Sunpower / Renewable Energy 

What is Sunpower?

Sunpower or solar powered energy is luminous heat and light through the sun that is utilized by employing a number of ever-evolving systems, like photovoltaics, solar heating system, photo voltaic structures, pv thermal power, artificial photosynthesis & molten-salt power plants.

It is a fact that when it comes to the progress and development of the world’s modern economies, energy is a key player!

Without ample energy no country can have a successful and flourishing economy. To function properly all fields of human activities require energy, such as health care, education, employment and education to name a few. Sunpower is deemed as the key component as far as a country’s economy is concerned.

Sunpower (RE) in Pakistan

Pakistan needs an immense supply of energy in order to keep everything on track. The country experiences a substantial shortage of energy supply as it is facing an energy crisis of the highest proportion.

During the last couple of years, the country’s demand versus the supply of electricity had increased which is evident especially during the summer season.

During summer this led to a total shutdown of electricity. In urban areas the power outages amount to 10 to 12 hours, whilst it is 16 to 18 hours in rural regions.

All Pakistani sectors are affected by these long periods of power blackouts which include the following sectors: industrial, agricultural, domestic, transport & energy generation. In turn this results in an immense economic loss.

Pakistan’s energy needs are fulfilled by using fossil fuels. This dependency on the utilization of fossil fuels does not only impact the country’s national economy, but also results in various environmental perils, such as CO2 emissions, greenhouse effect, irregular weather patterns & global warming.

According to a study conducted in four main Pakistani cities, concerning wind speed & solar radiation over the period of one year, the results pointed out that solar is the greatest renewable energy choice for the country, due to the factors stated below:

  • Lifespan of a sunpower system
  • Price
  • Operation cost
  • Cost efficiency for maintenance

Pakistan’s Energy Demand:

The country’s demand for energy is escalating over 9% on an annual basis.

The expectation is that the demand for energy will be escalating 8-fold by 2021 whilst by 2030 it will be at a staggering 20-fold.

The principal reason for Pakistan’s energy crises is the fact that the energy infrastructure is predominantly dependent on thermal reserves, such as oil, coal & natural gas, which is not just under great pressure of shortage, but is costly too.

Furthermore, sources of green energy or sunpower, is approximately only supplying 0.3% of the country’s energy needs!

However, among various renewable energy choices, solar has the capability to overcome these huge challenges.

Pakistan receives enormous amounts of sunlight, throughout the year as it is situated within the sun belt.

It is important that both the private- and public sector should invest in solar energy systems, to exploit the true potential of solar. Currently, approximately 48-51 million Pakistani citizens don’t have access to electricity.

Development of Sunpower in Pakistan

Renewable energy or solar in Pakistan poses to be a sector which is poorly developed.

However, recently some authorities and groups of environmentalists, showed interest to do exploration concerning renewable energy to produce electricity from solar. The majority of Pakistan’s RE is via hydroelectricity.

Gharo: Solar Park – 50MW

Attempts had been made towards the installation and expansion of utilizing solar energy in the country.

Due to the fact that Pakistan experiences approximately 8 ½ hours of sunlight on a daily basis, eight sunpower generating plants were installed. However, eleven more are in different phases of completion.

In certain Pakistani villages some practical examples of the utilization of solar renewable energy are evident. In these villages, houses are equipped with solar panels which are running electric fans and bulbs that save energy.

In Narain Khorian which is located approximately 50 kilometers from the city of Islamabad, a successful project was launched. A local firm installed 100 solar panels, which provide energy to a hundred households via fan & light amenities.

The development of alternative energy, equipped 200 homes with solar energy systems in the secluded village Karak, located in the Balochistan

District of Kudar.

Photovoltaic Solar Panels

The application of photovoltaic solar panels is the foremost competent method.

Moreover, photovoltaic glass permits solar generation from exteriors such as building windows which were formerly incapacitated to generate anything, but just passive solar energy, whilst enabling other options too, such as colour choices.

Elementary solar heaters are some of the other technologies used. These heaters are designed from recycled cans which produce a cost effective source of heat.

However, concentrated solar utilizes numerous reflectors or lenses in collecting more thermal energy from the sun.  Thermal energy which is collected throughout the day is generally applied to molten salts or oil which is containing heat for boiling water, during the night for the steam turbine generators.

Solar energy power as well as other supplies of clean electricity, like tidal & wind power are established increasingly in order to improve sustainability, save money and increase self-sufficiency.

Some major IT companies which are investing in clean energy include Google, Microsoft and Apple.

Apart from being more cost-effective compared to fossil fuels, sunpower (in the form of solar energy), averts the enormous costs related to environmental damage caused by spills, extraction & dealing with the pollution which is created via combustion.

5 Top Reasons Why Sunpower Energy Beats Fossil Fuels

Whilst fossil fuels are continuously phased out, the solar energy sector is growing dramatically on an annual basis.

1. Creating Job Opportunities

In different parts of the world more people are employed in solar energy than in the coal mining sector. Thus, solar is currently growing over 10 times faster than the previous decade.

2. The Price of Solar Energy

During the past 15 years the prices of solar panels showed a continuous drop in price.

However, since 2008, coal’s price has risen with up to 13% in certain sections of the market. In this scenario we can say, solarpower can replace these expensive energy resources. If we get a setup to covert this type of natural energy, then the production cost of electricity will be very low.

We can look back for example 20 years ago, there was different concept about energy alternatives. But now, scientists started to ponder all possible ways to utilize sunpower for the benefits of humanity and economy.

