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Solar and wind energy


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THIS is apropos of Raza Kharal’s letter ‘Protests and energy crisis’ (July 5). I agree that without electricity, the economy of a country cannot sustain at all and that production of electricity should be the first priority of the federal and provincial governments.

But the author’s suggestion that the Punjab government should go for solar and wind energy for huge production is highly optimistic and unrealistic at this stage.

We have various examples throughout the world about the big promises by solar and wind enthusiasts, which remained undelivered.

The reasons for its failure are mainly ‘higher cost’ per unit, ‘cyclic nature’ and other technological problems. We, as a developing nation, are not ready yet to invest a large amount of money on these types of projects on a large-scale and that solar and wind energy will remain small players for the next 20 to 30 years at least to bridge the gap between the energy supply and demand.


Comments (8) Closed

Shawez Jul 11, 2012 01:44pm
I'm sorry but I disagree with the author. Just look at Germany - two months ago they made a record in producing 22 gigawatts of energy harnessed only from the power of the sun! Thats 22,000 megawatts - more then entire demand of Pakistan - equal to 20 nuclear power plants! So no, its not 1995 or 2005 that we can keep groaning about how solar and wind is expensive, because now it has almost reached parity and will so in the near future and who says that when they decide to move in the direction they'll do it in the next 2-3 years? it will take a few decades but the work should start now!
Malak Ghulam Jul 11, 2012 04:16pm
It is great we are talking about Cheap Energy. But have we looked into the other added cost of energy like "Stolen Energy Cost"; "Transmission Losses" etc. Honestly we need to look into all this cost by total cost of Energy Generated to total Revenue of Energy Sold. If we have our numbers correct we can never again face a shortage of energy. But the truth of the matter is People have come to live with fact that Energy will be SOLD below cost and therefore there is NO NEED TO SAVE ENERGY. If we are going to sell Energy below cost that let it be Bare Minimum weither it is GAS or Electric or Oil Products whatever we cannot live like KINGS when we load the future generation with our debts.
Baba Sidni Jul 11, 2012 11:07pm
India - solar applications in place for more than three decades - then why do they have shortage of electricity, and many remote areas still without any electricity, and what is this fight among different countries on the dwindling resources of oil, now taking place in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Iran..... This is the first sensible writing on the solar energy, I have come across for a while in Dawn
mirza Jul 11, 2012 10:35pm
Will give you example of city of calgary, Canada . We have a world class city rail system which serves millions of people and the whole system is run on energy produced by wind mills. Nearly every house in Israel and West bank has solar panels. California government in USA gives cash incentives to people who install solar panels system in their houses. So why cant it be done in pakistan.
Ahsan Javed Jul 11, 2012 04:20am
Couldnt agree more. resource potential, big big investment, costly energy and lack of proven technology are big factors. Why we do not go for Alternate Fuels and Hydro. these two clearly are the best available option for Pak ?
syed Jul 11, 2012 05:44am
Coal run power plant are comparatively cheaper to install. Although there remains the pollution factor but advantages to the nation would be immense, And most of all raw material in hand would definitely reduce the per unit cost (if kept out of reach of corrupt people).
Rao Amjad Ali Jul 11, 2012 06:13am
Study India, China and a host of other developing countries in South America and Africa before arriving at an informed opinion. In solar, there are power production thresholds that allow economical generation of electricity because battery storage costs are minimized. In India, the low ampere solar applications have been in place for more than three decades.
non Jul 11, 2012 07:13am
Solar power in sunny countries like Pakistan/India has already reached Grid Parity with conventional power generation methods and the cost will drop even further in just 10 years. It will be too irresistible to governments of countries like ours to ignore. Even with Pakistan's legendary mismanagement of government projects Solar will still work out great for the general population.