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Advantages & Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 12 (2777 words)
Categories: Pakistan, Power, Renewable Sources Of Energy
Downloads: 3
Views: 4


As this report is on Solar Power, it is good to start the discussion with some general thoughts on Energy. Which is a very essential part of life and contributes directly to the country’s economy. Energy: Energy is the capacity of a system (physical) to perform work. OR Energy is the ability to do work. It exists in different forms such as heat, kinetic or mechanical energy, light, potential energy, electrical, or other forms.

Energy sources could be defined as Renewable and Non-renewable.

Types of Energy Sources

  • Renewable Energy Sources
  • Non-Renewable Energy Sources
  • Solar Energy
  • Wind Energy
  • Biomass and Biofuels
  • Water and geothermal
  • Coal
  • Oil
  • Natural gas

Energy Crisis in Pakistan

Pakistan is tangled in a severe and prolonged energy crisis, which besides impacting life for the middle-class citizen and also affecting the economic cycle of the state. As per World Energy Outlook (2016) statistics, almost 51 million peoples in Pakistan or representing 27% of the total population living without access to electricity.

Which is an alarming situation for the nation? According to IFC, the rate of energy for poor people is even higher with approximately 36% or 67 million out of 185 million without access to electricity. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), which is the regularity authority of Pakistan mentioned in its annual State of the Industry Report that:Quote from the report: “Concludes that approximately 20% of all villages, 32,889 out of 161,969, are not connected to the grid. Even those households that are statistically connected experience daily blackouts so that it is estimated that more than 144 million people across the country do not have reliable access to electricity. As a result, Pakistani households use a mix of technologies to power their homes and businesses.” Bibliography ref # [4] Page # 11.

Some of the eye-opening factors to explain crisis in Pakistan are given below: 1) One of factor is that more than 50% of the population, mainly in rural Pakistan, relies on traditional biomass for cooking. The common cooking fuels include firewood, agricultural waste and dung cakes. 2) The access to electricity is varying from more than 90% electrified households in urban areas down to only 61% in remote rural area.3) The average households use wood in winter i.e. of 920 kg and 560 kg of wood in summer. Similarly, in Sindh the numbers are 640 kg and 400 kg respectively. Almost same numbers for Balochistan. Because of the burning of biomass on inefficient stoves and without proper venting or air exhaust causes serious health problems. As per WHO estimates indoor air pollution is responsible for more than 50,000 premature death per year in Pakistan. Especially women and children. Another dilemma is that the burning of wood is effecting to deforestation which is heading at a rate of more than 2% per year.4) The industry is hitting badly as well, mostly the corporate sector generate electricity their own through generators by diesel or gas.

In winter gas supply shortage higher fuel cost for them due to alternate fuel (diesel) consumption or rental diesel generators. This makes production cost higher and common man have to bear a price increase impact on commodity/product.5) The Punjab city of Faisalabad hit badly in the last 2 years where power looms of the textile sector closed due to non-regular supply of electricity and labor got unemployed. 6) In a few decades, Pakistan’s energy demand has increased by about 80 percent, with unsustainable supply catching up to the demand.8 As a result, in electricity alone, Pakistan is experiencing a gap of almost 5,000–6,000 megawatts (MW), which is almost 33–35 percent of the total requirement. Despite having installed energy capacity beyond peak time requirements, the exceptionally high tariffs make energy unaffordable for domestic users and uneconomical for commercial purposes.

Unfortunately, domestic energy supplies are gradually diminishing. In particular, the available oil and gas resources are forecast to be exhausted between 2025 and 2030. Bibliography ref # [2] & [3] Page # 11.A survey was done and found that rural households in Punjab spent on average about 9% of the total household income for fuel and lighting. As sample Rural Punjab, income level is given below for better understanding: Bibliography ref # [4] Page # 11.The government need serious efforts to overcome the energy crisis of Pakistan. Objective of study:The objective of this study is to know the importance of energy to run country economy and common man life and to find out crisis faced by Pakistan to meet their energy / power generation need and come up with the effective solution of power generation to meet this challenge. In order to meet our objective we done research on internet and get book references to complete this study. Facts from the World:The energy crisis facing by Pakistan are not new, the world or some of big countries names already worked on it and overcome these issue of their energy / power shortages and future growth of energy.

