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Renewable energy

Published Mar 23, 2013 02:05am


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THIS is apropos of Riaz Akbar’s letter ‘Renewable energy’ (March 19). The writer is right when he says that we cannot gain by opting for solar energy unless we establish manufacturing facilities for solar equipment in our own country.

We should first import solar panels (ready-made) and then, in cooperation with a renowned foreign company, establish facilities for production of the same locally. China would be a better option in this regard as it is much cheaper than Europe and the US.

A panel comprises about 100 to 200 cells depending upon power which is required to be generated through these cells. These cells, which are quite costly, will initially have to be imported. But the real impact will only be made when we start manufacturing these cells also in Pakistan. As these cells would be required in millions if we go for a solar option in a big way, we’ll have to produce them locally.

To manufacture solar cells, two types of raw materials are required: quartz and silica. Quartz is available in northern areas of our country. Some people there are raising walls of their houses utilising this raw material in place of bricks, without knowing its real worth. The other raw material, silica, is available in our rivers and being utilised by our bulb-manufacturing factories.

As regards manpower, thousands and thousands of our educated young, men and women are roaming around without jobs.

They possess diplomas and degrees in various engineering disciplines like electronics, mechanical and electrical engineering.

People with these qualifications would be required to be deployed in manufacturing facilities.

In foreign countries, people working on such projects are being paid $45-$50 an hour. To us, such manpower would be available at the rate of $3 an hour only, which comes to about Rs72,000 a month.

To achieve this end, the only requirement is a will and commitment at the highest level of the government.

AZFAR KHAN     Rawalpindi


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Comments (6) Closed

Raj Hukkoo Mar 23, 2013 05:18am
The sun sets and the wind dies. Until battery technology and other storage technologies evolve these renewables will always be mere hobbies. Your best bet is still fossil fuels and conservation. Coal might be an option. By the way solar cell manufacturers in China and in the West are declaring bankruptcies. There should be plenty of oil under Pakistani soil and with the latest of the fracking technologies you might be able to become self sufficient.
MOHAMMAD Mar 23, 2013 11:27am
really great.
SM Mar 23, 2013 12:29pm
..and our Government doesn't have that will! The End!
Bbbb Mar 23, 2013 09:24pm
The sun sets and the wind dies. True, but all the fossil fuel prophesied by you have been created in more than a million years by the activity of the sun. And we are on a mission to destroy it in mere decades. I know, all of the sun energy has been stored by a very primitive and less developed life forms - whales, dinosaurs and trees. Can't the top most life form - humans do a little better. I know the solar cells of today are not a good alternative, but give another decade - I promise, they will become much more competitive. Just have some faith in the best creation of Allah.
Beg Mar 24, 2013 04:18am
There exists low cost technologies to store energy. Oxygen & hydrogen gas produced by decomposing water with electricity can be stored for extended period of time.
Khanm Mar 24, 2013 01:14pm
energise the people first.... rest will follow