Coal fire power plants are double edged swords

Energy crisis among the developing nations is highly anticipated due to the urbanization and development which demands high supply of energy. The demand rules out the production resulting in instability and stagnation of the economy. Pakistan, having a short production, poor transferring system, and impoverished managements is the depiction of the scenario.

Due to the current state, the authorities have to defer to the problems opting for every opportunity possible to fulfill the demands. Somehow these problems are burgeoning challenges for science to provide sustainable energy solutions.The amalgam of the present circumstances leaves the authorities no choice other than utilizing large coal reservoirs and other fossil fuels for production of energy. Despite of being the least favorable process thermal power generates almost 14365 megawatts (MW) of electricity out of a demand of 17000 MW.

The lion’s share of energy production is via non-renewable resources, rectifying that thermal energy illuminates 80% of Pakistan. To overcome the shortfall of 3000 MW to 4000 MW numerous other projects are developed which are causing the deterioration and degradation of the environment in addition to resource depletion. The major contributors are the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which could result in a catastrophic collapse if not reduced by 50–80% by 2050, as stated by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The major aspect of the GHG emissions is the accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere corroding the global climate and earth’s life cycle.

With the increasing energy demand, level of CO2 in the atmosphere has escalated too. The drastic increase of CO2 from 280 ppm to 414 ppm has caused an increment of 0.8°C in the global surface temperature. The CO2 concentration is predicted to rise to 600―700 ppm at the end of this century. And if not stopped, at the current pace we would have a 4.5―5°C increase in the average surface temperature by the end of this century.

Globally, CO2 emitted from power plants is around 40% of the total CO2 emissions andit is expected to increase up to 60% by the end of this century.The transportation sector causes 20% of the total global CO2 emissions with the burning of fossil fuels contributing 10% to the concentration. Mitigating it by recovering all the forested area would alleviate the situation not more than 11%. 65% emissions from the fossil fuels still remain a strategic issue which is yet to be resolved.To avoid the obvious consequences on climate change, the concentration of such greenhouse gases in the atmosphere must be stabilized. By all the means as discussed above it is not preferable to shut down all the projects that are vital for the development and the economy of the country. Considering countries like China and India, which somewhat had the same system, we come across the conclusion that the need is to develop solutions, to eliminate contamination and combat present ailments of environment instead of shutting down the projects halting the development of the country.

Incorporation of high technology bearing and effective system to generate zero waste renders to an ecofriendly zone having the least environmental impact.For instance, Pakistan in its developmental phases now a days has a great dependence upon the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The project includes various coal power plants around the country but with the increased technical system in order to reduce the waste. Sahiwal coal power plant, Qadirabad installed upon 80% of agricultural lands does represents poor planning strategy but the waste management regarding the ash residues and VOXs emission is the step-in right direction. Although there is no execution about the CO2 emissions.

Here we need to address the issue by converting the residue into opportunities and treat it as a resource instead of waste. The application integrated carbon capture and storage is one of the ideas to prevent the uptake of CO2 by the environment. However, the efficient implementation of CCS lies in the application of nanotechnology that, in the future, could provide a better condition for the environment and economic outlooks. The captured carbon can be stored in the earth crust for trillions of years. But to form the process global and collective efforts are required to explore, optimize and implement new techniques for CCS to achieve high environmental sustainability and combat the issues of global warming.

The application of an alternative mid- to long-term option, namely, the capture and conversion of CO2, to produce sustainable, synthetic hydrocarbon or carbonaceous fuels, most notably for transportation purposes. Basically, the approach centers on the concept of the large-scale re-use of CO2 released by human activity to produce synthetic fuels, for algal harvesting and other welfare to decrease the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.This challenging approach could assume an important role in tackling the issue of global CO2 emissions. Or treating two problems with one we could desalinate the sea water using the excessive carbon-dioxide which results in removal of the CO2 as well as a supple of water of water to beat the scarcity.

The future although requires abettor lead at planning and development. To fill the void of energy and development we should consider the environment friendly and sustainable ways in the mean time. Our country, undoubtedly, has various areas for the generation of electricity and energy, various types of lands and areas are present which suit the production of energy in every aspect. The vast areas of desert with the right amount of sun energy required are an ideality for the solar power generation. Our broad coast area which is unused can be the arena for the production of wind energy resulting in major contribution towards the demands of the country. Last but not the least, the heaps of solid waste are an opportunity to generate energy. The application of biotechnology in conversion of this waste to bio-fuel can result in wonders.

Not only will it help as a resource but also the additional benefit is that no effort would be required to get rid of the waste. There will be no need of landfills and large dumpsites that are reserve for the sole purpose of containing waste. This era requires to develop policies which suit the country and help us attain the maximum benefit from various areas, which will ultimately result in less pressure on the fossil fuels and other non-renewable techniques. Adapting to these areas of power generation will fulfill the needs and resultantly will outpace the need for the burning of fossil fuels. And we can end up in a clean and green Pakistan.

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  1. Coal fire power plants are double edged swords – Dunya News

    […] fire power plants are double edged swords  Dunya News Source: Renewable Resources Coal fire power plants are double edged swords – Dunya News Coal fire power plants are double edged swords – Dunya News Renewable […]

  2. Alishba says

    Very well done …….keep it up !

  3. Rabia says

    Well done dear.

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