Now, we need to see how the world overcome this crisis. The 1970s was the era of energy crisis when the countries of the world (major industrial countries) like USA, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand faced the substantial shortages of petroleum, real and perceived, as well as elevated prices. At that time the world faced two worst crises the 1973 oil crisis and the 1979 energy crisis, at that time wars were happened. The Yom Kippur War and the Iranian Revolution triggered interruptions in Middle Eastern oil exports. In the above said era the main source of energy was oil, prices reach the sky and the world industry hit badly. The crisis led to stagnant economic growth in many countries as oil prices surged.

Following is the static graph picture showing the situation of real and nominal prices of oil in the 1970’s: Bibliography ref # [5] Page # 11. Those crises later unfold as petroleum products in the USA and few other parts of the world started in the early 1970s. World oil production per capita began a long-term decline after 1979. Bibliography ref # [5] Page # 11.As per BBC report Bibliography ref # [6] Page # 11 stated that: Quote from the report: “Between 2005 and 2030, energy consumption is expected to increase by 50 percent, with the bulk of the demand coming from developing countries. Oil, coal, and gas together account for the majority of global primary energy consumption.In the UK in 2015, renewable energy provisionally accounted for 8.3 percent of final energy consumption. Between 2014 and 2015 electricity generation from renewable sources increased by 29 percent.”

In recent past the world started work on approaches of developing alternative sources of energy to avoid any kind of crisis in future. Also cost is one of the strong impacts to get energy at the lowest cost with sustainability.The human civilization has also started realizing that how much harm they have already caused to the environment and now they realized that it’s time to take a stand against these environmental problems, now the focus shifts to the use of Renewable Energy.

Why we go with Renewal Energy?

Fossil-based fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas) currently provide about 85% of all the energy use both in US and worldwide and harmful as well. We all know that these resources are being constantly depleted and can’t be replaced within any practical time span. The cost of fossil-based fuels are very high and reservoirs limited. So, alternative renewable energy is need of time. Cost comparison of energy resources: As we can see above the cost of alternatives sources of Solar Power, Biomass, Hydro and Geothermal are very cheapest and environment friendly as well. The world focus is also shifted to these environmentally friendly and cheapest sources of energy. Here we look at 12 countries in particular who are leading the way in the switch to renewable energy. Iceland: Iceland is the country which generates the cleanest electricity on earth, with almost 100% of its energy generated from renewable source geothermal plant that makes the most of its unique landscape. The tourist visit Iceland in large numbers as well. Sweden: Sweden eliminating fossil fuel usage within its borders. They also asked the world to generate energy 100% renewable sources. Their own investment in solar power, wind power, energy storage, smart grids, and clean transport.Costa Rica: Because of its small size (just 4.9 million people) and unique geography (67 volcanoes), Costa Rica is able to meet a large part of its energy needs from hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, and wind sources.

Nicaragua: Nicaragua has a number of volcanoes, making geothermal energy production viable and thanks to their government investment in wind, solar, and geothermal energy. United Kingdom: the UK is located geographically in a windy place and wind power is growing in importance. They are using a combination of grid-connected wind farms and standalone turbines, the United Kingdom now generates more electricity from wind farms than from coal power plants. Germany: Germany is a cloudy country, it looks set for a bright future with solar energy. Their renewable energy output including solar has increased more than eightfold since 1990. In 2015, they set a record for meeting up to 78% of the country’s electricity demand with renewables on one highly productive day.

Uruguay: Uruguay is a shining example of how to do it right. it now boasts a national energy supply that’s 95% renewables-powered, achieved in less than 10 years. The country has invested heavily in wind and solar power, without using subsidies or increasing consumer costs. Denmark: Denmark set target to be 100% fossil-fuel-free country by 2050 and they have plans to use wind power to achieve that goal. They already set a world record in 2014, producing almost 40% of their overall electricity needs from wind power and the latest figures put them firmly on track to meet their first goal of obtaining 50% of their electricity from renewables by the year 2020.India: India has the biggest solar power plant of 1000 MW, they have trains & stations run on solar power. Also, they are working on increasing the capacity of Solar Power. They have another plant inaugurated this year March 2018 at BENGALURU with the capacity of 2000 MW named as Shakti Shala with the expected spent of 16.5 crores of Indian rupees. China: We can say China as may be the world’s largest polluter, but China is also the investing in renewable energy, with huge investment levels both at home and overseas. They are now owns 5 of the world’s 6 largest solar-module manufacturing firms, the largest wind-turbine manufacturer; the world’s largest lithium-ion manufacturer and the world’s largest electricity utility. Bibliography ref # [7] Page # 11.

