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Use of green technologies can help overcome energy crisis

The energy crisis and environmental challenges could be overcome by using green technologies, speakers of a seminar said on Thursday.

The seminar was jointly organised by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) and the Institute for Research Promotion (IRP) on Technologies for Green Energy.

Farooq Iftikhar, president of the LCCI, Mian Abuzar Shad, vice president, Mian Muhammad Ashraf and Mian Anjum Nisar, former presidents of the LCCI, Shahid Khan, vice chairman NFEH, Abid H K Sherwani, CEO of IRP, Prof Dr Farid A Malik, former chairman of the Pakistan Science Foundation, Engg Kamran Mehmood, Professor Dr Saleem Mehmood, Prof Dr Waqar Bukhari, Dr Zaib Hussain and Dr Shahid Raza, co-convener of the LCCI committee on environment, were also among the speakers.

They said that alternative and renewable energy resources are a viable option to meet the future energy requirements. Pakistan has abundant resources for alternative and renewable energy production but unfortunately the policymakers could not foresee the energy spectrum.

At the moment, they said, Pakistan relies heavily on fossil fuels to meet its energy requirements and the nation is spending more than $17 billion on the import of petroleum products every year. It is estimated that by 2015, this will increase manifold, the speakers said. Apart from its very high financial cost, Pakistan remains at strategic risk because it remains heavily dependent even for its vital services, they said.

Pakistan is blessed with all sorts of resources that are being used around the world as energy inputs, they said. They narrated the potentials available in Pakistan in the form of wind, solar, biogas and bagasse and distinctively discussed the options, as well as developments with respect to each of them.

Similarly, intelligent financing tools should be worked out because the initial cost of installing solar panels, biogas plants or other resources is relatively higher for the people.

“Global successful experiences and knowledge of implementing green technologies could be used by Pakistan to develop a sustainable civic and industrial infrastructure and realise rapid economic growth.

There is a strong correlation between economic growth and reduction in waste, greenhouse gases, making optimum use of natural and human resources and the production and conservation of energy to meet the environmental and human development challenges in a changing world.”

Iftikhar said that the business community in Lahore and the surrounding areas, as well as across the country, is keen to acquire economical and reliable alternative energy solutions to sustain their operations and a wide range of green technologies are available in the world for power generation, biogas and bio-fuels production, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and enhancing productivity and production in a sustainable and environment-friendly manner.

“We have a diverse range of manufacturing and production industries across several sectors that could use green technologies provided a subsidy model is developed by the government.

The LCCI president said that alternative energy options should be exploited on war footings. Apart from the ongoing programmes and projects by the government, substantial investment and policy support is needed for a successful energy transition to renewables, he said.

Private sector must be engaged and transition target should be achieved through private-public partnerships, Iftikhar said, adding that on top of it all, the success very much depends on political will of the country’s leadership and coordinated efforts that are primary requisites.

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