The new horizons of energy

Every Pakistani is crazy about the American visa because it is a rich country. What does make a country rich? These are resources and their best utilization. Energy is top of the list among these resources. Life is the function of energy. The biggest source of energy on our earth is the sun. Life in all forms consumes the energy rewarded by the sun. Nature has scattered energy abundantly in the universe. It is in force everywhere in the forms of fire, water, air, light, and gravity. It is manifested in each and every atom. The talented nations explore all the available resources of energy and get the predetermined objects of prosperity and development. The man of today uses more energy than the past. It will not be improper to say that as the human flourishing, becoming the slave of energy. No electricity means stoppage and blockage of life.

Nature knows well the vitality of energy, so abundantly resources are granted to man. Pakistan is also bestowed unlimited resources of energy in the forms of river, fossil fuel, solar, wind, tidal, radiant and nuclear energies. Above mentioned kinetic and potential energies can be easily converted in to chemical, mechanical and electrical energies. No doubt solar, wind and hydro energies are cheap and free from pollution while thermal (coal, gas, petroleum) and nuclear energies are costlier and have serious side effects. A lot of heat and pollution are emitted in the atmosphere by using these methods. If heat and pollution emission remain continue Man will have to meet heat death consequently.

The question arises why do we prefer electrical energy? The answer is because electrical energy is readily converted into other kinds of energy. Electrical energy in the form of electrical current is turned into radiant energy in a light bulb, into chemical energy when a storage battery is charged, into mechanical energy in an electric motor, into heat in an electric oven. In each case the current performs work on the device it passes through, and the device then transforms this work into another kind of energy.

In an economy the importance of electricity is like blood that circulates and delivers oxygen to the each part of the body. The prosperity of every country is highly dependent on affordable and reliable electricity. The consumption of electricity is the gauge of economic health of a country. It is fact that consumption of electricity leads and stimulates the economic growth and expands employment opportunities. Lack of electricity precludes industrial growth affecting all sectors of the economy.


Electricity is a secondary form of energy. It is converted form of primary source (fossil fuel, hydro, solar, radiant, wind and nuclear energy). Converting primary source of energy into electrical energy there are three factors considerable.

1. Price factor
1. After effect factor.
1. Location factor.


It includes price of primary source, investment both on converting machinery, transmission and distribution of electrical energy. Cost per unit plays decisive role in taking decision that what kind of energy should be utilized as a primary source. Preference is given to the local and cheap source. No doubt consumption of electricity is the gauge of economic health of a country and price per unit is the factor that inflates or deflates this economic gauge. At present total power production capacity in Pakistan is about 19500 mw out of which power is only 6500 mw and balance of 13000 mw is thermal either using natural gas or furnace oil. Small capacity of 450 mw is nuclear and only 150 mw is through coal. It was estimated in 2000 that Pakistan will face sever power shortage of approximately 6000 mw by the year 2010 and 30700 mw by the year2020. The prediction of first half proved true. The per capita energy consumption in Pakistan is 14 mbtu that is among the lowest in the world. In China and Malaysia per capita energy consumption is 34 and 92 respectively. In Washington state in 1993 the per capita energy consumption was 218 mbtu (Million British Thermal Unit).If we want to become equivalent of above mentioned countries, we will have to enhance our electric production by 2.42 time (47357 mw) to meet China, 6.57 time (128142 mw) to meet Malaysia and 15.57 time (303642 mw) to meet Washington state of U.S.A.

Pakistan is using furnace oil for its thermal power plants. When its price was 49 rupees per kg and one kg furnace oil produce 3.8 kwh of electricity, the per unit of electricity cost was 13 rupees (49÷3.8). The fixed cost of thermal plant works out by about 3 rupees per unit. In this way one unit (kWh) of the electricity produced by all thermal plants using furnace oil is 16 rupees. Add to the transmission and distribution cost including line loses is 6 rupees. The total cost of such electricity works out approximately 22 rupees per kwh. So the electricity generating authorities have to give subsidy of 425 billion. Hydel and gas energy is reducing the deficit. The government does not have the resources to pay such a huge subsidy. It is not feasible to increase the power tariff due to political pressure. Therefore the power crises are far greater than what is being perceived. The government is in the horns off dilemma. If the government increases the electricity production it means increases in subsidy, and if it does not do so then be ready to meet the economic ruins and end of political carrier.


