Energy Crisis and Pakistan:

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There has been an enormous increase in the demand of energy in Pakistan as a result of industrial development and population growth, as compared to increase in energy production. The number of energy consumers has increased to 12.5 million: household 46 per cent, industry 28 per cent, agriculture 12 per cent, bulk supply nine per cent and commercial five per cent. For faster economic growth, Pakistan need more generation. Supply of energy is, therefore, far less than actual demand, resultantly crisis has emerged. An energy crisis can be defined as any great bottleneck (or price rise) in the supply of energy resources to an economy.

Pakistan’s energy infrastructure is not well developed, rather it is considered to be underdeveloped and poorly managed. Rapid demand growth, transmission losses due to out-dated infrastructure, power theft, and seasonal reductions in the availability of hydropower have worsened the situation. Consequently, the demand exceeds supply and hence load shedding is a common phenomenon in all cities. Energy crisis in Pakistan started in 2007 and in 2008 it took a serious turn. During 2009-10, energy supply and per capita availability of energy witnessed a decline of 0.64 per cent and 3.09 per cent respectively in comparison to previous year.

Pakistan needs around 15,000 to 20,000 MW electricity per day, however, currently it is producing about 11,500 MW per day hence there is a shortfall of about 4000 to 9000 MW per day. The power companies, circular debt is a big issue which has risen to 230 billion. Line losses, mainly theft, lone contributed Rs.125 billion to circular debt. It is better for the government to focus on curtailing power theft. Mere power tariff raise could not revive the power sector, as numerous hikes in the past have not resolved the chronic problems of circular debt and power theft.

Pakistan’s energy consumption is met by mix of gas, oil, electricity, coal and LPG sources with different level of shares. Share of gas consumptions stood at 43.7 per cent, followed by oil 29.0 per cent, electricity 15.3 per cent, coal 10.4 per cent and LPG 1.5 per cent. Guddu plant is largest thermal operated plant with a capacity of 1,650 MW, while two largest Independent Power Plants (IPPs) are: Kot Addu (1,600 MW) and Hubb river (1,300 MW).

In 1994 during the Benazir’s government the IPs projects were bitterly opposed, blaming the government of taking commissions in these projects. However, no one had any idea how to solve the electricity problems. The situation went complicated when the civil-military bureaucracy didn’t allow Nawaz government to export surplus power to India because trading with the enemy on the basis of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status was not acceptable to them. Now the circumstances have changed and we are ready to import electricity from India by granting them the same MFN status.

Hydro power is generated by using electricity generators to extract energy from moving water. Pakistan is having rich resources of energy in hydel power; however, only 34 per cent of total electricity generation is coming from this power. Currently we are having 6555 MW against the potential of 41000 t0 45000 MW. Current hydropower stations are: Tarbella Dam: 3,478 MW; Ghazi Barotha: 1,450 MW; Mangla 1,000 MW; Warsak 240 MW and Chashma 184 MW. Potential hydropower stations are: Diamer-Basha Dam 4,500 Mw; Munda Dam-Swat River in Mohmand Agency 740 MW; Kalabagh Dam 2400-3600 MW; Bunji Dam 5400MW and Dasu Dam 3800 MW.

Alternative sources of energy: Wind power harnesses the power of the wind to propel the blades of wind turbines. These turbines cause the rotation of magnets, which create electricity. Though Pakistan has potentials of wind energy ranging from 10000 Mw to 50000 Mw, yet power generation through wind is at the initial stages and currently 06 Mw has been installed in first phase in Jhimpir through a Turkish company and 50 MW will be installed shortly. More wind power plants...
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