What energy resource can be used in pakistan to try to conserve our energy resources?The use of renewable energy sources go back thousands of years with the use of wind energy harnessed by sails to travel across the ocean. This use of renewable energy can be traced back around 7000 years to ships on the Persian Gulf and the river Nile. 7000 years later energy, specifical electricity is more important than ever with thousands of machines powering countries, cities and even homes. Pretty much all of these machines require electricity to function and Pakistan has got itself into an enormous energy crisis, with 13 – 14 hours without electricity in urban regions and 16 – 19 in rural regions very frequently.
These frequent power shortages harm the GDP growth and will continue to do so if nothing is done soon. This is because the country has to import generators and fuel to power them, which costs the country millions of dollars every year.Luckily, however, Pakistan has many choices when it comes to renewable energy to fix this problem. Currently, around 30% of Pakistan’s power is hydroelectric however with solar panels becoming cheaper and the (on average 300 per year) sunny days in Pakistan, solar energy might just be able to solve the energy crisis without harming the planet.
In order to understand why solar energy can solve Pakistan’s energy crisis, it’s important to understand how solar panels work.Solar panels are made of smaller units called solar cells. Most are made of silicon, a semiconductor that is one of the most abundant elements on earth. In a solar cell, crystalline silicon is “sandwiched” between conductive layers. Each silicon atom is connected to neighbouring atoms using 4 strong bonds, which keep the electrons in place so no current can flow. The key is, a silicon solar cell uses 2 different layers of silicon.
An N-type silicon has extra electrons and a P type which has extra spaces for electrons called holes. Where the 2 types of silicon meet, electrons can wander across the p/n junction leaving a positive charge on one side and a negative on the other.Light is made up of tiny particles called photons.
When photons hit the silicon cells with enough energy, it can knock an electron from its bond, leaving a hole. The negatively charged electron and the location of the positively charged hole are now free to move around, but because of the electric field at the p/n junction, they can only move one way. The electron moves to the N side, while the hole is drawn to the P side.
The mobile electrons are then collected by thin metal “fingers” at the top of the cell. From there they can flow through to an external circuit allowing them to power things before returning to the conductive aluminium sheet on the back.Each silicon cell only gives half a volt, however, when strung together in modules, 12 photovoltaic cells are enough to charge a modern smartphone, though it takes many more modules to power an entire house. Since electrons are the only moving part of the cell and all of them come back to where they came from, this means there is nothing that actually gets used up or worn out meaning solar panels can last for tens of years.So what is the problem stopping us from using primarily solar power? There are political factors at play and also businesses based primarily on providing non-renewable energy, however, if we were to ignore that and focus on only the logistical factors and physical challenges only, we would come to find that solar energy is unevenly distributed across the world.
Some areas have more or less sun than others. It’s also very inconsistent, as less solar energy is available if it’s cloudy or at night. So total reliance would require efficient ways to gather solar energy from sunny places and also importantly, efficient ways of storing the energy over periods of time when there is little solar power available.
Even the efficiency of the solar cells themselves can be a problem since if the light reflects rather than being absorbed or if dislodged electrons go back into a hole rather than going through the circuit, the energy of the photons will be lost. As of 2016, the most efficient solar cell only converts about 46% of all the available sunlight into electricity, not to mention that most commercial panels are only at about 15-20% efficiency.In Spite of all those, it would be possible to power the entire planet, not to mention Pakistan using today’s solar technology. It would take funding to build the panels and a large area to build facilities.
Because of many advancements, solar cells are getting better and cheaper as well. Everything else aside, there is the fact that thousands of people in Pakistan don’t have access to a reliable power grid and especially in a country like pakistan, with on average about 300 sunny days per year, solar energy would already be cheaper and more reliable in Pakistan due to the number of sunny days.So what are Pakistan’s’ solar power potentials? Over 90% of Pakistan’s area receives over 1,500 kWh/m² of solar energy and 75% of the land has an annual GHI (Global Horizontal Irradiance, the total amount of shortwave radiation received from above by a surface horizontal to the ground) of over 2,000 kWh/m². Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board has estimated Pakistan’s solar power potential to be at around 2900 GW in total (though it isn’t quite realistic taking efficiency, money and space into consideration). Not only would it solve the energy crisis if Pakistan were to invest in Solar energy, but it would also provide thousands of jobs.In conclusion, I believe the answer to the question “What energy resource can be used in Pakistan to try to conserve our energy resources?” to be Solar energy. This is because Pakistan has an enormous amount of Solar energy being thrown at it hundreds of days a year. It also is very cost effective and lasts for decades per solar cell because practically nothing is used up in the process of solar energy being converted into electrical energy.
Another reason for Solar power is that it would provide more than enough energy consistently if the energy collected is stored efficiently. It would also make energy much more affordable for the average consumer and it would create thousands of jobs for many more people to benefit from. All of this together this means the frequent hour-long power cuts could be solved in a clean way without harming the planet thousands of jobs for the citizens of Pakistan and a general increase in Pakistan’s GDP. Works CitedAzhar, Ali Shan.
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