Wind energy in Pakistan

wind energy in pakistan
 Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), to pursue the path of renewable energy, is focusing on wind and solar sources as viable alternatives. Ever since its formation, AEDB has been half-heartedly setting up small renewable energy projects for promoting the use of renewable energy in the country’s power generation mix. But during the current regime, it stopped well short of bringing any significant change on the energy landscape of Pakistan. The simple mechanism of wind power is that it harnesses power of the wind to propel blades of wind turbines. These turbines cause rotation of magnets, which creates electricity. Though Pakistan has a potential to produce wind energy ranging from 10000 MW to 50000 MW, power generation through wind is in initial stages in the country and currently a project in its first phase has been installed in  Jhampir, through a Turkish company, and 50 MW will be installed shortly. By setting up wind farms, more wind power plants can be built immediately in Jhampir, Gharo, Keti Bandar and Bin Qasim Karachi. According to an article written by Miriam Katz, “The Feasibility of Renewable Energy in Pakistan,” our country is fortunate to have something many other countries do not. High speed of wind near major centers. Around the capital Islamabad, wind speed ranges between 6.2 to 7.4 meters per second (between 13.8 and 16.5 miles per hour). Similarly, in the port city of Karachi, the range is between 6.2 and 6.9 (between 13.8 and 15.4 miles per hour). In addition to Karachi and Islamabad, there are other areas in Pakistan that experience a significant amount of wind. From the wind energy perspective, experts say that the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh have sufficient wind supply to power every coastal village in the country. There also exists an air corridor between Gharo and Keti Bandar that could alone produce between 40,000 and 50,000 megawatts of electricity through wind energy projects.Given this surplus potential, Pakistan has much to offer Asia with regards to wind energy. This situation is ideal for wind energy projects. Pakistan is also very fortunate to have many rivers and lakes. Wind turbines that are situated in or near water enjoy an uninterrupted flow of wind, which virtually guarantees availability of power at all times. A globally reputed wind turbine manufacturing company, Suzlon, has set up its unit in neighbouring India from where turbines can be imported at a much cheaper rate with lesser shipment time. In the meanwhile, Pakistan can begin to build its own wind-turbine industry and create thousands of new jobs while solving its energy problems.  Wind energy is an ideal renewable energy due to a number of lateral benefits arising out of its production. It is a pollution-free, infinitely sustainable form of energy which doesn’t require fuel. It doesn’t create greenhouse gases as it doesn’t produce toxic or radioactive waste products. Wind energy is noise-free which does not present any significant hazard to birds or wildlife. It is less occupying in a sense that when large arrays of wind turbines are installed on a wind farm, only about three per cent of land area is required for wind turbines to operate while remaining area of the land is available for cultivation, livestock, and other uses. It gives substantial supplementary income to landowners who often receive payments for use of their land. This enhances their incomes and increases the value of the land. This practice is carried out in India and a number of other countries. Ownership of wind turbine generators by individuals and the community allows people to participate directly in the preservation of our environment. Each megawatt-hour of electricity that is generated through wind energy helps reduce 1 to 1.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions that are otherwise produced by coal or diesel fuel generation each year. The article by Miriam Katz I mentioned earlier offers a comprehensive comparison of wind potential around the world. Acording to the article, despite having less potential for wind as compared to Pakistan, India has the world’s fourth largest number of wind turbines installed. The number stands at 7,093 MW according to report. Ahead of India are Germany at 21,283 MW, Spain at 13,400 MW and the US at 12,934 MW. Individuals who install wind turbines and solar panels in Germany, Spain and India are guaranteed a certain rate per kilowatt hour.  In India, this varies according to the technology and the area. The reports that in most areas, between 2500 and 4800 rupees are guaranteed for solar panels, and for wind turbines, between 250,000 and 300,000 rupees are awarded.  Because of the above incentives, the cost of wind in India is between 2 and 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour while in Pakistan, the cost is 7 cents due to lack of state incentives. Pakistan Meteorological Department has conducted a detailed Wind Power Potential Survey of Coastal Areas of Pakistan and Ministry of Science and Technology has provided required funding for this purpose. The feasibility study has identified potential areas in Sindh where economically feasible wind farms can be established. It is interesting to note that Sindh coastal areas have greater wind power potential than Baluchistan coastal areas. Potential areas cover 9700 square kilometers in Sindh. The gross wind power potential of this area is 43000 MW and keeping in view the area utilization constraints, the exploitable electric power generation potential of this area is estimated to be about 11000MW. Generally, a wind farm located in an area with good winds and having a typical value of capacity factor i.e. 25 per cent at least are economically viable. The expected life of wind turbine is 25 to 30 years. Maintenance is required once or twice a year. The returns from investments in this sector are very much dependent on government policies, both in terms of provided incentives and the taxation structure imposed on businesses. In a nutshell, the introduction of wind power generation is totally dependent on the political leadership of the country to pull its masses out of the darkness of load shedding.

