- Potential of huge renewable sources, geothermal energy must be utilized fairly
- Country’s power generation from renewables will move up 30% by 2030
Interview with Mr. Shabbir Hassan Mansha — Acting President, FPCCI
PAGE: Tell me something about yourself and your organization, please:
Shabbir Hassan Mansha: I am a professional and tax law expert in all the matters related to imports and exports and have vast experience of more than 25 years in field of supply chain management that includes Trading, Tax advisory and logistics. I have also served the business community as elected office bearer in Key organizations some of which are: Chairman of Pakistan Artificial Leather Importers & Merchant Association, Founder Chairman of Pakistan Artificial Leather Importers & Merchant Association, GB Member of Pakistan Artificial Leather Importers & Merchant Association (2019), EC Member FPCCI (2020), Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Customs (2020 & 2021), GB Member Pakistan Silk Rayon Association (2015), Chief Executive Officer Adma Industries Adma Trading House Churra & Co. Churra Silk Factory Imran Industries Shabbir Industries.
Presently, I am Vice President and serving as Acting President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), which is an apex body of entire trade and industry in Pakistan. Actually, the FPCCI is the umbrella body of 244 Trade Bodies (60 Chambers of Commerce and Industry, 24 Women’s Chambers of Commerce & Industry, 12 Chambers of Small Traders, 3 Joint Chambers of Commerce & Industry, 145 all Pakistan Associations, representing Industry, Trade and Service sectors).at federal level while other representative trade bodies are our member hence the FPCCI enjoy the status of a federal level apex institution. The FPCCI advocates and voice the collective opinion, concern and aspiration of the private sector and offers helpful advice and solid assistance to the Government in its efforts to promote exports, encourage foreign investment and stimulate economic activities in the country.
The FPCCI is playing an active role in promoting economic activities as well as identifying problems of trade, industry, services, investments, environment and safeguarding the interest of the private sector through constant dialogue with the Government.
PAGE: A renewable energy source is energy that is sustainable and can’t run out since it is endless like the sun. Pakistan needs it desperately. What is your perspective?
Shabbir Hassan Mansha: Renewable energy is often referred to as clean energy, comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished. For example, sunlight and wind keep shining and blowing, even if their availability depends on time and weather. While renewable energy is often thought of as a new technology, harnessing nature’s power has long been used for heating, transportation, lighting, and more. Wind has powered boats to sail the seas and windmills to grind grain. The sun has provided warmth during the day and helped kindle fires to last into the evening. But over the past 500 years or so, humans increasingly turned to cheaper, dirtier energy sources, such as coal and fracked gas. I think in Pakistan there is a dire need of expansion in renewables.
Pakistan has a significant potential to overcome existing fuel needs in the country. This potential capacity is fairly distributed among the different provinces. Sindh is endowed with wind potential in the South, Balochistan is rich with solar potential in the West, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is rich with hydro in the northeast area. Therefore, existing potential of renewables can be explored in four distant regions for power generation, water/space heating, engine fuel, and stand-alone power systems (SAPS). As renewable use continues to grow, a key goal will be to modernize Pakistan’s electricity grid, making it smarter, more secure, and better integrated across regions.
PAGE: The most popular renewable energy sources currently are solar energy, wind energy, hydro energy, tidal energy, geothermal energy and biomass energy. What should Pakistan focus on the most?
Shabbir Hassan Mansha: Pakistan has four main renewable energy sources. These are wind, solar, hydro, and biomass. These resources have a significant potential to provide solutions to the long-lasting energy crisis in Pakistan. Hence, a steady development of these resources is a crucial step to overcome the existing energy challenges in an environmental friendly manner. Among the different renewable energy sources, solar energy has received the most research attention. Sheikh, for instance, evaluated the potential of solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation capacity with 14 % efficient PV panels over area of 100 km2, which is 0.01 % of total land area of the country. From the results, it was concluded that covering 100 km2 area of land with PV panels can produce energy equivalent to 30 million tons of oil equivalent (MTOE) in Pakistan. It is considered that 0.45 % of urban regions for PV installations to estimate the total energy generation capacity based on solar PV system.
According to a survey showing that the interior part of the country consists of mainly agricultural land, which is appropriate for the development of biomass feedstock, whereas northern and southern corridors have a significant potential for hydro, wind, and solar. This finding is useful as it might possibly improve the diverse energy supply market and decrease the dependency on imported fuels and environmental pollution. It has been projected that Pakistan will contribute up to 10,000 MW to its energy mix through renewable energy resources by 2030. Therefore, it is suggested that the government should take immediate and necessary actions to materialize the estimated potential.
PAGE: Wind farms are an increasingly familiar sight in plenty of countries with wind power making an ever-increasing contribution to the National Grid. How do you see Pakistan in this regard?
