Biomass Atlas for Pakistan – mapping and analysing bioenergy potential in Pakistan

The Problem

Pakistan is facing a large deficit in electricity supply. A report published by the Government of Pakistan (GoP) in 2013 showed that the electricity supply-demand gap had continuously grown over the past five years and had reached 4,500 to 5,500 MW in 2013 leading to load-shedding of 12-16 hours across the country. GoP has set a target to reduce the electricity supply-demand gap to zero by 2017.


The Solution

In order to support the GoP, the World Bank has been providing assistance towards continued development of renewable power generation (hydro, biomass, solar and wind). One of these assistances is to develop renewable energy resource maps for Pakistan. The aim of the ESMAP funded project was to map the potential in Pakistan for industrial scale power generation based on biomass. This was done by combining satellite image analysis, field surveys and GIS modelling.
Agriculture is by far the most abundant source of biomass in Pakistan. Hence,to estimate the feedstock potentially available for power generation, the focus was on mapping the agricultural fields in Pakistan and surveying the amount of crop residues produced and how they are currently utilized. The field survey included a strong capacity building component; a network of local universities executed the farmer interviews on their cropping patterns and existing use of harvest residues using a smartphone app designed specifically for this purpose.

The project was a collaboration between Simosol, Full Advantage, VTT, PITCO and the National University of Sciences and Technology.

For more details and outputs of the project go to the ESMAP project page