Engineer the tools of scientific discovery.

              Engineer the tools of scientific discovery.
 In the popular mind, scientists and engineers have distinct job descriptions.  Scientists  explore,    experiment, and discover; engineers create, design, and build.

But in truth, the distinction is blurry, and engineers participate in the scientific process of discovery in many ways. Grand experiments and missions of exploration always need engineering expertise to design the tools, instruments, and systems that make it possible to acquire new knowledge about the physical and biological worlds. In the century ahead, engineers will continue to be partners with scientists in the great quest for understanding many unanswered questions of nature. 
How will engineering impact biological research?
Biologists are always seeking, for instance, better tools for imaging the body and the brain. Many mysteries also remain in the catalog of human genes involving exactly how genes work in processes of activation and inhibition. Scientists still have much to learn about the relationship of genes and disease, as well as the possible role of large sections of our DNA that seem to be junk with no function, leftover from evolution. To explore such realms, biologists will depend on engineering help — perhaps in the form of new kinds of microscopes, or new biochemical methods of probing the body’s cellular and molecular machinations. New mathematical
and computing methods, incorporated into the emerging discipline of “systems biology,” may show the way to better treatments of disease and better understanding of healthy life. Perhaps even more intriguing, the bioengineering discipline known as “synthetic biology” may enable the design of entirely novel biological chemicals and systems that could prove useful in applications from fuels to medicines to environmental
cleanup and more. Turning to the mysteries of our own minds, new methods for studying the brain should assist the study of memory, learning, emotions, and thought. In the process, mental disorders may be conquered and learning and thinking skills enhanced. Ultimately, such advances may lead to a credible answer to the deepest of human mysteries, the question of the origin and nature of consciousness itself.

How will engineering help us explore the universe?
In its profundity, only one question compares with that of consciousness — whether the universe is host to forms of life anywhere else than on Earth. Systems capable of probing the cosmos for evidence surely represent one of engineering’s grandest challenges. Even apart from the question of extraterrestrial
life, the exploration of space poses a considerable challenge. Long-distance human space fl ght faces numerous obstacles, from the danger of radiation to the need to supply sustainable sources of food, water, and oxygen. Engineering expertise will be critical to overcomingthose obstacles, and many efforts to
expand that expertise are underway. One line of research, for example, envisions a set of connected bioreactors populated by carefully chosen microbes. Metabolism by the microbes could convert human wastes (and in some cases the microbes’ own wastes) into the resources needed to support
long-term travel through space. But the allure of space extends well beyond the desire to seek novel life and explore new phenomena. Space represents the mystery of existence itself. The universe’s size and age exceeds most people’s comprehension. Many of its less obvious features have been fathomed by the methods and tools of modern astrophysics, revealing that, amazingly, our entire universe seems to have arisen in an initial fi reball from an infi nitely smallpoint. Matter and energy coalesced into such structures as galaxies, stars, and planets supporting the even more intricate atomic arrangements making up minerals, plants,
and animals. Beneath all this compelling complexity lies an embarrassing fact — scientists do not know what most of the universe is made of. We only understand a small percentage of all the matter and energy in the cosmos. The greatest part of matter is a dark form of unknown identity, and even more abundant is a mysterious energy that exerts a repulsive force on space, inducing the universe to expand at an ever-increasing rate. Engineers have continually been at work on better, and cheaper, ways to search space for answers to these questions. New and improved telescopes, both on the ground and in space, make up part of the investigatory arsenal. Other devices measure waves of gravity rippling through space, or detect the fl ux of the elusive lightweight particle known as the neutrino. Whether these and other approaches can shed suffi cient light to disclose the universe’s darkest secrets remains unknown. It may be that further investigation of earthly materials will be needed as well, along with the continued assault on the problems of physics with the power of thought, an approach used so successfully by Einstein. Maybe answers will come only if scientists can succeed in discovering the ultimate laws of physics. In that regard, the underlying question is whether there exists, as Einstein believed, one single, ultimate underlying law that encompasses all physics in a unifi ed mathematical framework. Finding out may require new tools to unlock the secrets of matter and energy.
Perhaps engineers will be able to devise smaller, cheaper, but more powerful atom smashers, enabling physicists to explore realms beyond the reach of current technology. Another possible avenue to discovering a unifi ed law might be by achieving a deeper understanding of how the world’s tiniest and most basic building blocks work, the foundations of quantum physics. Engineers and physicists are already collaborating to develop computers based on quantum principles. Such computers, in addition to their possible practical value, may reveal new insights into the quantum world itself. All things considered, the frontiers of nature represent the grandest of challenges, for engineers, scientists, and society itself. Engineering’s success in fi nding answers to nature’s mysteries will not only advance the understanding of life and the cosmos, but also provide engineers with fantastic new prospects to apply in enterprises that enhance the joy of living and the vitality of human civilization.

