Energy Crisis in Pakistan: Brief Essay
(This essay owes its skeleton and information, almost 90%, to this essay by Mr. T. S. Awan. Please share information, critique and more articles on it.)
Energy Crisis in Pakistan
“What does ‘LOL’ stand for in Pakistan?
“Why isn’t anyone intervening in Africa (as in Middle East)? It’s the layer of oil on Middle East … otherwise it’d have been no different than Africa.” - Former NATO chief, Gen. Wesley Clark, 2007
General (rtd.) Wesley Clark, one time Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, admits that US and Europe's intervention in Middle East – initiative of multiple regime changes in around seven countries through direct and indirect wars – is primarily to gain control over oil resources by Western powers. Control over energy has become a cause of wars among nations, only indicating how critically important this resource; although power of collaboration is being underestimated. One cannot imagine a tomorrow devoid of energy in modern world. Energy is its cornerstone. It is critical to be self-sufficient in its generation to preserve independence of a nation. Developed world differentiates itself from the rest because it has been able to harmonize its supply and demand, managing both at the same time. Self-sufficiency and control over energy gives the North its edge over the South. Pakistan is energy-deficient. How can one imagine an active and prosperous human being short on blood? Life is hard without sufficient blood running up and down the veins, pumped by the heart round the clock. Pakistan has failed to contain its energy crisis; failing to increase supply proportionately and conserving demand. In 1980s, it met 86% of its demand; come 2000s, situation is getting worse. Explosion in the supply of natural gas gave the nation a breather, sharing burden of electricity and oil, only to make future insecure as gas reserves deplete at fast rate. Fire-fighting on the part of government becomes national strategy, instead of proactive, long-term planning. This has contributed to circular debt problem because of short-sightedness political government. Let alone increase the supply of energy, situation has worsened due to poor management, operational inefficiencies, power theft, and line losses. This largely sums up the problems country faces in its battle to restore sanity in energy sector, which is now nudging the economy towards disaster, warns latest report of Asian Development Bank.
[Energy sector in Pakistan]
Energy sector of Pakistan is considered to be under-developed, thanks to poor management and planning, with untapped potential for humungous growth. The root problem is energy generation which never took place proportionately with the rising demand and positive economic growth, with rapid boost taking place in Musharaf’s era. Nobody could tell him about the shortfall in the supply that would engender an energy crisis for coming government(s). The songs of ‘all is well’ were sung by the planners, and now we are in a quagmire where no short-term solution can work. Apart from this energy generation failure, government did little to contain the demand which seems to have exploded out of proportion in past two decades; operational inefficiencies and line losses are costing government billions; power theft; and on the top of that, the cheapest source of electricity, namely, hydropower, suffers from seasonal oscillations between 2,414 and 6,761 megawatts, depending on river flow. To offset the gap between supply and demand, populace suffers from load management or load-shedding. This crisis has pervasive and far-reaching consequences on economy, society and overall functioning of the country.
[Energy sector & consumption]
Pakistan’s energy sector consists of following consumers: household, industry, services, transport, government, etc. The largest consumer is industry, accounting for around 58% of total consumption;...
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