Wind energy is of importance as it does not create any environmental pollution

An inauguration ceremony of travelling expo titled with “Energy for a sustainable world” was organized at Dr NA Baloch Model School, Old Campus Hyderabad by Pakistan Science Foundation PSF Islamabad, Embassy of France EoF and Scientific, technical, industrial andamp; cultural centre CCSTI under the auspicious of the University of Sindh, Jamshoro in a bid to understanding the relationship between energy and development, the future difficulties of accessing stocks from certain sources and the effects our constantly increasing needs have on climate change.

The Consul General CG of France in Karachi Christian Ramage, vice chancellor Prof. Dr. Nazir Ahmed Mughal inaugurated the travelling expo. The expo was attended by members of PSF Dr. Khalil Ahmed Ibupoto, B.S Chaudhry, Dr. Imdad Ali Ismaili, Dr. Parveen Munshi, Dr. Sarfraz Hussain Solangi, Principal Model School Hyderabad Ahsan Shah Rashidi andamp; a number of representatives of civil society, teachers and students.

Later, addressing the ceremony, PSF representative Dr. Khalil Ahmed Ibupoto said that there were two reasons of the establishment of Pakistan Science Foundation PSF, first research in the field of science and second Popularizing of science adding that PSF had started working with the govt of France since 2008 in an attempt to conduct research and it succeeded to get the required objectives in the field of mathematics, chemistry and Environment sciences.

He said that Pakistan was rich in terms of natural resources and it could resolve its energy crisis too by building up its confidence with itself. Dr. Ibupoto further said that the culture had close nexus with the science; therefore it too, was necessary to save the culture of the country.

In his speech, CG Christian Remage said that this was his first visit to SU old campus Hyderabad and he was astonished to see the interest of the students on the energy adding that his country had many programs with Sindh University SU in the field of education and research.

He said that education was an investment of future and thus the every child ought to be sent into the schools whereas the France govt. will keep supporting and cooperating with educational institutions.

The vice chancellor Dr Nazir Ahmed Mughal in his presidential address said that he had been informed that tentatively, it will travel from Islamabad, to Muzaffarabad AJK, Peshawar, Swat, Gujrat, Nawabshah and will be concluded in Quetta.

“It is hoped that the Expo will provide a great opportunity to the students, faculty members, researchers, and general public to get firsthand knowledge about various forms of Energy, ways to enhance the Energy Resources and their proper uses for the national development”. Dr. Mughal said.

He said self sufficiency in energy was the assurance to excel any country’s economy. According to an international analysis, the oil and gas reserves will be finished into the second half of this current century.

“For that reason, to attain self sufficiency, alternative energy resources are being explored. There are 929 billion tons approx. coal reserves available in the world whose 40% is used to produce the electricity. As per an estimation, third biggest coal reserve of 185 billion ton exists in Pakistan which is equivalent to 400 billion barrels of oil. In other words,

Our coal reserves are equivalent to Saudi Arab and Iran’s combined oil reserves.” He said

Dr. Mughal said that an important and natural resource of alternative energy was wind; minimum 13 kilometre per hour wind blowing was supposed to be sufficient and luckily, Pakistan had the points for the production of wind energy which was available into the coastal areas of Karachi, Thatta, Jiwani and Baluchistan’s coastal belt and other areas situated into northern areas and Azad Kashmir.

“Wind energy is of importance as it does not create any environmental pollution at all. Solar energy is one of the cheapest and important ways to produce the energy. As per scientists, the energy received from the sun in

one hour is more than the whole world’s total produced energy in a year. As per analysis if only half percent of desert land is used for solar energy it would cater the energy demand for this entire world. Pakistan has much potential for solar energy because Pakistan is receiving 19 mega joules per square meter in a year through which 90% of rural area can be provided the electricity”, Dr. Mughal said.

