New approach to overcome energy crises
Friday, May 25, 2012
Mohammad Rafiq Khan
In past few decades, a number of genuine concepts have emerged and been displayed on the international screen to address the problems of destabilization of economies, food and energy, and poverty and unemployment. Two examples worth quoting in this context are “Appropriate Technology” and “Sustainable Development”.
Former has been let aside and thus has almost disappeared from the scene and the latter is being pursued contemporarily and has been accepted almost globally as a tool to protect future generations from the shocks of poverty, unemployment, lack of energy and environmental damages. The keynote being presented here is designed to address the current energy crises with special reference to sustainable development to point out how to make the best use of available resources and assign economic value to the wastes via resource recovery, production of thermoelectric power and so on. The major focus of discussion will be on techno-economic disposal of solid waste and rationalization of approach to adapt alternative energy resources.
Techno-economic disposal of solid waste can effectively address the problem of electrical shortage. This is because the techno-economic disposal of waste is based on the hypothesis, that the total amount of resources in the universe remains constant although they may change from one form to another. This hypothesis may in future have the status of a law to be known as ‘Law of Conservation of Resources’ just like ‘Law of Conservation of Mass’ and ‘Law of Conservation of Energy.’ This law provides a firm basis for sustainable development; the concept floated as a cure of all economic ills to stabilize the shaky economies. According to this law, a waste is no more a waste as every waste can be assigned an economic value. Thus, the exploitation of the solid waste that includes municipal waste, agricultural waste, industrial waste, hospital waste and so on forms an adequate and logical option for enquiry in context of the current energy crises. It will not only translate into production and supply of electricity but also into cleanliness of our environment from the solid waste which is otherwise a big environmental nuisance.
This does not mean that we should stop at the said point. We must explore and utilize other alternatives but not blindly as some other countries are doing but wisely. The primary criterion to qualify any other resource is the economics of exploration and processing to get energy. For example, trapping of solar energy using the solar penal is not a suitable option because the prices of imported solar penal are very high which render their use highly uneconomic. Of course, substitution of gas geysers by solar geysers forms a better option because latter returns the investment in less than a year and its technical soundness has been checked by COMSTECH. Similarly we yet have no experience of wind turbines. If imported, these will also be very expensive and will render the projections non-feasible. To sum up whatever may be the alternative; it must be backed by a systematic and authentic feasibility study for its adoption preferably conducted by the local experts trained on interdisciplinary basis.
This is an abstract of keynote speech delivered in International Conference on Energy systems Engineering ICESE - 2010 organized by the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Islamabad by Dr. Mohammad Rafiq Khan. Mohammad Rafiq Khan is a professor of Environmental Science at Lahore School of Economics.
posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:24 AM,
- At 11:16:00 AM, The Gas Shop said...
A gas geyser is so much more affordable, as well as a big money saver
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