It is highly thinkable that on what environmental cost we are getting electricity? It is admitted fact that 98% species that ever lived went extinct due to unfavorable and inhospitable environment. Drastic environmental changes resulted in elimination of such species in the past and will take place in future. Volcanic eruption, meteorite or comet impact may be the causative agents of the mass extinction. The record of fossil fuels reveals that the extinction of species occurred unevenly.

Volcanic dust or droplets blocked the sun, causing global cooling or carbon dioxide and extreme green house gases released as a result of volcanic eruption may have raised the temperature or gases produced acid rain and depleted the ozone layer creating conditions inhospitable to species. Are we not creating the same situation by using unlimited pollution generating fuels? No doubt fossil fuels are excellent source of energy at present for our transportation needs. However they are also the primary source of electrical energy in the world today. The world power demands are expected to rise 60%by 2030. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that fossil fuels will account for 85 %of the energy market by 2030. Coal power plants account for 52 % of the world energy demand. We as a world burn 1.9 billion tons of coal in a year to generate electricity. Burning of 1.9 billion tons coal means huge air pollution, smog, acid rain, global warming and air toxics. The longer- term effects of climate change means that the pollen season has become longer and may people hay fever symptoms also last longer.

A typical coal plant generates;
(1) 37, 00,000 tons of carbon dioxide, the primary human cause of global warming. 161 million trees are required to combat the situation.

(2) 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide which causes acid rain that damages forests, lakes, buildings and forms small air born particles which can cause chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma and premature death, as well as haze obstructing visibility.

(3) 10,200 tons of nitrogen makes people susceptible to respiratory illness.

(4) 720 tons of carbon monoxide, becomes the cause of headache.

(5) 220 tons of hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds (voc), form bad ozone on ground level.

(6) 170 pounds of mercury, where just 1/70th of a teaspoon deposited on a 25 acre lake can make the fish unsafe to eat.

(7) 225 pounds of arsenic may become the cause of cancer.

(8) 114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium and other toxic heavy metals may occur.

The World Resources Institute reports that between the year of 2000 and 2020, 8 million deaths world wide could possibly occur without changing present conditions of pollution.

Pollution by burning Furnace oil

It is rich in heavy carbons, sulfur, soot forming ingredients and other irritants. Its poor combustion discharge pollutants into the atmosphere. Furnace oil emits a lot of heat and green house gases.

Petroleum derived contaminants constitute one of the most prevalent source of environmental degradation in the industrialized world. It is also a key component of urban smog and creates human health problems when present in the lower atmosphere. Particulate mater is directly emission in vehicle exhaust and can also form bad ozone from the reaction of exhaust gases with water vapor and sunlight. Some scientists believe that the burning of petroleum fuels contribute to global climate change

It is a project of multi-billions. Its cost can be divided into four parts; (A) The construction cost of the building (B) The operating cost of running the plant and generating energy. (C) The cost of waste disposal from the plant. (D) The cost of decommissioning (demolishing) the plant. Its roughly estimated cost is 12 to 15 billion dollars. Its average life is 30 to 60 years. Its dismantling cost is one billion dollars. This takes no account of what will happen in the future, whether we remain successful in controlling the radio activities or not. The decommissioning involves many administrative and technical actions.

It is estimated that it will cost at least £ 70 billions to decommission the existing U.K nuclear sites.

Nuclear reactors generate heat internally; to remove this heat and convert it into useful electrical power a coolant system is used. For this purpose cool water is used in million liters. In this way nuclear power plants emit a huge quantity of heat in the atmosphere. No doubt there is zero rate of green house gas emission during generation. It reduces the world s dependences on oil and oil based pollutants. Nuclear energy is comparatively low cost energy, but the initial investment is very hard to manage for a poor country. There are sever risks involve; its one major incident is unacceptable. Nuclear waste remains deadly for thousands of years.

Global warming or the greenhouse effect is an environmental issue that deals with the potential global climate change due to increased level of atmospheric greenhouses gases. There are certain gases in our atmosphere that serve to regulate the amount of heat that is kept close to the earth’s surface. Scientists theorize that an increase in the greenhouse gases will translate in to increased temperature around the globe, which would result in many disastrous environmental effects. According to a report 2001, over the next 100 years global average temperature will rise by between 2.4 and 10.4degree Fahrenheit. The principle greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen and some engineered chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons. Greenhouse gases level have been increasing due to the widespread burning of fossil fuel by human population. The reduction of greenhouse gases emission has become a primary focus of environmental program in countries around the world.


