Jan 10 - 16, 20

The book: 'ENERGY RESOURCES AND THE UTILIZATION IN PAKISTAN' published in 2010, is an excellent piece of research, surprisingly however from the pen of a soldier. In it, Brigadier (R) Nasim A. Khan - PhD from Colorado University USA - has excellently analyzed and collected the study of almost each and every energy resource available in Pakistan.

The beauty of the book is in its graphics which are substantial and remind us of the saying: a picture is worth more than a thousand words. A good endeavor has been made by Dr. Khan to diagnose the real ailment of our energy sector and to prescribe economical and cost-effective remedies for it. The misconceptions about coal are wiped out when we come to know that the percentage of coal in the total energy generation currently in the USA is 22 percent whereas in Pakistan coal's share in energy generation is a mere 0.7 percent. Ironically, international organizations remind us of environmental degradation not the US!

The background and updates of tapped energy resources are compiled in details. Suggestions for alternate energy generation have also been presented with facts and figures. Each resource - solar, wind, bio, geothermal, and marine - has been dedicated one whole chapter. All these five chapters carry an introduction and a conclusion.

The quantum of solar energy reaching Pakistan has 77 million times more potential than her hydropower potential. solar energy is directly converted into electricity by photovoltaic cells. Although the voltage attainable by one cell is insufficient, large number of cells can be connected together in series to attain high voltage and currents. The only solar-cell manufacturing industry in Pakistan is in Taxila by the name of Akhter Solar, with a production capacity of 3 MW per year.

To demonstrate the performance of wind turbines in Pakistan, 40 wind turbines of 750 watts capacity each were installed at Karachi coast. The energy produced by these turbines was stored in a bank of batteries that was subsequently used to lit street lights on a small area in Clifton. They were primarily installed to create awareness and to understand the dynamics of wind power in Pakistan. The blades of these turbines are made of wood and fiberglass and have been manufactured in Pakistan.

Technology in bio-energy has gained initial foothold in Pakistan and due to the effort of Pakistan Council for Renewable Energy Technology 2000 biogas plants have now become operative in the country.

The temperature at the Core of Earth is around 1000'C while at the surface the annual average temperature is 27'C. That means temperature of earth continues to increase with depth till it reaches the temperature at the core. The increase of temperature with depth in termed as geothermal gradient. It is interesting to note that the geothermal gradient found in areas being drilled for oil wells in Pakistan in the south reveals higher than normal thermal gradient of 40'C for every kilometer.

Energy can be extracted from the ocean in the form of Tides, Waves, or Ocean thermal Energy conversion (OTEC). Several tidal sites have been identified by National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) while tidal stream velocities on the creeks have also been ascertained. An investor based in USA has obtained a letter of interest to initiate tidal power project with 50 MW of power.

The topics of: (i) Energy economics; (ii) Energy and Environment Situation in Pakistan; and (iii) Energy conservation have also been covered in the end with a chapter allocated for each of the three topics. Pakistan's energy supply has 40% imported component that is mostly in the form of petroleum and its products. Any escalation in oil price at international level adversely affects the economic situation in Pakistan.

It could have carried the proposal for desalination plants that can avert not only the tension in the relationship between India and Pakistan but also between different provinces of Pakistan. These plants provide freshwater converted from seawater as well as electric power.

One more thing, molasses can better be utilized for producing organic chemicals of higher commercial value such as polypropylene and polyurethane rather than converted into biofuels.



Prof. Dr. Nasim A. Khan, SI(M), the author of "Energy Resources and Their Utilization in Pakistan" did his M.S. in Energy Resources and mechanical Engineering form University of Pittsburgh, USA and went on to earn his PhD in Mechanical engineering from Colorado state University, USA.

He served in the armed forces on several prestigious posts and retired as secretary, Alternative Energy development Board, Government of Pakistan.


Dr. Nasim A. Khan has unique distinction of identifying and naming the famous Gharo-Kati Bandar Wind corridor of Pakistan in the year 2000 with a technically exploitable potential of 50,000 MW.

There was no scientific analysis of wind speed data in Pakistan prior to this innovative and unique study by the author sponsored by Pakistan council for Appropriate technology. During this study wind speed data from 26 airfields in Pakistan recorded at different heights was simulated at 30 meters standard height in the year 2000. Wind speed contour maps for twelve months were prepared that identified a 50,000 MW Gharo-Kati Bundar Wind corridor in Sindh that changed the mindset towards utilization of wind energy in Pakistan. the technical potential was later confirmed by Pakistan Meteorological Department and subsequently by USNREL in year 2007. A pre-feasibility study report based on this study written by the author resulted in attracting 97 investors ($9.7bn investment) in wind power generation in this corridor for which the Government of Sindh allotted 34,000 acres land for 22 investors and first wind farm is on ground.

His extensive research work and recommendations ensured creation of National commission for Alternative Energy in 2001 and subsequently Alternative Energy Development board in the year 2003 in the Prime Minister Secretariat, Islamabad. Dr. Nasim was the prime force in formulation and preparation of Alternative Energy Development Act and Alternative Energy Policy of Pakistan. Dr. Nasim received Energy Award for the year 2010 instituted by Pakistan Energy Review for his outstanding contribution in Energy Sector.

The author has more than 50 publications including FIVE Award Winning Books to his credit.

On international level Dr. Khan received Energy Globe Award for Pakistan in Brussels in 2007; was finalist in 2002 World Technology Award, USA; is a Fellow of World Technology Network, USA; is Chairperson, Pakistan Section of International Solar Energy Society; and is Member World Wind Energy Association.

A seasoned Engineer, Dr Nasim obtained funding and completed 16 research projects costing Rs 650 millions from various national and international organizations. Dr. Khan has invented, designed and patented Shamsi Mashk Water heating System, cadmium Telluride solar Cells, Solar Starling Engine, Solar Heat Resisting Roof Tiles, Solar Tent, Biodiesel Manufacturing Plant, Solar Concentrating Cooker, Solar Desalinate and Solar Heated Hospital at altitude of 12,000 feet.

Presently, Dr. Khan is serving as the Vice Chancellor, Hamdard University.