International Conference on Renewable Energy Technologies in Pakistan

The 50 mega watt, to be generated from Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park situated in Cholistan, will be added to the national grid within six months under the first phase, said Punjab Energy Minister Sher Ali Khan. He addressed an inaugural session of three-day International Conference on Renewable Energy Technologies in Pakistan arranged by Faculty of Agri Engineering, University of Agriculture Faisalabad in collaboration with University of Kassel, Germany; US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and International Centre for Development and Decent Work (ICDD).

Punjab Energy Minister Sher Ali Khan along with UAF faculty members visits Solar Boiling Unit, UAF

The inaugural session was chaired by Punjab Energy Minister Sher Ali Khan whereas Prof Dr Oliver Hensel from University of Kassel, Germany; UAF Dean Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal; Wolfgang Scheffler, Director, Solar Bruecke, Germany; Anjum Munir, DAAD Project Coordinator Pakistan; Ursula Saarbeck, Director and DAAD IC Islamabad addressed the inaugural session. The moot is meant to highlight the renewable energies that will help cater energy demand in the country.

The Minister said that the Punjab government was taking all possible steps to address the prevailing energy crisis. The promotion of the alternative energy is also the part of the strategy mapped out to reduce load shedding.

He was of the view that Pakistan is having installed capacity of 23,000 MW whereas 16,000 MW is being produced so far. He said the Punjab government is setting up small dams on canals consisting of 10 to 20 MW each.  He added that in this regard, a big project on Tunsa barrage to produce 120 MW of energy will also be initiated soon. He was of the view that in Punjab is also mulling producing the power from the biomass. The province is having
48 sugar mills which are being encouraged to produce more electricity from sugarcane waste (*begas*) so that it can be added to national grid.

Dean Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal called for promoting alternatives energy technologies by saying that Pakistan can produce 20,000 MW only from wind energy.  He was of the view that 720 million kg animal dung per day can produce 1243 MW of energy while 81 million tones of biomass can contribute significantly for energy production without harmful effects on the environment.  He lauded the steps being taken on the part of Punjab government for the promotion of alternative energy.

Prof Dr Oliver Hensel informed the audience about the solar energy by highlighting Pakistan is the blessed with the seasons where sun shines all the year. Especially, the farmers’ community should get the benefit from
the solar energy.    He said they were working on the inter-disciplinary
approach by the enhanced collaboration in agriculture and food engineering sector. The same model can be applied in the UAF also.

Ursula Saarbeck said that the under the project of DAAD, University of Kassel is making efforts with the different universities of the world in the area of social science and technology. Project on awarding scholarships and development of the rural areas are also included in the said joint efforts.

Dr Anjum Munir said that in the present era, it is need of the hour to shift to the alternative energy technology as Pakistan is in the acutely short of fossil fuel. He said that the UAF has set biogas plant whereas work on 3.8 mw solar energy is being done. He said that UAF has started Energy System Engineering degree keeping in view, the importance of energy sector in the country.

The minster flanked by UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan also visited the biogas plant, solar energy units installed at UAF and inspected other ongoing research projects.