Friday, July 8, 2011

Pakistan to boost renewable energy to meet power shortfall

KARACHI, Pakistan (AlertNet) – Pakistan is planning to boost exploitation of alternative and renewable energy sources in an attempt to tackle a chronic power shortage and address the challenges of climate change.

A new long-term energy policy aims to provide at least five percent of the country’s total commercial energy supplies from clean renewable sources such as wind, solar and bio-waste by 2030.

At present, just 10 megawatts of the country’s daily commercial energy requirement of 11,000 MW, or less than 0.1 percent, is generated from wind and solar sources, according to Faiz Mohammad Bhutta, an executive member of the Renewable and Alternative Energy Association of Pakistan, a non-governmental organization.

Demand for energy is increasing with Pakistan’s rapidly growing population. The country currently produces fewer than 14,000 MW domestically, a shortfall of 5,000 MW compared to overall domestic and commercial needs.

The persistent power crisis has slowed economic activity and led to increased unemployment and poverty, as well as growing unrest in some cases as families suffer through hot summer temperatures without fans and air conditioners.

The government estimates that daily energy requirements in 2030 will be more than 160,000 MW, of which 110,000 MW will be needed for the commercial sector. The new policy calls for alternative and renewable sources to provide at least 5,500 MW.

Much of the rise in demand will come from population growth, with the country’s population of 177 million is expected to soar to 262 million by 2030, according to the Population Census Organisation. Growing demand for power as incomes rise, and from industrial growth, also are expected to play a role. Full Article >>>

Location: Islamabad