Cheapest form of Energy

The industrial revolution marked the beginning of a new era in the history of humanity and this was the time when coal and other fossil fuels became the primary source of energy. Fossil fuels were aggressively used to generate electricity until it was found that burning these fuels is destroying the environment. The implications of using these sources of energy are far greater than the benefits that mankind was gaining, so the attention shifted towards renewable energy. The primary aim to utilize renewable energy was to find sources of energy that do not harm the environment and do not deplete. In the process to find an eco-friendly way of generating electricity, it was found that renewable energy could be cheaper than fossil fuels.

Available Energy Source in Pakistan

In this blog, we will go through various sources of energy and will find out which one is the most economical.

Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels include natural gas, coal, and oil as sources to produce electricity. These are the oldest sources of electricity generation. Despite being harmful to the environment, they are still very much in use because of the unavailability of adequate alternative solutions. In Pakistan, these are the primary methods of electricity generation. With the passage of time, as fossil fuels are depleting, their prices and the rates of electricity generated by them are getting fairly high. This trend will keep on going until the fossil fuels have been exhausted completely. They are and will be the most expensive source of electricity in Pakistan because the set-up and maintenance cost of these power plant is high. Not only that, the expenses of countering the effects of these power plants on the environment make it more expensive.

Wind Energy

Wind energy is a renewable and an inexpensive source of electricity, however, there are not a lot of wind farms in Pakistan. This is the part of renewable energy which still has to see the full action in Pakistan but its foundations have been laid. The set-up costs of a wind farm are fairly high yet the electricity it produces is cheaper as the only expense is the maintenance cost.

Hydro Energy

Hydropower is a renewable source of energy and is another basic source available in Pakistan. The country’s two biggest dams, Mangla and Tarbela are the primary hydroelectricity generation power plants. It is a reliable source of energy and having a steady flow of rivers from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea makes it more proficient. Due to the increasing demand for electricity, the need to invest in renewable sources, and the exceptional experience with hydroelectricity has urged the government to start the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam. Once completed, it will immensely boost the electricity production of the country and will help fulfill the electricity demand. The set-up cost for hydroelectricity is very high and they require regular maintenance as well. Despite these factors, the energy produced by hydro energy is low-priced as compared to fossil fuels.

Nuclear Energy

On 28th May 1998, Pakistan successfully tested its atomic warhead and nuclear weapons. However, Pakistan did that to achieve a balance of power in the region. Since then, Pakistan has invested its efforts and finances in preparing to utilize the nuclear ability to produce electricity. Recently Pakistan connected its first nuclear power plant to the grid, adding 1100 MW of electricity. It is a milestone achievement on the road to achieving energy independence through the utilization of clean energy. Nuclear power plants are extremely expensive to set up and maintain thus making the energy produced from them a little high in price. However, it is still not as much as fossil fuels, because they produce clean electricity and no expensive countermeasures are required.

Geo-Thermal Energy

This is attained from the heat that earth produces. This heat energy is used to boil water into steam and the steam runs turbines, the turbines then produce electricity. There is not a lot of work going on this source of electricity production. It takes a lot of construction capital to build geothermal stations so the initial cost is fairly high. It will also be tough to maintain, however, like other renewable sources, it produces free electricity. Adding the other costs, the unit price of electricity produced by geothermal stations is reasonable.

Solar Energy

Last but not the least, solar energy is one of the most modern forms of electricity production, although humans have been using sunlight since Adam and Eve. Solar energy is absorbed by the solar panels which are composed of semiconductors and release electrons upon absorbing the energy from solar radiations. These energized electrons start moving in a flow and this generates electricity. The three things which separate solar energy from other sources of electricity are;

  • It does not require huge set-up costs if it is being employed on a small scale
  • They require low to no maintenance costs
  • Even residential customers can afford their solar systems based on their usage and finances as no huge constructions are required.

Solar energy is probably the cheapest source of electricity in Pakistan as you can get electricity at a unit price as low as 4 to 5 rupees. Pakistan is investing in solar energy at the public as well as private levels. Many industries and residents have switched to solar and many are considering it now.

What is the Solution for Pakistan?

Pakistan cannot completely switch to renewable energy in a matter of days, months, or even years as it is expensive to set up any power plant and will take lots of effort financially, manpower-wise, and legislatively. For the time being, the most successful and beneficial strategy will be to keep a steady investment of resources into renewable energy sources and make the transition at a slow but steady pace. Along with these, there is also a need to encourage people to switch to solar as this is the only power source people can use at an individual level and does not require huge constructions. It will help the government in making the Switch to Renewable Energy smoother and easier.

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