THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, FAISALABAD, 02nd OCTOBER 2013:
“The Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park in Cholistan will generate 50 megawatts of electricity within six months,” Energy Minister Sher Ali Khan said on Tuesday.
He was addressing the inaugural session of the three-day International Conference on renewable energy organised by the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF) in collaboration with University of Kassel, Germany, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and International Centre for Development and Decent Work (ICDD).
The minister said the country’s installed capacity to generate electricity was 23,000MW but only 16,000MW was being produced.
“The Punjab government is setting up small power plants on canals. Each one of these will generate 10 to 20MW,” he said.
“A power project on Taunsa Barrage to be initiated soon will generate 120MW.”
Khan said the provincial government was taking all possible steps to resolve the energy crisis.
“The emphasis is on alternative resources of energy…48 sugar mills in the Punjab are being encouraged to generate electricity using sugarcane waste,” he added.
UAF Faculty of Social Sciences Dean Muhammad Iqbal said as much as 20,000MW could be generated in the country using wind energy.
“720 million kg animal dung per day can produce 1,243MW of energy… 81 million tonnes of biomass can contribute significantly to energy production without harming the environment,” he said.
Dr Oliver Hensel said Pakistan was blessed with many seasons. He said the farmers could benefit from solar energy.
“We are working on an interdisciplinary approach through enhanced collaboration in agriculture and food engineering sector. The model can be used at the UAF too,” he said.
DAAD Project Coordinator Dr Anjum Munir said Pakistan had shortage of fossil fuels. He said, “It is the need of the hour to shift to the alternative energy technology.”
“The UAF has already set up a biogas plant and work on a 3.8MW solar energy plant is underway,” he said.