It is precise time for alarm. We are pumping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere faster we thought, in the 1960’s average growth was 0.7 PPM (parts per million) a year. But in the last five years it has been at 2 PPM which is more or less proportional to the rate at which we are burning fossil fuels. Our temperature trajectory is looking more dramatic. One such mechanism is the prospect of widespread melting of Arctic ice, which would rapidly release vast amount of stored carbon and methane into the atmosphere. This would increase temperature as much as 10ºC by the end of the century. And no amount of cuts in the use of fossil fuel or emission of hot gases can stop the process once it starts. The thing is not known by any one that at what point this feedback mechanism might kick in. It happens after 5ºC of warming, or it may start after just 3ºC or even less. Beyond this tipping point, the impact on us would be dramatic. If positive feedback sends the warming process spinning out of control, then the consequences for life on earth as a whole will be catastrophic. Human society depends on a relatively intact biosphere for its continued survival. Methane is a powerful green house gas. It has 30 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide. Millions of tons are being released in to the atmosphere from beneath the arctic seabed. Underground stores of methane are important because scientists believe that the sudden release as in the past been responsible for the rapid increase in the global temperature, dramatic change to the climate, and even the mass extinction of species. We as a world are sitting on the methane time bomb and global warming may pull the trigger any time. The arctic ice is working as an impermeable barrier that sealed in methane.

Scientific studies confirm that indoor temperature can significantly impact on human productivity. The most performing comfort zone lies between 22ºC and 25ºC. NASA studies have shown that human productivity falls 3.6%for every degree above 25ºC and 4.7% above 32ºC.

It is important to keep in mind that where the primary source of energy is available, because the high voltage electric transmission costs a lot. Above ground lines the cost is around $10 per foot and under ground lines cost is in range of $20 to 40 per foot. Above ground lines it is easy to repair and less time consuming compare to under ground. It affects the rate of per kWh due to more expensive maintenance, line loses and management. Long distances means more chances of electric failure and attractive targets to terrorists.

Pakistan is one of the most polluted countries in the world. Due to pollution we, our successors and wild life are in the jeopardy of elimination. Greenhouse gases are increasing the temperature of the globe. Due to excessive utilization of fossil fuel, toxic gases are penetrating in the atmosphere. If the emission of so many gases continues our ecosystem may collapse, our blood chemistry may change, our immune system may fail or our soil may refuse to give crop production. Due to excessive pollution our health care cost has already increased. Air pollution may trigger respiratory disease, heart diseases, chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma and premature deaths.

Analogous to water flow in the river, there is flow of traffic on the roads. Running vehicles have sufficient weight that move along with covering the distances. A car has approximately 1000 kg weight. This moving weight can be utilized to generate power. For this purpose we will use small air pumps that will be installed on the roads. Just like cat eyes on the roads. These pumps will not create hurdles in the flow of traffic. When the tyre of the vehicle will press the pump, it will press the air, present in the chamber of the pump. While passing through the pipes, this compressed air will be processed. The air will be filtered to strain the metal and dust particles and then washed by passing through the water. Water is a good solvent, so it will change the chemistry of air and detoxify the toxicity of the pollutants.

Then this refined air will be stored in the air tank. When the needle of the pressure gauge will touch the required pressure level, the compressed air will be released on the turbine to turn it. The turbine will change the compressed air energy into mechanical energy. The mechanical energy can be converted in to electrical energy very easily by using generator. The project objectives are;

1. Generation of electrical energy through renewable source on massive scale
2. Reduction in green house gases and global warming
3. Lustration of already existed air pollution
4. Avoidance of line losses and expensive on long networking
5. Reduction in air temperature
6. More oxygen for man rather than burning in power generating plants

A crossing where passes thirty vehicles per minute (one vehicle=1000 KG or one ton and thirty vehicles mean 30 tons per minute) can;
(A). Generate 4 to 5 megawatt electricity.
(B). lustrate one lac pound air.
(C).Down the temperature by 10º Celsius.

Modern society is significantly more robust than any that have come before; primarily we wield the power of information. With the accumulated knowledge of thousand of years of human history, we can better understand the causes of problems in the hope of avoiding them. In the past many civilizations collapsed in isolation without affecting the rest of the world. Societies today are so interconnected that the risk we face is of a worldwide decline. The world has become the global village, so even a local calamity may drag the rest of the world drawn with it. Secondly to maximize the chances of success, today Man is well equipped with artificial intelligence and accumulated knowledge of human history. He is in a better position to cope with the problems relating health, energy and pollution. Even than the Man fails, it will be a great tragedy, failure of all human beings and end of life on earth.

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