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Alternative Resources of Energy in Pakistan

Partner: Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS)

Year:  2010

Team Members: Shakeel Ahmed

The Sustainable Development Institute (SDPI) was assisted by the Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS), to research and report on alternative and renewable sources of energy for Pakistan. Solar energy has the potential for meeting the energy needs in some of the more remote areas of Pakistan. Wind and geothermal sources have also been identified as potential realistic sources of energy. Pakistan is geographically located in one of the highest solar isolation areas in the world; it is also located on a geology associated with geothermal activity. Wind has the potential to play an important part of the energy supply mix, with wind corridors having been identified for wind farm development. The Government of Pakistan through the Meteorological Department has quantified the wind energy generation potential for Pakistan.

Pakistan has been experiencing an acute shortage of energy right across all sectors in particular, industry and through energy disruption to domestic users. These shortages have highlighted the need for reliable, cost realistic and effective sources of energy and an improvement in the distribution of energy to facilitate development of the country. Pakistan currently relies disproportionately on thermal power generation from local gas fields and expensive imported oil to fuel both government and privately owned and rented power plants. The poor communities of Pakistan rely on wood and dried dung to heat their homes and in food preparation. The effects of a lack of clean energy on the poor community were part of the study with particular emphasis on household air quality and how it affects women and children.

The research conducted a general review of the renewable forms of energy available to Pakistan including, hydro, wind, biomass and biogas energy from wastes, solar and geothermal technologies. Hydro-power both as macro and micro projects are well established in Pakistan and are recognised as low cost reliable and renewable sources of power in Pakistan and have the potential to fill the energy deficit.

There was a consultation process with stakeholders from across the wide spectrum of users, environmental groups, developers, civil society and the Government being approached for their opinions and ideas for the development of these resources. Pakistan has the potential to be energy self sufficient if it has the will to do so. Rationalisation of and implementation of the proposed institutional arrangements have facilitated Pakistan’s ability to make use of various international funding opportunities to develop its renewable sources for a low carbon future through, for example CDM mitigation and adaptation funding from the international community.