Saturday Jan 28, 2023

Pakistan lacks technology to store renewable energy – BOL News

KARACHI: Pakistan is facing a severe energy crisis that has affected all the sectors of the economy, with parts of the country experiencing unannounced hours long power outages on a daily basis.

The country generates its power from an energy mix that includes oil, natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), coal, renewable resources, including solar, wind and hydro energy, nuclear, and biomass.

The total installed power generation capacity is 38,700MW, whereas renewables contribute only 4 per cent, while 57 per cent of the energy comes from thermal fossil fuels, 31 per cent from hydro, and 8 per cent from nuclear, according to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s (Nepra) 2020 yearly report.

Even though Pakistan has a tremendous amount of potential to generate solar and wind power, it is utilising just 0.071 per cent of the country’s area for solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation, according to the World Bank data.

Wind is also an abundant resource. Pakistan has several well-known wind corridors and average wind speeds of 7.87 m/s in 10 per cent of its windiest areas.

However, despite a number of successful projects, the installed capacity of solar and wind energy in Pakistan, of over 1,500MW, is 4 per cent of the total capacity, equal to around 2 per cent of the total generation.

Optimus Capital Management Pvt Ltd Executive Chairman Asif Qureshi said that adding renewable energy resources to the main grid of the country depends on the advancement and price decline in the allied products to store the generated energy.

“The biggest concern for reliance on renewable energy is the variable factors, as the wind and solar cannot be directly stored or stockpiled and whose availability is difficult to predict,” he added.

“The technology to store the renewable energy is not much developed in the country and the available technology is much expensive for Pakistan to add renewable energy to the national grid.”

“The grid capacity is another factor to account for, as there are not many technologies to transit the generated renewable energy to the grid,” Qureshi said.

Talking about the government’s plan to produce 60 per cent clean energy by 2030, he said, “Although the plan is looking quite an ambitious one but it is possible to achieve if the technology to produce, store and transit the renewable energy becomes advanced and cheaper than other means of producing energy.”

“Hydropower plays a huge role in Pakistan’s power generation, as it accounts for around 30 per cent of the total energy generation. Even though it does not fall in the category of renewable and clean energy, the low greenhouse gases emission in its generation coupled with the future technological advancement in storing and supplying of renewables could help the country achieve its plan to produce 60 per cent of clean energy by 2030,” he said.

Pakistan is among the top 10 countries worldwide suffering the largest damages from the climate-related disasters since 2000, highly affected by climate change, while only contributing around one per cent to the global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), a report by International Monetary Fund (IMF) showed.

The country has experienced increase in temperatures, fluctuating levels of precipitation, and extreme climate shocks, according to the IMF’s 2021 Article IV consultation and staff report on the sixth review.

Over the past two decades, 120 recorded events have caused an estimated $22 billion in material damages, left more than 55 million people affected and 11,000 killed globally, the document showed.

Pakistan is experiencing many adverse effects because of climate …….


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