KARACHI: The energy crisis in Pakistan can be overcome if we individually make an effort to conserve energy.
The corporate sector should also plan to find ways to utilise both conventional and sustainable energy resources, said Pakistan State Oil corporate planning manager Ayesha Afzal. She was one of the key speakers at ‘The Transition of a Fossil Fuel Economy to Renewable Energy Economy – Opportunities and Obstacles’ seminar held at the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (Szabist) on Thursday.
“Developments in the energy sector should be in line with improvements in the environment,” she said. There are more efforts needed to discover the vast potential of renewable energy in Pakistan and there is a need to consider environmental issues at all times, she added.
Earlier, Afzal gave a presentation on ‘Energy and Environment’ in which she said that the government has been working on different renewable energy projects but the fate of these projects has yet to be defined. She stressed cultivating certain plant species, such as the Jatropha, which can increase resources for renewable energy.
Szabist sociology department Dr Fauzia Khan said that the energy crisis was worsening every day and there is no apparent solution. She said that renewable energy is environmentally friendly and cost-effective; therefore, it should be discovered as soon as possible.
On the other hand, Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) system analysis general manager Syed Muhammad Rizvi defended the conventional methods of power generation and rejected the idea of renewable energy. He believed that power generation through renewable energy will be very expensive.
“Wind energy is dependent on wind but who can guarantee that it will continue to blow forever,” he said.
Dr Khan disagreed, however, with the views expressed by the KESC manager and said that his views “were completely unscientific”. “People expect a lot from power producing companies but they have the ‘bureaucratic mentality’, which is typical of certain big companies.” “God has gifted Pakistan with high wind-blowing corridors, so let us use them,” she said.
She added that resources for alternative energy, such as coal, are abundant in Pakistan. The neighbouring countries have almost overcome their energy crisis by using all available natural resources, she said.
The country manager of the Turkish company, Zorlu Energy, Mumtaz Hassan, also discussed the wind zones along Sindh’s coastal belt.
He said that the wind pressure in identified area remains high most of the time and there is no need for a guarantee of whether the wind will blow or not. “The wind is there and that is why Zorlu has planned to get 300 megawatts from wind,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2011.