“The solution to our energy woes is renewable energy wherever possible in the form of small hydro projects, solar water pumps and water geysers to ease the load of electricity and gas, rooftop solar units for homes which could also replace diesel generators and UPS and large wind farms on Pakistan’s extensive coastal wind corridor. In addition, there can be smaller initiatives like the sugar mills producing electricity from biomass to feed the grid, garbage companies converting sorted trash into energy and smaller biogas units across farms in rural areas where dung is readily available. Other possible solutions can be run of the river or canals turbines to produce electricity locally and extracting methane from our vast low grade coal supplies in the Thar Desert an old technology used in the US.” He stated.

“Every little bit is going to help… The technology for doing all this is readily available”. The VC said. Dr. Mughal said that he was happy that the Government of Pakistan under visionary leadership of President Zardari had already set the policy right. In this regard, we could also learn from other developing countries like South Africa, Kenya and to some extent India.

“If we set out on this path, the “current energy shortage can improve dramatically”. Several companies in Lahore and Karachi are already offering solar technology. What are urgently needed, however, are trusted brand names that can distribute solar products like solar panels, solar geysers, solar pumps, solar streetlights etc. Along with the right distributors, we also need banks to provide the finance to scale all this up.” Dr Nazir Mughal said.

“We definitely have huge potential for wind, which after hydro is the second cheapest form of energy - particularly on the Makran Coast. Unfortunately, aside from a few small pilot projects set up by different NGOs on the coast, we only have one big 50 MW wind energy project that was recently set up by the Fauji Fertiliser Company. The government does claim, however, that the next year will see at least 10 more wind projects which will be the beginning of exploiting the wind potential of the Gharo-Keti Bandar Wind Corridor - an area that alone has 50,000 MW power generation potential. With the city of Karachi located nearby, distribution costs will not be high.” He stated.

“Given all our rivers and extensive canal systems, we also have great potential for small scale hydro projects, including run of the river hydro systems. There are also lots of appropriate sites for medium sized dams in the country. These can be developed fast, don’t displace people and don’t tie up our money.” The VC said.

“Biogas plants are also a good option in the rural areas of Pakistan, their only problem, is that “they fall apart when you make them too big”. Many NGOs across the country have introduced small biogas units in their project areas and they are working efficiently and effectively. They seem to work best when you only have a few households sharing the load and feedstock.” Dr. Mughal said.

“Producing biogas out of crushed sugarcane is also a good option for Pakistan given the number of sugar mills in the country. So far, only around seven sugar mills are doing do and selling their surplus power to the national grid. There is however, the potential of producing 2000 MW through the 82 sugar mills in the country.

There are so many feasible and affordable options for Pakistan, if only we started thinking that small is beautiful and not go for potential expensive Projects. If we go for the renewable options, experts say we could solve our energy problems within five years. If we stick to “business as usual” the problem will only become worse and we can expect to see an increasing number of people coming out onto the streets in protest.” The VC said.

He said that president Zardari’s resolve to fully exploit Gharo-Keti Bunder wind corridor to produce 50,000MW electricity was very positive at a time when shortage of electricity had become a major challenge for the economy.

Present government’s encouraging gestures towards the implementing company will go a long way in luring local and foreign investors which will benefit Pakistan.

Dr Mughal said around 106 Megawatt electricity would be included in the national grid through NTDC when the wind energy projects of FFCEL and Zorlu Energy would become operational which was a small addition having a great symbolic value.

He said that Pakistani and foreign companies could develop more wind energy projects if they are encouraged by government and the Alternative Energy Development Board. He added that Gharo-Keti Bunder wind corridor could become hub of wind power sector attracting billions of dollars of investment to produce power from free and clean energy source.

He said that the funding by ADB would not only improve energy situation, balance energy mix and reduce oil import bill but it would also attract heavy investments to reduce poverty by creating thousands of jobs.

“Government should pay special attention to the sustainable energy resources through favourable policy and regulatory environment which will push the growth of renewable green energy in Pakistan. Grid access is not available to majority of people in Pakistan due to proximity who can be benefitted from renewable green energy sources,” he added.