According to Higher Education Commission (HEC), both public and private universities in Pakistan are both working on promoting solar energy and biogas. However, it is not part of their duty to promote these being educational institutions and academia, but to research and find ways to spread its user in easier methods. According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Water and Power, and the Ministry of Climate Change, the public private partnership (PPP) is the key in promoting the use of alternative energy in the country. Conducting workshops, conferences and seminars on the alternative energy use is essential to explore and discuss means viable to make the necessary shift that will also be protective of the environment.
From January 2000 to December 2007, the solar energy and biogas use had been on the upward trend due to Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) taking steps in the right direction. They had installed Solar Photovoltaic Power Units of 62 kilowatts (kw) capacity for electrification of mosques and other residential areas in both Balochistan and Sindh. But these installations had been merely for demonstrative purposes to encourage the use of alternative energy sources.
This has been where the deadlock can said to be, as without government’s own involvement in building up alternative energy supply networks, it will not serve well to only be aware of the alternative energy usage benefits to the economy. Awareness is still very much there about most issues, but there are no steps taken to solve the challenges.
Similarly, merely to encourage people to use alternative energy, 215 solar cookers of dish type and 653 solar cookers of family-size along with 13 solar dryers were distributed in the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. But these prototypes will not be the answer to the much need shift to alternative energy. If the government is serious about making facing the energy crisis, then it must come with a better strategy than encouraging the use and awareness of the use.
The PCRET can serve well in promoting research and development of reverse engineering that will produce different innovative solar-energy based products. Inspiration from other countries which are already concentrating on the alternative use can be very helpful. The Solar Test Lab was also established that serves to test services of solar-thermal products, batteries and invertors, besides other things. Rs.418.498 million was spent on a mega project by PCRET for production of solar photovoltaic panels of 80 kw per annum. This project is yet to be completed and is expected to provide remote villages with solar electrification.
The biogas use was promoted by PCRET as well through installing 1705 domestic biogas plants for demonstrative purposes. The Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) had developed small scale portable biogas plants in Lahore. However, the need is to build a thought-out plan that will serve as a strong strategy to really turn round the use of solar energy and biogas.