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Bara goes solar

The other day, I happened to visit ‘Bara’, a popular shopping centre, approximately five kilometres from University Town, Peshawar. To my surprise, I saw about seven to eight shops selling complete solar energy equipment imported from China and Korea.

If most of us install this equipment at our homes, it could solve the energy shortage problem in Pakistan to a considerable extent. A complete package of solar equipment that could run three fans and four energy saving bulbs was being sold for Rs55,000. This package includes a solar panel of 230 Watts, two batteries, a converter, and a controller. In this package, the cost of the solar panel alone is Rs18,000 which is highly cost-effective as compared to its price in the past. The prices of solar energy equipment have come down quite a bit in recent years. One wonders why our government hasn’t promoted the use of solar energy in Pakistan, and why our business community hasn’t ventured into the manufacture of such equipment. The government should have started a vigorous campaign for the use of solar energy in Pakistan.

Air-Cdre (r) Azfar A Khan

Rawalpindi

 

Energy potential

Pakistan has enormous resources of renewable and non-renewable energy sources. One of the largest coal fields in Pakistan has reserves of more than 175 billion tones exceeding those in some major oil generating countries.

Pakistan has a great potential for wind energy yet power generation using wind energy is still in the initial stages. About 100,000MW of energy can be generated using solar sources and 41,000-45,000MW through hydel power generation. Despite all these possibilities, power generation in our country is not increasing. Therefore, a rational policy should be developed, placing more emphasis renewable energy.

Wamiq Abrar

Karachi

Energy of the earth

Geothermal energy is energy derived from the heat of the earth. This energy is derived by drilling special wells in the earth to reach the geothermal hot reservoirs of boiling water and steam, miles below the earth’s surface. The boiling water is then pumped up and the steam is used to heating homes or drive turbines to generate electricity.

Around 30 countries are using this renewable energy resource to generate electricity. In Iceland, 87 percent of all buildings are being heated utilising this energy. Pakistan has great potential for geo-thermal energy. If properly exploited, it can be used to overcome the energy shortage in the country. Generally, geothermal energy can be found where volcanoes exist. In Balochistan alone, there are dozens of volcanoes. We need to make all-out efforts to generate electricity from geothermal sources. We should invite well-established foreign companies to do this job for us and deploy our own engineers and technicians with them to learn from their expertise and become self-sufficient in this field in future.

Air-Cdre (r) Azfar A Khan

Rawalpindi

Job opportunities in Renewable Energy Sector - WWF Pakistan

Pre-qualification Notice for Conversion of Traffic Signals and Street Lights on Solar Energy & LEDs in Faisalabad

Generating energy

The government pays a minimum agreed monthly payment to all power producers for the contract period, even if no power is supplied. This means that if the power plant is not operating, the government would still need to pay the energy bill. In 2008 eight thermal power plants and two nuclear power plants were forcefully shut down for maintenance. But the payments to the thermal power companies were at a fixed rate, creating a $100 million energy deficit. Although fuel supplies and payments to the thermal power plants can be increased to produce more energy, the energy produced will be at a very high cost. Therefore the best option would be to install 5000MW coal power plants in locations that are away from the main population.

Pakistan has the potential to generate 55,000MW of electricity through hydel power. But these plants can take 2-6 years for construction, and with dams there is an additional 2-5 years. The good news, though, is that banks and donor organisations love to fund hydro power projects, because this is clean renewable energy.

Engr H Kaleem

Peshawar

Solution to energy crisis

ACCORDING to energy rules in Pakistan, the government pays a minimum agreed monthly payment to all power producers for the contract period, even if no power is supplied. This means that if a power plant is not operating, the government would still need to pay the energy bill.

In 2008, eight thermal power plants and two nuclear power plants of Pakistan were shut down.

With reduced supply of electricity, Wapda has fewer units to sell and thus has less income in a year. But the payments to thermal power companies was at a fixed rate, creating an energy deficit worth $100 million.

Although fuel supplies and payments to thermal power plants can be increased to produce more energy, with low efficiency the energy produced will be at a very high cost.

Therefore, the best option is to install 5,000 MW coal power plants in locations that are away from population centres, near the port or other transport facility and close to the national grid.

Pakistan can generate 55,000 MW of electricity, which can even be sold to Afghanistan, India, China and Oman. This is because Pakistan’s northern parts rise like a series of steps, which create opportunities for hydel power.

But these big and small hydropower plants can take two to six years to construct, and with dams there is an additional two to five years for filling them. But the good news is that banks and donor organisations would like to fund hydropower projects because this is clean renewable energy, which does not produce any pollution and has a life of 30 to 50 years.

Also, Pakistan can use hydropower and even wind power projects for self-funded pension schemes, where Pakistani citizens can buy shares in a project which would give them a regular income for 25 years.

Wind power is also a good option, since Sindh and Balochistan have good wind rates and there is an opportunity to generate up to 50,000 MW of energy with wind power from that region alone.

ENGR H. KALEEM

Peshawar

2.5 MW Solar PV Project at Baghdad-ul-Jadid Campus, Islamia University, Bahawalpur

Energy-Department-Punjab-Lahore 2

EOI For Pre-Qualification of Firms for Installation of Solar Water Filtration Plants

Request for Quotation for LED Lights