3. Investment

It’s a fact that for decades, fossil fuels were a predominant component of investment portfolios. However, their reign might be ending in the near future.

The value of fossil fuel companies is based on their resources which may be still under ground. However, international regulations come into place to keep the levels of carbon dioxide below 450-ppm, which is the measurement cap to avert irreparable climate change.

Fortunate companies insist investors to change their investment pattern to change from oil & coal to renewable energy.

Major investors, like Warren Buffet have made an investment in a massive solar farm, whilst predicting the termination of coal as a major power source in America. We can take example from big business tycoon and bring the same concept with full potential in Pakistan.

4. Capacity

With the rapid drop in electricity produced through solar energy, installations of solar panels are becoming easy for common citizens.

During the last 2 years, two-thirds of solar capacity was installed worldwide. Not only in cities but also in rural areas we need proper arrangements to install solar panels.

This is a reflection of coal’s rising costs as well as the establishment of more stringent environmental regulations.

5. The Impact on the Environment

The impact on the environment is quite clear because we have achieved enough technology to utilize sunpower into electricity. Stated below are impacts of coal burning & extraction of which you may be unaware:

  • Coal sludge & acid mine drainage polluting streams & rivers
  • Respiratory illnesses caused by coal dust from mining activities
  • Air pollution causes:

– smog

– acid rain

– cancers

– environmental toxins

– respiratory diseases

  • Waste of coal combustion 2nd major contributor to landfills
  • Mountain-top removal coal mining result in:

– flooding

– destruction of communities & entire ecosystems

  • Huge contributor where climate change is concerned
  • 381,740,601 pounds’ emissions of:

– methane

-toxic carbon dioxide

-mercury

-radioactive material

-sulfur dioxide

-particulate matter

Warren Buffet Quote: “Coal will gradually decline in importance…There aren’t any new coal plants being built now, so you will see gas fired plants, you’ll see wind, you’ll see solar.”

Short Summary of best pros for Sun power ( Solar Energy)

Pros:

  • Source of renewable energy
  • Diverse applications
  • Decrease in electricity bills
  • Technology development
  • Low maintenance costs

Solar Energy Development: Barriers to Sunpower in Pakistan

Even though a huge potential exists in Pakistan for solar energy, there are some obstacles which the country must overcome to use sunpower energy both effectively and efficiently.

A major barrier is the initial high cost. Solar energy projects need a long period to actualize their monetary advantages. However, companies like Zero Carbon have introduced solar panels of different categories which are available to buy at quite cheap rates. You can make up mind for the best investment of your life,

Summary of such barriers

Economical Barriers

  • Lack knowledge regarding market potential
  • Unwillingness of banks to provide large loans for big projects
  • Sometimes commencing costs are very high to begin a new sunpower project
  • Risks related to solar panels about their performance

Technological Barriers

  • Limited local production –
  • Local technology is unreliable but some companies like ZC have already earned a repute in the market for solar panels installations
  • Fake solar maps for checking sunpower radiation intensity
  • Dependent on overseas technology for equipment and key parts

Policy Barriers

  • Incompetent environmental structure
  • Confusing policies about the partaking of private investors
  • High preference to conventional energy sources & lacking structural regulations regarding renewable energy
  • Non-existent system for feed-in tariff
  • Availability of more subsidies for fossil fuels in comparison with sunpower & other renewable technologies

Social Barriers

  • Ignorance about solar energy, particularly in rural regions
  • Solar energy projects suffer opposition within local communities such as installing solar water heaters upon high roofs
  • Lack of social participation & acceptance. Citizens are stick to conventional means of electricity, posing as a big obstacle for new sunpower energy projects
  • Citizens lack practical knowledge to fix a problem when it occurs

Human Resources & Information Barriers

  • Limited business & marketing management skills
  • Limited information regarding energy efficiency in order to establish proficient policies to mobilize society
  • Lacking professionals & inadequate potential regarding human resources to operate & maintain large solar energy facilities
  • Inadequate knowledge regarding specialized equipment, modern solar technology, potential financiers & suppliers. This should be managed by a well trusted and experienced company which can give you full potential of sunpower.

Conclusion

Pakistan, like other developing countries, relies entirely on conventional fossil fuels for its energy requirements.

There is an immense demand for energy, due to recent industrial development and its massive population.

Recently, the prices of fossil fuel have escalated, whilst the country has not many another options for producing energy which leads to severe short falls in energy.

The supply gap between the demand & supply of electricity has escalated enormously, which affected all sectors and the population in a severe manner.

Numerous sources of renewable & alternative energy are being researched in Pakistan. The researchers compared numerous sources

of renewable energy, for example as stated below:

  • Sunpower & wind
  • Average life span
  • Price comparisons for solar electricity produced through solarpower
  • Consumption of fuel
  • Emission of perilous gases
  • Maintenance & operational costs

They concluded that the country’s  solar energy appeared to be the most effective source where renewable energy is concerned, to overcome all Pakistan’s energy obstacles.

It is more cost-effective, has a longer average lifespan when compared to wind energy, whilst it does not need maintenance or operational costs.

Sunpower or solar energy can alleviate the extensive pressure on Pakistan’s national budget, regarding the import of costly fossil fuels, particularly oil.

Furthermore, it is a fact that a good wind speed will only be available for approximately 5-6 months annually, whilst solar radiation will be available throughout the entire year.

The utilization of sunpower for solar electricity in Pakistan is not impossible, this type of energy can be used for

  • Solar water heaters
  • Solar PV
  • Solar cookers
  • Solar geysers
  • Solar pumps