Alternative energy for Pakistan?

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?
News and Analysis of IndiaIslamabad, 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. 

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14 Responses to Alternative energy for Pakistan?

  1. skarim says:

    Energy is definitely a hot topic these days – and I was surprised to note that there were quite a few sessions on alternative energy at the recent POGEE conference in Karachi (Pakistan Oil, Gas and Energy Exhibition) in May (see

    One point to note re: Pakistan’s move from diesel to CNG – another very popular alternative fuel in the transport sector is that of LPG. If you were to talk to a taxi driver in Karachi, they’ll give you an estimate that about 90% of taxis are actually running on LPG, and not even CNG. And while this is anectodal and I may be partial to the positive benefits of LPG b/c I work in this sector, a few interesting articles for you:


  2. Bilal Zuberi says:

    I just read this at another blog on Solar power for Pakistan ( Thought it may be appropriate here:

    (mansoor on Jun 29, 2006 1:01 PM) I found this analysis on How Stuff Works. A “typical home” in America can use either electricity or gas to provide heat — heat for the house, the hot water, the clothes dryer and the stove/oven. If you were to power a house with solar electricity, you would certainly use gas appliances because solar electricity is so expensive. This means that what you would be powering with solar electricity are things like the refrigerator, the lights, the computer, the TV, stereo equipment, motors in things like furnace fans and the washer, etc. Let’s say that all of those things average out to 600 watts on average. Over the course of 24 hours, you need 600 watts * 24 hours = 14,400 watt-hours per day. From our calculations and assumptions above, we know that a solar panel can generate 70 milliwatts per square inch * 5 hours = 350 milliwatt hours per day. Therefore you need about 41,000 square inches of solar panel for the house. That’s a solar panel that measures about 285 square feet (about 26 square meters). That would cost around $16,000 right now. Then, because the sun only shines part of the time, you would need to purchase a battery bank, an inverter, etc., and that often doubles the cost of the installation. If you want to have a small room air conditioner in your bedroom, double everything. I’ve been monitoring the usage of my house, and we consume about 10 Kilowatts per day (STEEP!!!). Now, in order to have solar panels for that, i would need a number of panels, from this site, i picked one at random, which produces 170 watts for an investment of $839 per panel. A quick calculation (from the data provided on the site), tells me i need atleast 6 of these panels to power my house meaning an investment of $5034 (or Rs. 3,02,040) without addding any sort of tax or extra charges on the modules and i need a space of about 30×15 feet to house it. (again from data provided for this module). Now the KESC rate for domestic supply is about 7.5 per kilowatt (at their lowest slab), meaning that my monthly electricity bill becomes 2250 (without the charges, surcharges, and extra surcharges :S). So, just on these ideal figures (just the power usage, no infrastructure costs), it would take me about 135 months or about 11 years just to breakeven the cost of the cells. I think we should wait another decade or something, or encourage NEDians and other engineering universities to come up with solutions.. and let the prices fall down a bit. Its expected that the price will fall down to about 1/5 of what it costs now over the next decade.. which just may make this a viable option.

  3. rachel says:

    the coast has crops of that too.

  4. ronin1770 says:

    check out this post :

    using coconut oil as an alternative to diesel

  5. shahid sohail says:

    I intrested in detail structure of alternate energy in pakistan

  6. Amir says:

    We all know that it is like living in hell in Pakistan.So there for its great sense to buy the solar energy products.I only need to know where to buy and whats its price please mail me the information.

  7. professional says:

    Hello. I think you are eactly thinking like Sukrat. I really loved the post.

  8. abdul rehman says:

    paksitan must do its best to increase the consumption
    of alternative energy……
    loadshedding must be control…

  9. I really appreciate you for all the valuable information that you are providing us through your blog.

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