Way forward for Pakistan: After review facts from the world and their approaches we now look into Pakistan dynamics and scenario to get best possible solution for the Pakistan crisis. As Pakistan is geographically located in area where sunlight heavily available and most of the year weather remains warm and clear. So, Solar Power can be the cheapest way of getting renewable energy. We have large land available in this purpose. Also private sector can be encouraged to make public-private partnerships in this regard. If the government allow peoples to use Solar Power for lighting their home, that can be another great step as sunlight is main source for this and available through year to peoples to get energy. The government can provide subsidies on Solar Panels so that peoples can easily buy panels. The government then will more focus on providing cheap power to the industrial sector. Now, we need to know about Solar Energy / Power. Solar Energy / Power: Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), indirectly using concentrated solar power, or a combination. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect. Bibliography ref # [1] Page # 11.

Nowadays the cost of solar electricity has fallen then initial, the number of grid-connected solar PV systems has grown into the millions and utility-scale solar power stations with hundreds of megawatts are being built. Solar PV is rapidly becoming an inexpensive, low-carbon technology to harness renewable energy from the Sun. The current largest photovoltaic power stations in the world are the 850 MW Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, in Qinghai, China & 1000 MW in Kurnool, Andra Pradesh, India. The International Energy Agency projected in 2014 that under its “high renewables” scenario, by 2050, solar photovoltaics and concentrated solar power would contribute about 16 and 11 percent, respectively, of the worldwide electricity consumption, and solar would be the world’s largest source of electricity. Most solar installations would be in China and India. In 2017, solar power provided 1.7% of total worldwide electricity production, growing at 35% per annum. Bibliography ref # [1] Page # 11.Now, we can drive from the above study that Pakistan neighboring countries become big user of Solar Power and getting benefits from it. Pakistan needs to start work on it immediate basis to overcome its energy crisis. Pakistan’s existing Power Consumption: Pakistan had a total installed power generation capacity of over 22,000 MW till the end of 2017.

Where the consumer demand is 25,000 MW and the deficit is 3,000 MW. The annual increase rate is 8% for increasing electricity demand. Bibliography ref # [8] Page # 11.As per IEA the electricity demand of Pakistan till 2025 will be 49,078 MW. As per the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast that total electricity demand of the country will be 49,078 MW in 2025. Solar Power Production in Pakistan:Pakistan geographically located in area where full 8-9 hours sunlight available, which can be sufficient to produce enough Solar Power to meet their deficit. Pakistan has already started work on some of the initiatives in this direction and few of projects names are given below: 1) Kashmir, 2) Punjab, 3) Sindh & 4) BalochistanPakistan set a target to build one of world’s largest solar power park, the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park (QASP) in the Cholistan Desert, Punjab, with a 1 GW capacity. This plant size would be enough to power around 320,000 homes. Bibliography ref # [8] Page # 11.The total project cost is expected to be $1.5bn ($1.73mn/MW). How to get effective Solar Power Production? The main component to produce solar power is through Solar Panel.

The panel need place from where sunlight can directly come on it. Traditionally you can put larger panels on open are or ground to get solar power. But everyone (country or public) do not enough space to do so.Now, how effectively you can get more production from these panels is depend on your placing. The some of following examples let you know that how world using it in most efficient manner to get solar power:1) Smart Flower Solar Panel:This is one of unique and effective way to get solar power more in number with minimum of space, the solar panel designed in a way that it rotates in the direction of sun goes to get maximum sunlight through the day with minimum of space.2) Solar Parks:The world most effective way to get solar power on large scale at country’s power generation is big solar parks. The country likes China & India already heavily invested on these parks and keep spending more to get more solar power.


Now, after study above we can conclude this study as the following points:

  1. Pakistan is facing a severe energy crisis and expected deficit could be 5,000 – 6,000 MW till 2030. If no serious majors taken by the government.
  2. Pakistan located geographically in an area where sunlight available 8-9 hours a day and throughout the year. So, the cheapest solution can be Solar Power Production. The biggest solar parks is need of time to meet the shortfall, which is a cost-efficient solution as well.
  3. The neighboring countries of Pakistan and other parts of the world already started work on this source Solar Power very aggressively. So, Pakistan needs to expedite its efforts as well in this direction.
  4. Public-Private partnerships can be a good step in this regard.
  5. Also, the government needs to allow the public level to start using a solar panel and generate power for their household need. For this government need to give subsidy on solar panel and permit to start producing at their home. We are thankful to our teacher Ms. Saba, who gives us the opportunity to prepare this study. The Bibliography is attached to this report.

Cite this essay

Advantages & Disadvantages of Solar Energy. (2020, Sep 14). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/advantages-disadvantages-of-solar-energy-essay

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