Renewable Energy Resources of Pakistan

Article excerpt

Pakistan has wide spectrum of high potential renewable energy sources, conventional and non-conventional as well, which have not been adequately explored, exploited or developed.

The primary energy supplies today are not enough to meet even the present demand.

Moreover, a very large part of the rural areas does not have the electrification facilities because they are either too remote and/or too expensive to connect to the national grid. So, Pakistan, like other developing countries of the region, is facing a serious challenge of energy deficit. The development of the renewable energy sources can play an important role in meeting this challenge.

Considering the geological setup, geographical position, climatological cycles and the agricultural activities, various renewable resources are technologically viable and have bright prospects to exploit commercially in Pakistan, which include Solar (PV, thermal), Water (mega & macro-micro hydel, and sea wave & tide), Wind. Wastes (City solid waste, waste from local chicken farms, forestry waste, wood waste from furniture factories, agricultural waste, hospital waste and animal slurry from farms), geothermal and others. Pakistan can be benefited from these as substitute energy in areas where these renewable energy sources exist.

Potential of Water Energy

Hydropower source of energy is very well known in Pakistan and there is ever growing experience in this sector to develop the hydropower potential indigenously in the country.

The hydro potential was estimated at about 50,000 MW out of which about 4,800 MW has been developed over the past 50 years through mega-hydel plants and the remaining has yet to be exploited. The northern areas of the country are rich with hydropower resources.

The canal system has a huge hydropower potential at numerous sites/locations on these irrigation canals, ranging from 1MW to more than 10MW, which can be utilized for developing small hydro-power stations using low head high discharge water turbines in Punjab and Sindh Provinces.

Potential of Solar Energy

Pakistan being in the sunny belt is ideally located to take advantage of the solar energy technologies. During last twenty years Pakistan has shown quite encouraging developments in photovoltaic (PV).Currently, solar technology is being used in Pakistan for stand alone rural telephone exchanges, repeater stations, highway emergency telephones, cathodic protection, refrigeration for vaccine and medicines in the hospitals etc. The Public Health Department has installed many solar water pumps for drinking purposes in different parts of the country. A number of companies are not only involved in trading photovoltaic products and appliances but also manufacturing different components of PV systems. They are selling PV modules, batteries, regulators, invertors, as well as practical low power gadgets for load shedding such as photovoltaic lamps, battery chargers, garden lights etc.

Wind Power Potential Pakistan

Harnessing wind power to produce electricity on a commercial scale has become the fastest growing energy technology. Pakistan has 1000 km long coastline, which could be utilized for the installation of wind farms, as found in UK, Netherlands and other countries. Though apparently Pakistan has tremendous wind potential, but at present the facilities for generating electricity from wind are virtually nonexistent in the country.

Considering the significance of the wind resource model, Ministry of Science & Technology has provided funds to Pakistan Meteorological Department to establish a network of wind masts along the coastal areas to conduct an extensive wind survey of the coastal areas to assess wind power potential.

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