Renewable energy to be harnessed with foreign universities’ help
* University of Cambridge and Air University develop micro-machined sensor to enhance wind turbines’ performance
ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) in collaboration with the leading American and British universities will undertake joint research projects for effective use of the natural and renewable energy sources available in the country to resolve the crisis.
The experts said that the prevailing energy crisis faced by the country had disturbed the life of a common citizen and curtailed the industrial development and the economy of the country.
They said that as a result of energy crisis, the GDP growth rate had fallen from six percent to below two percent.
Sources said the HEC had decided to join hands with the Ministry of Planning and Development to lessen the energy crisis and would organise a major research conference to address the issue.
It was also said that the commission with the assistance of USAID was establishing the Centres of Advanced Study and Research on Energy at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Peshawar.
Sources also said that a number of energy projects had been undertaken by the universities with the leading American universities under the Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Programme.
These projects include the Total Solution-Based Organic-Inorganic Solar Cells for Enhanced Efficiency and Stability between the University of Delaware, USA and the Government College University, Lahore, the Lifestyle Improvement of Villages in FATA Using Renewable Energy between the SEI, USA and the NUST and The Use of Renewable Energy to benefit Gilgit-Baltistan region between the North Dakota University, USA and the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Pakistan.
Similarly, a number of projects have been undertaken with the British universities under the International Strategic Partnerships in Research and Education (INSPIRE), including the Developing Water Turbines for Electric Power Generation between the University of Southampton and NUST, Increasing the Efficiency of Wind Energy Systems between the Cambridge University, UK and the Air University, Islamabad, Building Indigenous Capabilities for Thar Coal Development between the University of Nottingham, UK and the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology and Co-Combustion of Pakistani Coal and Biomass in Pilot Scale Combustors between the University of Leeds, UK and the Pakistani Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Mehran University, University of Punjab and International Islamic University, Islamabad.
Sources said that through the joint project between the University of Cambridge and the Air University, a micro-machined sensor, the first of its kind in the world, was being developed, which would enable the wind turbines to function more effectively under the local wind terrains and would also allow the direct measurement of the performance of both gas and wind turbines.
According to details, other Pakistan universities, including Agriculture University of Faisalabad and University of Gujrat, have done successful experiments on the production of biogas and green energy, while the Islamia University of Bahawalpur is going to exploit solar energy soon.
The sources revealed that the Agriculture University of Faisalabad was working with the Punjab government for formulation of energy policy. The university is also going to introduce degree programme on energy from this academic year.
HEC Chairperson Dr Javaid R Laghari said that the goal of the HEC was to develop the local expertise and indigenous technology for effective use of the natural and renewable sources, including coal, water, wind and solar, through strong collaborations with research groups in leading foreign universities.
“These projects have also vast potential for commercialisation and the national and international power companies and the government of Pakistan itself will be the main users of this technology,” he said.
He said that there was a need to develop more indigenous scientific manpower, research facilities and education infrastructure in Pakistan to tackle the energy-related issues through collaborative research.
Dr Laghari also said that the commission would continue to work with the government to share the expertise of higher education sector to resolve the various socio-economic challenges being faced by the country. app