By lifting import duties on CNG conversion kits, converting government vehicles, and liberally distributing licenses for CNG filling stations, the (Pakistani) government kick-started a cycle of CNG production that was then propelled by basic market forces and low CNG prices. As a result of these policies, CNG use has captured a large share of the petrol market over the last two years. There are over 1 million CNG-enabled vehicles in Pakistan today, constituting nearly 20 percent of all vehicles in the country. It is the third largest CNG fleet in the world.
That's great to know that Pakistan has the third largest CNG automobile fleet in the world. However, as my friend and author rightly points out, CNG, though clean, is not renewable. As a result of this, he proposes several measures whereby ethanol can be introduced as the source of renewable energy
According to the World Bank, the only potential renewable fuel anywhere in the world that can currently compete with petrol is ethanol from sugarcane. Pakistan produces the world’s 5th largest sugarcane crop, of which 20 percent is exported. In fact, until recently, Pakistan was the second largest exporter of sugarcane ethanol to the European Union — a preferential status we have since lost because of WTO obligations and dumping complaints. Several distilleries have planned to close down in light of this fact. Instead of curbing production of fuel ethanol, however, we should redirect it to the domestic market. Eventually, a domestic industry will grow, and the further development of sugarcane feed-stocks will accelerate rural infrastructure development and result in rural job creation from farms and processing facilities.
Experiences with fuel ethanol in Brazil and around the world suggest that government action is essential in the initiation of such programs to coax the market away from pre-existing technologies. A Pakistani fuel ethanol program, like its CNG predecessor, will need initial government support to develop an infrastructure in which the new industry can grow.
This entails providing incentives for both production and consumption of fuel ethanol. the fledgling industry will need fiscal support in the form of subsidies, tax incentives, and state-guaranteed credit, to ensure that it has a consumer base and a competitive price. As production increases, economies of scale will develop until ethanol production is cost-effective and self-sustainable.
This is an impressive article and quite eye-opening for me. I believe the ideas that he proposes are quite manageable. There is, after all, an infrastructure already laid down for CNG production. Thus the government is aware of the looming energy crisis. It's great that Pakistan is far ahead of other nations with regards to industrial and automotive CNG incorporation. It would be even more impressive if Pakistan can think to the future, utilize its renewable crop resources, and thus produce energy domestically.