  • The frontiers of nature represent the grandest of challenges, for engineers, scientists, and society itself
  • Engineers will continue to be partners with scientists in the great quest for understanding many unanswered questions of nature.


If you have a laptop computer, its battery probably contains the metallic element lithium. In theory, the lithium in that batterycould supply your household electricity needs for 15 years.

Not in the form of a battery, of course. Rather, lithium could someday be the critical element for producing power from nuclear fusion, the energy source for the sun and hydrogen bombs. Power plants based on lithium and using forms of hydrogen as fuel could in principle provide a major sustainable source of clean energy in the future.
What is fusion?
Fusion is the energy source for the sun. To be sure, producing power from fusion here on Earth is much more challenging than in the sun. There, enormous heat and gravitational pressure compress the nuclei of certain atoms into heavier nuclei, releasing energy. The single proton nuclei of two hydrogen isotopes, for example, are fused together to create the heavier nucleus of helium and a neutron. In that conversion, a tiny amount of mass is lost, transformed into energy as quantifi ed by Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc2. Earthbound reactors cannot achieve the high pressures of the sun’s interior (such pressures have been achieved on Earth
only in thermonuclear weapons, which use the radiation from a fi ssion explosion to compress the fuel). But temperatures much higher than the sun’s can be created to compensate for the lesser pressure, especially if heavier forms of hydrogen, known as deuterium (with one proton and one neutron) and tritium (one proton plus two neutrons) are fused. Deuterium is a relatively uncommon form of hydrogen, but water — each molecule comprising two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen — is abundant enough to make deuterium supplies essentially unlimited. Oceans could meet the world’s current energy needs for literally billions of years. Tritium, on the other hand, is radioactive and is extremely scarce in nature. That’s where
lithium comes in. Simple nuclear reactions can convert lithium into the tritium needed tofuse with deuterium. Lithium is more abundant than lead or tin in the Earth’s crust, and even more lithium is available from seawater. A 1,000 megawatt fusion-powered generating station would require only a few metric tons of lithium per year. As the oceans contain trillions of metric tons of lithium, supply would not be a problem
for millions of years.
Can you control a fusion reaction?
Human-engineered fusion has already been demonstrated on a small scale. The challenges facing the engineering community are to fi nd ways to scale up the fusion process to commercial proportions, in an effi cient, economical, and environmentally benign way. A major demonstration of fusion’s potential will soon be built in southern France. Called ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), the test facility is a joint research project of the United States, the European Union, Japan, Russia, China, South Korea, and India. Designed to reach a power level of 500 megawatts, ITER will be the first fusion experiment to produce a long pulse of energy release on a signifi cant scale. While other approaches to fusion are being studied, the most advanced involves using magnetic forces to hold the fusion ingredients together. ITER will use this magnetic confinement method in a device known as a tokamak, where the fuels are injected into and confined in a vacuum chamber and heated to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees. Under those conditions the fusion fuels become a gas-like form of electrically charge matter known as a plasma. (Its electric charge is what allows confi nement by magneticforces.) ITER will test the ability of magnetic confi nement to hold the plasma in place at high-enough temperatures and density for a long-enough time for the fusion reaction to take place. Construction of ITER is scheduled to start by 2009, with plasma to be fi rst produced in 2016, and generation of 500 megawatts of thermal energy by 2025. (It will not convert this heat to electricity, however.) Among ITER’s prime purposes will be identifying strategies for addressing various technical and safety issues that engineers will have to overcome to make fusion viable as a large-scale energy provider.
