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.”