Renewable sources: Energy crisis a global issue, experts discuss solutions

Published: October 22, 2016

LAHORE: Punjab Minerals and Mines Minister Sher Ali Khan said that developing countries all over the world are suffering from an energy shortage and Pakistan is no exception.

“The government is trying its best to fulfill the energy needs of the country, both at federal as well as the provincial level,” Khan said while speaking at an energy conference Friday. The conference titled, ‘Energy for Environmental and Economic Sustainability’, was organised by the University of Management and Technology  (UMT) in collaboration with Texas Tech University (TTU), USA, National Science Foundation, USA and International Association for Hydrogen Energy, USA.

Khan said that the government has launched the world’s largest solar power project of 1000 megawatts in Bahawalpur, the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, which would be commissioned by the end of this year. “The first 100MWs were already commissioned in May last year,” he added.

The speakers at the conference noted that the need for energy is a global issue due to technology, industrialisation of developing countries, social development and population growth.  Both developed and developing countries are now in search of alternative sources of energy. Fossil fuels are causing a harmful impact on the environment including air and water pollution, damage to human health, wildlife, water use and land use, which then leaves the economy affected.

“All energy resources can stop functioning but the sun is never-ending and a great source of energy. It will always be there to cater to our needs,” said Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad, Director of UMT, Lahore. He emphasised on adopting maximum sources of alternative energy, saying that one day hydro, thermal and nuclear power plants will prove to be insufficient.

Punjab Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Nizam ud Din said that energy plays a critical role in the development of countries. “Dangerous climate changes are jeopardising human health conditions since the industrial revolution and its solution lies in non-polluted clean energy sources like solar and wind energy.”

Speakers said that the solution for agricultural revival lies in alternative sources of energy especially solar, which is a purely renewable source. They said that Pakistan lies in a hot zone with an average solar radiance of 5.3 kwh per day, which makes solar energy all the more viable for the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2016.

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