Efficient use, storage to help ease energy crisis in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD      -    Efficient use of energy re­sources is hampered by several barriers, including policy con­straints and lack of awareness and information on energy-ef­ficient practices and technolo­gies. There is a strong need to reduce energy consumption by introducing conservation tech­niques and practices.

Talking to WealthPK, eminent energy expert Syed Akhtar Ali said, “Pakistan has been among energy-deficient countries for a couple of decades. Owing to the structured efforts of the gov­ernment, power generation has increased significantly but the demand is constantly rising, es­pecially during the peak summer season. The rise in energy de­mand is driven by a continuous increase in the number of con­sumers, specifically household consumers. To meet the peak en­ergy demand, we must improve our energy storage capacity”.

“Pakistan expects to gener­ate over 30,000MW renewable capacity (including hydro) by 2030. This will undoubtedly need battery and pumped stor­age. However, the integration of renewable energy into the na­tional grid can be challenging without adequate energy storage systems. Energy storage systems can help mitigate the impact of intermittent power generation by storing excess energy dur­ing periods of high generation and releasing it during low gen­eration or high demand periods,” said Akhtar Ali. Shedding light on different storage technolo­gies, he said, “The cheapest and most efficient method of storing energy is pumped hydro, and it is not a new energy source. It sup­plies energy, particularly during the peak hours when the energy is more expensive, thus compen­sating for the energy loss”.

“In addition to improving the grid stability and reliability, en­ergy storage systems can also reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and imported oil, which can help save foreign ex­change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he added. Akhtar Ali said the building sector, mo­tors and pumps, industrial sys­tems, and household electrical equipment were a few areas which, if prioritized, could lead to some achievement in the conser­vation and efficiency agenda.

“In the energy efficiency busi­ness, consumer awareness is a major issue. Ordinary citizens are the main actors in most items. Split ACs are being widely used, as they are generally more efficient than window ACs. The former is being used for both cooling and heating purposes.”

He said, “Using ACs as heaters is much more efficient than using classic resistance heaters. Unfor­tunately, in this area, only the rich have switched, while the poor ei­ther do not have the house or the money to benefit from it. Home electrical appliances are more efficient today, but still there is a room for improvement.”

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