Shabbir Hassan Mansha: In different locations of Sindh and Balochistan provinces there is a vast area of 9750 km2 with a high wind speed. The area has a significant potential to produce around 50,000 MW of electricity. However, due to the occurrence of other economic activities, only 25% of the area can be utilized with a production potential of 11,000 MW. Moreover, significant wind speeds were identified in the costal part of Balochistan, particularly in Swat and some of the Northern Areas. However, the potential of these sites is still being explored although the capacity is not enough to contribute to the national grid. NREL, together with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has identified a total gross wind resource of 346,000 MW in Pakistan, where approximately 120,000 MW can be technically exploited to power the national gird.
Recently, a wind project with 500 MW capacities has been completed in 2013. In addition, more than 18 wind turbine companies are approaching AEDB to install 3000 MW wind project. At the moment, the first phase of the Zorlu wind project generating 6 MW is in operation whilst a 56 MW plant is yet to be installed. Different wind power projects with a cumulative capacity of approximately 964 MW are at different phases of construction and would be completed in the near future. The Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) has installed nearly 150 small wind turbines ranging between 0.49 and 9 kW with a cumulative power output of 160 kW at the different areas of Sindh and Baluchistan, powering 1569 homes including 9 security check posts.
Also, thousands of small wind turbines with a capacity of 300-1000W have been installed by different Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), electrifying rural areas of Sindh province. Most recently, three villages of Baluchistan have been powered using a wind/PV hybrid system. I am very optimistic that further investment and development, wind energy could become a major component of sustainable energy future in Pakistan.
PAGE: By harnessing the natural heat below the earth’s surface, geothermal energy can be used to heat homes directly or to generate electricity. Your views:
Shabbir Hassan Mansha: Pakistan is blessed with the potential of huge geothermal energy recourses that could generate 100,000MW electricity at the cost of 5-10 cents per unit depending upon different locations of the power plants. Geothermal energy is the heat from the earth and a free renewable, clean and sustainable source which can meet the increasing energy needs of the world. Geothermal energy in the form of hot water, steam springs, geysers and underground hot aquifers are available in the world including Pakistan. Geothermal energy is used for electricity generation, space heating and cooling of buildings, supply of hot water, green houses, fish farming and setting up of small industries requiring heat. The presence of hot water and steam, springs, fumaroles and geysers have been identified in Northern Himalayas. The mud volcanoes, hot geothermal fluids in Balochistan province and dormant volcanoes, hot magmatic waters at 150 degrees centigrade in Chagai volcanic Arc in Balochistan province has also been present. The hydrocarbon basin related co-produced geothermal waters with temperature of 80-170 degrees centigrade in Sindh as well.
In addition, there are 300 dry, depleted and abandoned oil and gas wells which can be used for geothermal energy development. The Government of Pakistan has to take some serious steps to immediately generate electricity and provide heating and cooling of the federal, provincial, defence and diplomatic buildings from geothermal energy available in Pakistan to reduce energy shortages and saving oil and gas resources to be used for other industries.
PAGE: Renewable energy sources make up more than 26% of the world’s electricity today, but according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) its share is expected to reach 30% by 2024. How would you comment on it?
Shabbir Hassan Mansha: Renewable electricity growth is accelerating faster than ever worldwide, supporting the emergence of the new global energy economy. The growth of the world’s capacity to generate electricity from solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable technologies is on course to accelerate over the coming years, with 2021 expected to set a fresh all-time record for new installations.
Despite rising costs for key materials used to make solar panels and wind turbines, additions of new renewable power capacity this year are forecast to rise to 290 gigawatts (GW) in 2021, surpassing the previous all-time high set last year.
By 2026, global renewable electricity capacity is forecast to rise more than 60% from 2020 levels to over 4 800 GW – equivalent to the current total global power capacity of fossil fuels and nuclear combined. Renewables are set to account for almost 95% of the increase in global power capacity through 2026, with solar PV alone providing more than half. The amount of renewable capacity added over the period of 2021 to 2026 is expected to be 50% higher than from 2015 to 2020. This is driven by stronger support from policies and more ambitious clean energy goals announced before and during the COP26 Climate Change Conference.
In Pakistan, government has planned to increase the share of its power generation from renewables (excluding hydropower) from less than 4% in 2018 to 20% by 2025 and 30% by 2030. The target will include mainly wind and solar power, but also geothermal, tidal and biomass energy. The share of renewables (including hydropower) in Pakistan’s power mix could increase from around 26% in 2018 to reach 65% by 2030. Pakistan intends to add between 7 to 8 GW of renewable power capacity by 2025. The government has announced incentives program for investors, as part of its renewable energy policy that aims to raise the share of renewables in the power mix in this context solar panel has been given duty free import.