Pakistan Energy Crisis And Its Remedy by Fatema Ahmed

Well for my first post, I had various topics to choose from, ranging from TTP to peace talks, Kashmir to Rann of Ketch, Balochistan’s instability to Karachi’s voice of freedom. But all of these topics seemed less pressing to me than the current power crisis that are about to start again.image

Pakistan has been facing a severe power shortage since the latter period of the last decade. Towards the end of the last century, Pakistan was able to come over the power crisis that had plagued our economy for decades. Corrupted bureaucracy and greedy politicians have been the root cause of this enemy, the enemy that has been killing us by slow poison. Pakistan faces a short fall of more than 4500MW at times. According to the NTDC(Natoinal Transmission and Dispatch Company) the power generation capacity of Pakistan stands at around 16000 MW, including the IPPs. But if one looks closely, more than 50% of the installed capacity is generated by furnace oil. around 40% by hydel and just about

1% by Coal. this means that we are generating more than 50% of electricity at 20 cents/kWh, around 40% at 3-4 cents/kWh and 1% at around 7-9 cents/kWh.

http://www.spice4life.co.za/family-living/what-i-have-learned-load-shedding :To check more on load shedding read

The overall cost of electricity is around 12 cents/kWh, With the line losses at around 25%(including theft) and the ever mounting pressure from the IMF, these prices will rise steadily unless Pakistan shifts to a cheaper source of electricity. Talking about cheaper sources, Pakistan is already losing the race against time by delaying the hydel projects that were considered in the past. Kalabagh dam seems more and more impossible with time and new projects are not a child’s play either.

Currently Pakistan needs a 2 Tier Plan to bridge the supply/demand gap. The initial phase should focus on reducing the line losses(including theft) and the conversion of the power plants from furnace oil to coal as their input. This will not only reduce the pressure on the general consumer but also benefit the government with an annual saving of more than $3 billion. This will not only reduce the cost of generation of electricity but also reduce the burden on the national exchequer. the current furnace oil plants can be converted to coal power plants by altering the design of the boilers and by adding new exhaust processors to make it environment friendly.

The next phase which can be started side by side is the addition of renewable energy sources like hydel, solar and wind power plants to generate cheaper electricity and to reduce the dependence on fossil fuel. These projects unlike the non-renewable ones have a minuscule running cost which means that these plants will guarantee cheaper costs of electricity. Solar/Wind/Micro-hydro projects can easily be installed in remote areas away from the national grid to provide them with cheap electricity without compromising on line losses.

In the end it all boils down to the policies set by the current government and how they drive these policies for the welfare of the state. Pakistan has an unlimited potential, but the current power crisis has crippled our economy and this has thus hampered the overall growth as a nation.

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