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HYDROGEN – A SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION TO PAKISTAN’S ENERGY CRISIS – JULY 2019

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HYDROGEN – A SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION TO PAKISTAN’S ENERGY CRISIS – JULY 2019

July 19
16:54 2019

HYDROGEN – A SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION TO PAKISTAN’S ENERGY CRISIS

By: Ms. Zaineb Abid, Department of Environmental Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan

INTRODUCTION

With about 250 babies being born every minute worldwide and our species consuming more than a million of terajoules of energy every day, the demand for energy has reached unprecedented levels. The explosive rise in world population and industrialization is posing a great stress on our present energy sources which are mainly fossil fuels. Due to their intensive burning every day, fossils are expected to diminish from the world well before 2050. Moreover, they are also environmentally unfriendly sources of energy since they release large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere causing pollution and climate change. In short, a dark future awaits us in terms of energy demands and provision and the fate of the world depends on the discovery and use of some magical source of energy – a source that is both sustainable and environmental friendly.

The question arises: Where to find this magical source of energy? This is the question that scientists all over the world have worked hard for and are still trying to find an answer to. Luckily, one miraculous source of energy that Mother Nature has blessed us with is hydrogen, the simplest and most abundant element in our atmosphere. Hydrogen is light, energy-dense, storable and environmental friendly since it doesn’t release any greenhouse gases with the only by-product being water. Moreover, hydrogen is a sustainable source since it is renewable and is present everywhere in the atmosphere.

GLOBAL APPROACH TO HYDROGEN FUEL TECHNOLOGY

The use of hydrogen as a source of energy in industries, automobiles and power plants can change the fate of the world in unexpected ways. Seeing the prospects of hydrogen fuel technology, many countries are adopting it into their energy policies.

European Union and G20 countries along with other developed countries have established ‘The International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE)’ and G20 countries consortium to win the challenge of hydrogen economy in their countries leaving Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the oil production dependent nations way behind. These countries have aimed to replace diesel engines and petrol engines with hydrogen powered engines till 2025 and 2030 respectively. If this happens, the present system of transportation, industries, agriculture and power generation will entirely change till 2030; it will vanish and will be replaced by an electric system fueled by Hydrogen. Hydrogen will drive cars, buses, trains, airplanes, ships, heating and cooling systems, cooking ranges, furnaces, and generators. Greatest change will be seen in the industrial and transportation sector with cheaper machinery and automobiles having completely different designs and technology. Current petrol/diesel stations will no longer be used and automobiles with three times more running speed, three times lesser weight of fuel and three times more distance coverage with one filling will be produced. In short, new system of science and technology will take over and revolution will be seen in nearly every sector of society.

The nations that are adopting this technology into their systems and investing into it will be the new economic rulers and the balance of power will shift. It isn’t wrong to say that the coming centuries will undoubtedly be the era of hydrogen fuel technology. Thus, hydrogen fuel technology should no longer be considered an option but must be adopted by all the countries because of the dependence of all the countries on the developed nations of the world that have already developed hydrogen based systems.

PROSPECTS OF HYDROGEN FUEL TECHNOLOGY FOR PAKISTAN

Pakistan, being in an energy crisis, should also adopt this efficient technology since it presents a sustainable solution to its economic and energy issues. However, being a Pakistani, the question arises: Where does Pakistan stand in the fight for sustainable energy production and hydrogen fuel technology? Is it ready to take this challenge and ride along this change? Is Pakistan prepared enough or taking certain steps to fight its way out of its financial and economic issues? Does its current management even realize the importance of this technology or not?

Pakistan still depends on fossil fuels to provide for its energy needs. However, under the scenarios mentioned above, there is no security of availability of fossil fuels in the long term. Pakistan still owns the conventional diesel/petrol based cars, trains, airplanes, steel industry and machinery and in the coming years, when the developed countries of the world would have shifted most of their systems to hydrogen fuel technology, there will be no supply of new production or spare parts of current system of internal combustion engines, cooling towers, chillers or furnaces making it difficult for Pakistan to cope up with the economic and technological issues of the time.

Being blessed with huge area of land and untapped oceans, wastewater and wastelands, Pakistan has a great potential to develop this technology with much smaller capital investment and cheaper unlimited inland supplies. If Pakistan jumps in this transition now, it can be Hydrogen exporting country since it owns all the basic ingredients to produce and export Hydrogen. It can come out of its financial crisis in just five years. Agricultural sector and farmers; energy and petroleum sector; Pakistan Railways and public transport systems (metros); fertilizers and chemical industries; steel mills and steel industry; Pakistan International Airlines and leather and cotton industries are among some of the sectors that will greatly benefit from this new technology. Moreover, Pakistan can stimulate more than 3 million jobs in the country producing more employment in the country.

Keeping all these past, present and future scenarios and the prospects of hydrogen fuel technology in mind, it is important for Pakistan to take part in the development of hydrogen fuel technology. The present economic and energy crisis of Pakistan calls for an effective, cheap and sustainable solutions. In these circumstances, hydrogen fuel technology can greatly benefit the country. This requires the integration of the government, the academia and the research institutions to come forward and work together.

A RAY OF HOPE FOR PAKISTAN

In Pakistan, the work related to sustainable and alternative fuels is in initial stages. One company striving hard to achieve the goal of hydrogen fuel technology in Pakistan is Creeco (Pvt) Ltd. Creeco (Pvt) Ltd. is the only registeredcompany working for the application and development of hydrogen fuel technology in Pakistan. In addition to hydrogen fuel technology, Creeco (Pvt) Ltd. also aims to develop industrial and technological framework for achieving clean energy from algae, ammonia and wastewater, and has all the substantial expertise related to these areas. It has approached and is working with prestigious academic institutions of the country such as Arid Agriculture University, COMSATS University Islamabad Wah Campus and government agencies. Creeco (Pvt) Ltd. is arranging the ‘Hydrogen Consortium’ first conference on 19th July, 2019 in Arid Agriculture University, Islamabad to sign a consortium with many prestigious industries and universities to focus on hydrogen fuel technology. At this auspicious occasion, Minister Science and Technology will make special appearance as chief guest to support hydrogen move. This conference will be a trademark in the history of hydrogen movement in Pakistan and an encouragement for different stakeholders of the country to come forward and play their role. It is great news for the whole nation that the industry, academia and the government agencies are taking interest in the development of Hydrogen Economy and sustainable, green energy technologies.

It is now time for the stakeholders (the government, the related agencies, the academic institutions and the citizens) to seriously consider the prevailing energy and climate issues of the country and work for the betterment of our beloved nation, Pakistan because if not us, then who will?

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Engineering Horizons

Engineering Horizons

“Engineering Horizons” is the first & leading technical magazine of Pakistan covering Process, Mechanical, Metallurgical, Mining, Electrical & Electronics field under a single cover. We also feel pleasure in saying that this is the only magazine of its own kind & style, which is widely circulated in all Engineering Sectors of Pakistan.

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As you know, monthly “Engineering Horizons” is the first & Leading Technical Magazine of Pakistan covering Process, Mechanical, Metallurgical, Mining, Electrical & Electronics fields under a single cover. We also feel pleasure in saying that this is the only magazine of its own kind & style, which is widely circulated in all Engineering Sectors of Pakistan.
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