Renewable energy investments in South Asia

Lately, there has been much discussion in newspaper articles and opinion editorials about the investments being made in renewable and alternative enegy sources. Now I hear Razib Ahmed of SouthAsiaBiz reporting that India may be set to receive a major investment in renewable energy. $6 billion may be invested in renewable energy in India by Sasol. This is great news for South Asia, and especially for India. My question is: What is Pakistan doing? While some may say alternative energy is still just a pipe dream of hippie-types, the harsh reality of Pakistan living in an energy strapped world is knocking on our doorsteps, and I believe we are extremely unprepared for the post fossil fuel world. Our neighbors, meanwhile, are fast picking up lead.

Sasol is a South African company that has achieved a lot of success in producing diesel from coal and gas. Now, this company is contemplating seriously on the idea of capitalizing on the growing demand for energy in India. In fact, according to a report of Business Standard, the investment may be $6 billion. The investment will be mainly in the alternative fuel sector. The initial investment may be $1 billion and Sasol wants to use coal of India. India has one of the largest coal reserves in the world and that is why Sasol is interested for manufacturing alternative fuel in India.

In the website of Sasol, I found the following description about the activities of the company:

Sasol was established in 1950 by the South African government to manufacture fuels and chemicals from indigenous raw materials. The company has developed world-leading technology for the commercial production of synthetic fuels and chemicals from low-grade coal as well as the conversion of natural gas to environment-friendly fuels and chemicals. It is committed to sustainable development and is a signatory of Responsible Care®, a worldwide initiative by the chemical industry that strives to improve performance in safety, health and environment.”


This is clearly a win-win situation for both Sasol and India. For Sasol, India offers a huge attractive and untapped market. If Sasol can use this market then its profit will soar within a very short time. On the other hand, if Sasol can be successful in manufacturing alternative fuel in India then India can cut back on its oil import bill significantly.


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