Nerve (India) has reported that Pres. Musharraf is encouraging the use of alternative energy sources in Pakistan. If true, this would be a much needed leadership stance to at least explore what alternative energy sources can become available for Pakistan in the future. Researchers in Pakistani universities should jump on this opportunity to take lead in unleashing energy stored in solar, wind, water/tidal, bio-fuels, hydrogen, coal, gas, nuclear and other alternative fuels. Oil prices are so high that considerable expense on energy research can be justified for a country such as Pakistan that is quite dependent on imported oil. Energy derived from alternative sources can not only be renewable, but also cheap, clean and locally accessible. The opportunities are immense, but dedication to the cause is necessary for making meaningful progress. For example, Vinod Khosla, former partner of the Kleiner Perkins VC fund, has already become a champion of corn and sugarcane derived (cellulosic) ethanol fuel in US and India, and efforts in the private and public sectors have led to some stellar IPOs by solar energy companies in the US stock market. Last year, nearly $1.6 billion of VC investments in the US were made in the clean-tech industry, and they have exceeded the total investments in the semi-conductor industry. How and where is Pakistan positioning itself in this next tech-boom? I believe there is a huge potential for an agriculture based economy like Pakistan to trade up in value derived from its crops.
I have already reported in the past that Pakistan is going to make a move from diesel to CNG (starting 2007). In the past, chairman of the Alternative Energy Development Board of Pakistan, Air Marshal (retd) Shahid Hamid has also announced that Pakistan will derive 650MW of energy from wind sources, and upto 9700 MW (5% of total installed capacity) by 2030. Is the alternative energy/renewable fuel/environmental movement finally catching interest the government circles? How can we help strengthen their resolve (if its real and not just hot air) and bring other necessary resources to the table?
Islamabad, June 22 (Xinhua) Pakistan would encourage investment in utilisation of alternative resources to fuel economic growth through cost-effective energy and reduce dependence on expensive thermal power, President Pervez Musharraf said Thursday.
Speaking in a presentation on alternate energy resources, President Musharraf directed earliest implementation of projects, envisioned for making use of wind and solar energy, Pakistani news agency APP reported.
'We must make the best use of untapped energy potential in the form of wind and solar energy to meet the growing requirements in the long-term. This has become all the more important in the face of soaring oil prices,' [Musharraf] said.
Musharraf noted that in recent years, Pakistan has been able to reduce its reliance on imported oil but added that mounting energy requirements on the back of robust industrial growth demand that the country exploits its hydropower capacity as well as benefit from abundant alternate energy means.
For more info on alternative energy and related topics, visit: http://www.personalbee.com/bee_reader.php?grpno=1429 or http://altenews.com/.