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Wheat Straw as a Source of Electricity for Sustainable Villages

We see that in Pakistan there is around 30% population with no access to electricity. Irrespective of this, Pakistan faces an immense demand of electricity due to which its citizens experience a major energy crisis.

Agricultural residue like Wheat Straw can be utilized to produce sustainable bio-electricity. We see that 50% of crop residues go as waste. Moreover, as green fodder is the major use of livestock feed, wheat straw is always left as waste. Henceforth, it could be vital if wheat straw is used to produce electricity on a mass level.

In 2017-2018, Pakistan produced 25.5 million tons of wheat grain and 38.25 million tons of wheat straw. Following table shows the expected electricity generation that can be done in five districts of Punjab:

Sr# District Wheat Production 2016-17 (tons) Wheat Straw Generated (tons) Energy (PJ) Electricity Generated (MW)  
1  Bahawalnagar 1218.43
27.41 288.45
2 Bahawalpur 984.49 1,476,735 22.15 233.07
3 Rahim Var Khan 953.73 1,430,595 21.46 225.79
4 Faisalabad 947.13 1,420,695 21.31 224.22
5 Muzaffargarh 917.65 1,376,475 20.65 217.25
Total 5021.43 7,532,145 112.98 1188.78
Overall Punjab 20465.34 30,699,510 460.45 4,845.22 MW


The major benefit of this system will be that while this is not enough electricity to power cities, it can be enough to power villages.

Environmental Effects:

  • Removal of wheat straw instead of plowing it back will decrease soil quality.
  • However, burning of wheat straw considerably damages the environment (the atmosphere, wildlife, and humans).

Socio-Economic Effects:

  • Farmers will be able to earn from wheat residue by selling it.
  • Jobs will be created for natives.
  • Villages will be powered by electricity.

In conclusion, there is a huge potential for electricity generation through agricultural waste and it is our responsibility to provide the citizens with green electricity, which is precisely why we as a country should build avenues for electricity production through agriculture waste.