At present Pakistan is facing an acute shortage of Electrical Energy supplies that has resulted in several hours of load shedding for both domestic and industrial users. This is creating a stressed and tired human resource with an outcome of low efficiency and poor performance. Due to this shortfall the industrial sector is also suffering and undergoing through a negative growth that is severely damaging our economy.
Most of the Thermal Power Plants installed by IPPs use furnace oil which has become very expensive over the recent past. The furnace oil has to be imported and consumes our foreign reserves. Some of these plants can also use natural gas as fuel but the country has started feeling the pinch of short supplies of gas as well. Now it is a challenge for Engineering community to find several alternative solutions to resolve this troublesome crisis. For that we need to explore renewable alternatives that are non depleting, need not to be imported and transported.
University of Engineering and Technology Lahore Pakistan has taken an initiative to establish a research centre with a focus on exploring alternative energy resources. The centre has been named as "Energy Technologies Development Centre (ETDC) " under the umbrella of Mechanical Engineering department. This centre is based on interdisciplinary research in the field of energy both on conventional and renewable energy systems. An integrated research activity from all engineering and science disciplines of the university will be a focus of this centre. It is hoped that the projects undertaken in this centre will be useful in resolving the present energy crisis.
It is widely accepted that the growth in energy consumption which has been experienced for many years cannot continue indefinitely only on fossil fuels as these reserves are limited and are depleting rapidly. Also the combustion of these fossils for power generation produces enormous amounts of CO2, and other harmful gases causing global warming and environmental pollution. Oil importing countries are also facing fiscal difficulties due to rapidly fluctuating fuel costs.
The latest and perhaps the most troublesome crisis faced by the Pakistani nation these days is the shortage in supply of electricity. Almost 70 million Pakistanis have no access to electricity and the rest are facing several hours of load shedding. To address the problem, continual advances in technology necessitate re-evaluation of the sources needed for electricity generation.
Keeping in view the scenarios stated above, the Engineering Institutions of Pakistan need to be supported for projects on alternative energy systems for power generation using renewable resources.
Studies on coal fired Thermal Power Plants are also necessary for implementation of new technologies . Such as coal gasification and fluidized bed combustion with reduced harmful emissions. These technologies will result in improved efficiencies and lesser environmental pollution using the coal reserves of Pakistan.
I would like to appreciate the efforts and encouragement by the University administration in establishing the energy technologies development centre.
This centre is based on interdisciplinary research in the field of energy. The centre focuses on the new developments in Renewable Energy Resources especially
University is in the process of establishing an Energy Park at KSK campus with full operational facility pertaining to large scale renewable energy projects. Projects in this park will include
As conventional thermal power plants are also key components in national electricity supplies, the centre has also launched several projects on conventional thermal power plants such as