Positive commitment: rising share of renewable energy.

 
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Byline: Syed Fazl-E-Haider

The environment experts stress the need for a new alternative energypolicy for the Pakistan that could increase the share of renewable electricity generation to 30 percent of the national energy mix by the year 2030. Present government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan is committed to increase the share of renewable up to 20 percent in the national energy mix. The government is working on introducing a new power sector policy with an aim to remove all constraints in the electricity transmission system, which have been responsible for hampering the growth of renewable energy sector in the country for the last many years.

The government has assured that new energy policy would give top priority to renewable energy resources for further increasing power generation capacity of the country. But the government should announce incentives for the private sector to invest in the renewable energy sector under the new energy policy.

The renewable energy generation in the country in the last couple of years increased from mere 264 to 1,164 megawatts of electricity, according to Pakistan Alternative Development Board (AEDB). Presently, wind energy sector generates more than 1,000 megawatts of electricity. Most of the wind resources are located either along the sea coast lines or on the mountains.

Windmill is the latest technology of producing low cost electricity. Windmills can be used to pump water for irrigation and grinding grain in agricultural fields. Windmills prove cheaper source of energy than coal and thermal based sources of electricity. Wind power system is currently in operation in China. At least 100 wind power turbines may be installed in the remote coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan provinces. Sindh has a great potential in the field of wind energy and up to now 50,000MW has been identified in the Jhimpir Gharo Wind Corridor. More than 40 companies are actively engaged in the province to develop 3000 MW power through wind.

Hydroelectric power is a renewable form of energy, as clean electricity can be generated constantly so long as sufficient water is available. Pakistan has a hydropower potential of more than 40,000MW, while it has managed to tap only 6,500MW.

Solar thermal power plants produce electricity in much the same way as conventional power station. The difference is that they obtain their energy input by concentrating solar radiation and converting it to high temperature steam or gas to drive a...

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