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Producing energy from biomass Engrs want a RE policy.

Many engineers want the government to form a Renewable Energy (RE) Policy. They see use of RE as key to present crisis. It was pointed out that the original RE Policy 2006 was silent about the huge and untapped potential of biomass and biogas. The policy was revised in 2012 but this too was silent on exploiting biogas and biomass. Therefore, the country should adopt an integrated energy policy, as is being done by many developing and developed countries. Use of biomass and biogas would save precious natural gas, they added. Biogas and biomass offer workable solutions, say engineers and power plants using these are easy to develop. And traditional ways of generating power are difficult, costly and require a long gestation time. Having world's fifth largest cattle population, coupled with agricultural base give us tremendous potential for producing biomass, they added.

To ensure that RE plays its role in the energy mix, they suggested that short term measures should immediately be taken. 1. RE policy should be revised and an institutional framework be established. 2. No new village and town should be given natural gas supply. Instead the cost of laying gas line to the place should be given to gasify the village by producing biogas from animal dung and biomass. 3. Besides animal dung, agricultural residue like cotton stakes, sugarcane waste, fruit/ vegetable waste, grass, weeds, marine and fresh water algae should also be used whole heartedly. They give us millions of kilograms of biomass daily basis. This can give millions of cubic meters of biogas daily. Engineers noted that Pakistan has tremendous potential for generating RE from biomass. Its plants can be raised in less than 12 months. Our animal dung can produce 50 million cubic meters of biogas daily from the available 66,000 tons of gobar daily.

Another 150 million cubic meters of biogas can be produced from almost 3.65 million tons of fruits and vegetables waste that gathers in markets yearly. Poultry waste, organic (solid/ sewage) waste can also produce millions of cubic meters biogas, said an engineer.

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Publication:Pakistan Engineering Review
Date:Nov 15, 2013
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