Renewable energy resources by ERUM ZEHRA
Summer is on its way and we’ve been already warned about the electricity load shedding this year and the increase in price per unit because the snow hasn’t melted yet and the water is at dead level in our dams.
If timely planning is not done, one can imagine the energy crisis that will be coming in the years ahead. Our leaders should come up with alternative ways to overcome the crisis but they have been unable to plan anything. We need to find alternate energy resources to overcome these crises.
Pakistan is fortunate to be blessed with renewable energy resources such as wind and solar energy. The wind speed is sufficient in Islamabad, Sind and Balochistan to generate electricity. Luckily, the largest wind turbine manufacturer company Suzlon is in India. Pakistan must improve its ties with India to cooperate economically in general. There are a host of areas where the two countries can cooperate and the energy sector is but one. It would be easy for Pakistan to import wind turbines from India and it would go a long way in helping Pakistan’s energy crisis.
In recent years, the government has completed several projects to demonstrate that wind energy is viable in the country. In Mirpur Sakro, 85 micro turbines have been installed to power 356 homes. In Kund Malir, 40 turbines have been installed, which power 111 homes. Thus, wind energy can be utilised perfectly in our region.
The other plentiful energy resource we have is sunlight. Anyone who suffers from load shedding knows the heat of the harsh sun. If 0.25 percent of Balochistan was covered with solar panels with an efficiency of 20%, enough electricity would be generated to cover all of Pakistani demand. Solar energy is also used for cooking. In our rural areas, wood is used for burning, which is causing deforestation. Solar cookers can be used for cooking purposes.
Despite being blessed with all these resources, the energy crisis is getting worst day by day. We tend to make short term plans which are a waste of time and money. The projects started by one government are either stopped by the new regime or neglected by spending the investment money dedicated to that project elsewhere. Even though numerous projects with foreign collaboration are often announced but they rarely get completed due to the pervasive malaise of corruption.
Only a few projects have been accomplished so far. Those who want to start such projects are not given any incentive by the government. The government needs to pay attention to those who are ready to invest in renewable energy and give major financial incentives to them as well. Pakistan can easily get ahead as a leader in renewable energy due to its geo-strategic position and the abundance of natural resources it has.