothermal power is energy generated by heat stored under the Earth’s surface or the collection of absorbed heat in the atmosphere and oceans. In 2007 however, geothermal power supplied less than one percent of the world’s energy.
Similarly, biofuels, biomass and wave power are some other potential energy sources which need to be explored by authorities concerned, researchers, and investors, in order to provide electricity to far-flung and remote areas of the country, as well as to meet the growing demand of electricity for industrialization and agriculture. Most importantly, thousands of ton of domestic waste produced daily produced in the country is poorly managed and is dumped without keeping in view its effects on the local environment. This waste can also be used for electricity production by using waste heat electricity generation technology. Even though this method would not be as environment friendly as renewable energy sources, but it can help diminish the gap in demand and supply of the electricity to Pakistan.
The GE Company is playing an important role in alternate energy development.
For instance it is doing following projects:
The commissioning of wind farm in Jhimpir
” An agreement underscores GE’s longstanding commitment to Pakistan and will contribute to the nation’s target to increase the percentage of indigenous sources of power generation.
GE Renewable Energy and Hawa Energy (Pvt.) Ltd inaugurated the 50MW wind farm, Hawa Power Project, in the Gharo-Keti Bandar Wind Corridor in Jhimpir, Sindh, a highly anticipated launch that seeks to further drive the growth of renewable energy in Pakistan. The project is installed with 29, 1.7-103 wind turbines, with implementation of the project undertaken by Power China, as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.
The 50MW project is the fourth in Pakistan to feature GE’s advanced wind turbines. In addition to the provision of wind turbines, GE will also provide 10 years of operations and maintenance services as part of the contract, making it a one-stop shop for Hawa Power Project. The commissioning of this fourth wind farm and its provision of an additional 50MW of renewable energy, which serves to create critical capacity that did not previously exist, and meet the low cost and reliable electricity needs of thousands of citizensoud moment for us.
GE’s 1.7-100/103 wind turbine offers a 47 percent increase in swept area when compared to GE’s 1.6-82.5 turbine, resulting in a 24 percent increase in Annual Energy Production (AEP) at 7.5 m/s. This increase in blade swept area allows greater energy capture and improved project economics for wind developers. GE has been providing advanced wind turbines for the development of wind power plants in the Jhimpir corridor in Thatta district, adding more power to the national grid. GE Renewable Energy is one of the world’s leading wind turbine suppliers, with more than 35,000 wind turbines installed globally. GE is focused on supporting Pakistan’s socio-economic growth, with technologies that generate more than 1/3 of the country’s electricity.
GE Renewable Energy is a $10 billion start-up that brings together one of the broadest product and service portfolios of the renewable energy industry. Combining onshore and offshore wind, hydro and innovative technologies such as concentrated solar power and more recently turbine blades, GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 400+ gigawatts capacity globally to make the world work better and cleaner. With more than 22,000 employees present in more than 55 countries, GE Renewable Energy is backed by the resources of the world’s first digital industrial company.

Pakistan plans to set up renewable energy institute
Federal Minister for Power Division had said that the energy ministry is planning to establish a renewable energy institute with an aim to conduct research, study existing potential and propose policy measures for government’s consideration. The IFC official was also keen on assisting Pakistan’s power sector in tapping the renewable energy sources in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.