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  1. Description of the product

Biogas is generated by using the microbially-controlled anaerobic digestion process from waste byproducts including animal dung, urban waste, and crop residues. Biogas contains methane (50-70%), carbon dioxide (30-50%) and little portion of other gases like hydrogen, hydrogen sulfides and siloxanes (Sheikh, 2010; Amjid et al., 2011; Jiang et al., 2011; Saleh, 2012). Biogas is a popular source of energy in many developed and developing economies, including the United States, Germany, Austria, Britain, China, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In some developed countries like Sweden and Switzerland, it is used to run vehicles. Pakistan is also focusing on expanding its production of biogas on urgent bases as its natural gas reserves are depleting rapidly. Arshad H. Abbasi, an adviser on water and energy at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, an independent research organization in Islamabad, said Pakistan is in big need of biogas as an alternative energy source. Biogas plants of different scales are deployed in domestic biogas production for cooking and in industrial installations to generate electricity. The various types of biomass sources available for power generation are following.

2.    Description of the market

Pakistan’s 60% population belongs to rural areas and have a huge number of live stocks and animals that give 652 million kg of manure daily from cattle and buffalo only, which can be used to generate 16.3-million-cubic meter of biogas per day and 21 million tons of bio fertilizer per year (Amjid,S. S., Bilal, M. Q., Nazir, M. S., and Hussain, A. (2011). So, by installing the biogas units we can overcome the energy crisis which we are facing now. These biogas plants are low-cost to install and can be run with very small budget. Biogas energy plants can be a good alternative for nearly 70% of country's population residing in rural areas. This biogas can be stored in additional plants and that can also be on a low cost. Rural areas of Pakistan are enrich with a variety of biomass resources (animal dung waste, MSW, agri-industrial, and agricultural waste), which can be used to produce about 12 million cubic meters of biogas per day, which is more than enough to counter the energy needs of millions of rural people. Currently, Pakistan possesses 5,357 operational biogas units, with a varying production capacity of 3–15 cubic meter per day which is way less than the targeted production of biogas that is around 12-15 million cubic meter per day (Mirza et al., 2008a; Sheikh, 2010; Javed et al., 2016; Naqvi et al., 2018).

3.  Description of the policy measures

Biogas plants were started to install in Pakistan in 1974 which reached to 4137 plants till 1987 but the growth rate of this technology became extremely slow, resulting in an increase of the figure to only 6,000 installations by 2006. Recently, new policies are being developed by the government to install 3,00,000 biogas units throughout Pakistan within 10 years. The Government of Pakistan has asked PCRET to launch mega project on the biogas technology by installing huge numbers of biogas units all over the country to not only cater the needs of cooking but also for agriculture and commercial purpose in order to meet the shortage of gas and electricity in the country. This program was initiated in 2009, but number of operational plants was not enough as of 2014(Saleh, 2012).8,9 . Biogas is also used to produce electricity in Pakistan on a small scale, as 92 biogas plants are working in this regard resulting in the generation of 790 KW electricity(Uddin et al., 2016). There is significant potential that remains to be explored to install biogas plants for electricity production.

4.  Evaluation of the effect of policy measure

Being a developing country, Pakistan is facing a severe energy crisis that limits its economy. Because of the rapidly growing population and economy, Pakistan's energy needs become potentially huge; to resolve these serious issues, AEDB is currently functioning on the development of recent renewable energy technologies in Pakistan, which will be beneficial for the developing economy of Pakistan to minimize the growing energy crisis. It is hoped that after approval from concerned quarters the project will pave way on mass-scale dissemination of an environment friendly technology which apart from being green has enormous benefits to the public at the country. Out of all the renewable energy resources, biomass is considered the best and most easily accessible source of energy with its unique environmentally friendly nature. Despite the bountiful presence of biomass energy resources, there is still a need to work on the use of these sources to produce energy

5.  References

  1. Farooqui, S. Z. (2014). Prospects of renewables penetration in the energy mix of Pakistan. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 29, 693–700. doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2013.08.083 [Cited on 26.01.2020] from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenrg.2019.00024/full
  2. Amjid, S. S., Bilal, M. Q., Nazir, M. S., and Hussain, A. (2011). Biogas, renewable energy resource for Pakistan. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 15, 2833–2837. doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2011.02.041 [Cited on 26.01.2020] from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenrg.2019.00024/full
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275645496_Biogas_potential_in_Pakistan
  4. Pakistan - Renewable Energy Report [Cited on 26.01.2020] from https://www.export.gov/article?id=Pakistan-Renewable-Energy
  5. Pakistani Energy Update Magazine [Cited on 26.01.2020] from http://www.energyupdate.com.pk/index.html
  6. https://energypedia.info/wiki/Pakistan_Energy_Situation#Biomass
  7. Biogas Technology in Pakistan [Cited on 26.01.2020] from https://www.osti.gov/etdeweb/servlets/purl/568411