What are the barriers to making fusion reactors work?
For one thing, materials will be needed that can withstand the assaults from products of the fusion reaction. Deuterium-fusion reactions produce helium, which can provide some of the energy to keep the plasma heated. But the main source of energy to be extracted from the reaction comes from neutrons, which are also produced in the fusion reaction. The fast-fl ying neutrons will pummel through the reactor chamber wall into a blanket of material surrounding the reactor, depositing their energy as heat that can then be used to produce power. (In advanced reactor designs, the neutrons would also be used to initiate reactions converting lithium to tritium.).Not only will the neutrons deposit energy in the blanket material, but their impact will convert atoms in the wall and blanket into radioactive forms. Materials will be needed that can extract heat effectively while surviving the neutron-induced structural weakening for extended periods of time. Methods also will be needed for confi ning the radioactivity induced by neutrons as well as preventing releases of the radioactive tritium fuel. In addition, interaction of the plasma with reactor materials will produce radioactive dust that needs to be removed. Building full-scale fusion-generating facilities will require engineering advances to meet
all of these challenges, including better superconducting magnets and advanced vacuum systems. The European Union and Japan are designing the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility, where possible materials for fusion plant purposes will be developed and tested. Robotic methods for maintenance and repair will also have to be developed. While these engineering challenges are considerable, fusion provides many advantages beyond the prospect of its almost limitless supply of fuel.
Will fusion energy be safe?
From a safety standpoint, it poses no risk of a runaway nuclear reaction — it is so difficult to get the fusion reaction going in the fi rst place that it can be quickly stopped by eliminating the injection of fuel. And after engineers learn how to control the fi rst generation of fusion plasmas, from deuterium and tritium fuels, advanced second- or third-generation fuels could reduce radioactivity by orders of magnitude. Ultimately, of course, fusion’s success as an energy provider will depend on whether the challenges to building generating plants and operating them safely and reliably can be met in a way that makes the cost of fusion electricity economically competitive. The good news is that the fi rst round of challenges are clearly defi ned, and motivations for meeting them are strong, as fusion fuels offer the irresistible combination of abundant
supply with minimum environmental consequences.

Make solar energy economical


As a source of energy, nothing matches the sun. It out-powers anything that human technology could ever produce. Only a small fraction of the sun’s power output strikes the Earth, but even that provides 10,000 times as much as all the commercial energy that humans use on the planet .

Why is solar energy important?
Already, the sun’s contribution to human energy needs is substantial — worldwide, solar electricity generation is a growing, multibillion dollar industry. But solar’s share of the total energy market remains rather small, well below 1 percent of total energy consumption, compared with roughly 85 percent from oil, natural gas, and coal. Those fossil fuels cannot remain the dominant sources of energy forever. Whatever the precise timetable for their depletion, oil and gas supplies will not keep up with growing energy demands. Coal is available in abundance, but its use exacerbates air and water pollution problems, and coal contributes even more substantially than the other fossil fuels to the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For a long-term, sustainable energy source, solar power offers an attractive alternative. Its availability far exceeds any conceivable future energy demands. It is environmentally clean, and its energy is transmitted from the sun to the Earth free of charge. But exploiting the sun’s power is not without challenges. Overcoming the barriers to widespread solar power generation will require engineering innovations in several arenas— for capturing the sun’s energy, converting it to useful forms, and storing it for use when the sun itself is obscured. Many of the technologies to address these issues are already in hand.