Renewable Energy

With rising concerns over climate change and awareness of the finitude of fossil fuels, the world is increasingly moving to renewable energy sources. Fossil fuels are non-renewable, that is, they draw on finite resources that will eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive or too environmentally damaging to retrieve.  In the recent years, solar photovoltaic capacity increased six fold to more than 16 gigawatts (GW), wind power capacity increased 250 percent to 121 GW, and total power capacity from new renewable energy increased 75 percent to 280 GW. During the same period, solar heating capacity doubled to 145 gigawatts-thermal (GWth), while biodiesel production increased sixfold to 12 billion liters per year and ethanol production doubled to 67 billion liters per year. By 2007 the growth rate of the renewable energy sector had reached 16%, with the trend expected to increase over the coming years.Driven by increasing environmental concerns, high oil prices, and the uncertainty of petroleum reserves, the production of other sources of fuel are now a hot topic. The use of biomass energy has the potential to greatly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. The production and utilization of bioethanol from lignocellulosic materials have attracted worldwide attention as a strategy for reducing global warming and improving global energy security. The conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol has many technical and economical challenges that delayed its commercialization. To make the biomass conversion economical, it is necessary to lower the cost of the pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. Scientists in this group are working on various resources of renewabale energy including solar, hydral and bio fuel production.

The primary focus of this group “Renewable Energy” will remain on the renewable sources of energy which falls both within the mitigation aims of Pakistan as a response to climate change and the development plans aimed at energy self sufficiency. The development of indigenous renewable sources of energy is crucial to ensure that energy security is achieved in the country without increasing emissions. Exploitation of local renewable energy sources will also reduce the dependence on imported fossil fuels, relieving the financial burden on the country’s economy.

Focus Areas

Bio-based (cellulosic  and lipid) energy,  Novel Biomass resources, Hydral Energy,  Solar Energy