Energy Crisis in Pakistan: Causes and Consequences

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 | Energy Crisis in Pakistan: Causes and Consequences

SYNOPSIS:

1) Introduction
2) Present energy picture of Pakistan3) Causes behind the energy crisis in Pakistan

a. Poor energy planning
b. Non use of alternative energy resources
c. Rely on quick fixes to solve the crisis
d. Politicization of mega projects
e. Unchecked Energy theft

4) Consequences of energy crisis on Pakistan

A) Economic
Flight of capital
Shrinking Foreign Direct Investment
Closure of industry
Severe blow to agriculture sector

B) Social

Turmoil and chaos in society
Educational loss
Critical problems for health sector

C) Political

Political uncertainty
Public trust erosion

5) Turning energy around: Pragmatic steps to solve the energy crisis in Pakistan

a. Political commitment
b. Long term energy planning
c. Use of alternative energy resources
d. Exploitation of Thar Coal on war footings
e. Up gradation and maintenance of existing power generation plants f. Co energy production with sugar mills
g. Production of energy from solid waste
h. Energy conservation

6) Conclusion

Energy infuses life into human and business activities. It makes things possible for functioning in a constant way. It allows socio economic development and prosperity. Its failure halts all the activities of life. Pakistan is marred by an energy crisis in spite of its abundant natural resources. The country has failed to utilize its reserves for the enhancement of its industry and economy. The current energy crisis has stunted the economic growth of the country. It has disturbed the peace and order of the country as reflected in violent public protests against the long power shortages. However, Pakistan can deal with its energy crisis by investing in energy for long term planning and efficiently using its alternative resources like wind, solar, nuclear and coal. The last mentioned has the capacity to generate 10, 0000 MW for more than 200 years.

Currently, Pakistan is capable of producing 19505 mega watts (MW) while the demand is that of 2500 megawatts, outstanding with a deficit of 3000 MW to 6000 MW in the peak seasons. Precisely speaking, Pakistan generates 65 percent thermal power, 33 percent hydro electricity and 2 percent nuclear energy. Keeping the present energy picture in mind, the short fall could go up to 13000 MW by 2020.There is a dire need to bridge this gap for the prosperity of the country.

There are many factors behind the energy crisis in Pakistan but poor energy planning tops the list. Subsequent regimes have dealt with the energy sector on ad-hoc basis. The approach has been project oriented and not goal oriented. Energy sustainability and long term planning has been an alien concept for the government. Consequently, Pakistan is crippled by an energy crisis.

Pakistan spends billions of dollars on oil export to meet its energy requirements. Little has been done to exploit its own abundant natural resources. The non use of alternative energy resources to generate electricity is a major reason behind the energy crisis in the country. India on the other hand, took full advantage of its natural resources. India is the 4th largest exporter of wind energy in the world.

It is natural that when things go wrong on a larger scale, quick fixes are sought to solve the crisis. This is what exactly has happened in Pakistan. The short term measures like Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and Rental Power Producers (RPPs) is a case in point that has been attempted at solving the energy crisis in Pakistan. Such short term solutions will not address the energy crisis permanently. Moreover, the tariff structure of electricity produced from IPPs and RPPs is very high which adds to the miseries of a common man. This is a move taken in panic which is further worsening the situation. It is against the energy sustainability of the country.

The politicization of mega power generation projects is yet another factor behind...
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