EMERGING in 2006-07, Pakistan’s energy crisis still haunts the country — be it lengthy load-shedding, the growing demand-supply gap, energy insecurity, increasing reliance on imports and circular debt. In recent years, it has become more complicated both in dimension and intensity.
Has there been any effort to determine what went wrong? Apparently not. The energy crisis did not take us by surprise; from a surplus of power in 2001 to a deficiency in 2006, the period was long enough for us to have taken action. The crisis has been cultivated by years of negligence and wrongdoing. Senior Wapda officials were raising the alarm as early as 2003, only to be snubbed by key decision-makers. The Nandipur power project is a classic example, speaking volumes for how successive regimes since 2007, when the project that was set to become operational, have jeopardised it.
Has there been any effort to evaluate the impact of the energy crisis on Pakistan’s GDP and macro-economy? It does not seem so. The energy crisis has cost the national economy dearly, not only the loss to GDP in terms of missing energy due to the demand-supply gap but also the loss to industrial and commercial activities due to load-shedding and flight of capital from the country. Safe estimates suggest that it has cost the national economy over $100 billion.
Has there been any account produced to determine the consequent deindustrialisation and flight of capital? Again, no. The crisis has played havoc with our industrial activities. In industrial cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Gujranwala and Faisalabad, thousands of factories have shut down or are operating at the bare minimum level, which has resulted in huge flight of capital as investments have shifted elsewhere. What a shame that it was not just more advanced countries like Canada, Malaysia and UAE that saw a major influx of Pakistani investors, but countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka too.
Ten years on, are we any closer to solving the issue?
Has there been any effort to analyse the impact on micro-level socio-economics? No. The crisis has heavily dented the socioeconomic fabric of society, reportedly resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs mainly due to skewed industrial and commercial activities. With those affected often being the sole breadwinners of their households, the situation has led to dire socioeconomic implications for millions of people. In the absence of any social welfare support, being pushed towards crime and other forms of moral corruption has been the unfortunate, inevitable outcome for many.
Have lessons been learned? No. With vision and commitment, challenges can be turned into opportunities. And opportunities have definitely arisen, but only for certain individuals rather than the masses or the country at large. Many who have been observing closely argue that the energy crisis is another example of how crises are crafted to serve vested interests.
The entire energy sector, in terms of administration and functions, needed to be overhauled; malpractices and wrongdoings that caused the crisis to be corrected; and projects and deals transparently handled. But the state of affairs shows that little has changed; in fact, strong efforts are needed to ensure transparency and merit. Moreover, reckless decision-making must be avoided. It is unfortunate that powerful lobbies still appear to be dictating key energy decisions.
Has any goal-oriented policy and road map been developed to drive Pakistan towards a sustainable energy future? Efforts here too have been sparse. The diverse and complicated nature of the crisis demanded a paradigm shift in the modus operandi: a holistic and coherent energy policy, a goal-oriented approach and an implementation road map. But the situation is without direction. Various ministries, departments and cells still work haphazardly without any meaningful coordination. No value-engineering behind the projects is emerging. Important issues — an imbalance in the energy fuel mix, addressing our energy security by lowering the reliance on imports, and the lack of utilisation of cheap and indigenous hydropower and renewable resources — do not appear to be challenges that cause concern to the authorities.
But the energy crisis can be resolved. Pakistan has the potential, capacity and opportunity to overcome this challenge. Our existing power plants, currently underperforming for a wide range of administrative and technical reasons, need to run optimally. Vast, untapped indigenous resources including hydropower, renewables and fossil fuels can help with energy security and affordability.
Energy conservation, the cornerstone of energy strategies across the world, has to be embedded in the national energy fabric, not just in letter but also in spirit. Our human resources are competent enough to rise to the occasion. What is really missing is the combination of vision, strategy and commitment on the part of policymakers.
The writer is the author of Energy Crisis in Pakistan: Origins, Challenges and Sustainable Solutions.
Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2017
Energy Crisis Essay Outline
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Pakistan Energy Sector
- Energy Supply
- Energy Consumption
- 3. Sources of Energy In Pakistan
- Non-Renewable Resources
- Renewable Resources
- Alternative Energy Sources
- 4. Causes of Energy Crisis in Pakistan
- Higher Consumption
- Less supply
- Energy theft
- 5. Recommendations and Solutions
Introduction: Energy is very much essential for all the activities of the daily life and that is why its deficiency can have sever impacts on the lives of the people as well as the economy of the state, and that is why it is considered to be one of the most significant fundamental rights of the people and is the most important obligation of the government to provide the people of the state with the required capacity of the Energy.
Pakistan Energy Sector: Pakistan in one of those countries which don’t have a very well equipped and stable infrastructure of the Energy sector for which it is not developed properly and that is one major Problem of Pakistan and core reason for which the country is facing sever and alarming energy crisis from the past one decade. The Government has not shown some positive intent and instead of planning for new projects of energy generation or from shifting from traditional means to something new and more effective they have relied on imposing the cost of the energy on the local people which has made it very difficult for the locals to pay the bills and hence, the problem is still their existing.
The difference between the demand and the supply of the energy is getting higher and higher which is even making the conditions worse. In the time span of 2009 and 2010 it was being reported that the energy supply per capita availability of energy declined by 0.64% but in the last year which was 2012 the decline has reached to almost 3.09%. in the modern scenario the energy consumption and energy supply gap is increasing by time to time as the current production of the Energy in Pakistan is almost 15,000 to 20,000 Mega Watt but at the same the production is just 11, 500 to 13, 000 Mega Watt so the deficit of 4,000 to 5,000 Mega Watt exists which is considered to be a huge difference.
Pakistan Energy consumption is increasing to a huge extent and that is why it is not just relying on the Electricity as there are a lot of Electricity Crisis in Pakistan too but at the same time which are also contributing in this regard of meeting the shortfall.
Sources of Energy in Pakistan: Pakistan do have the leverage of not only depending on the electricity traditional means of the generation of power and energy but at the same time they have many other sources but the only need is to plan them properly and more practically so that they can be used for the purpose of energy production.
Under the non renewable resources we do have Petroleum products, fossil fuels, Coal, Natural gas as in Pakistan the contribution of various sources of power are as follows;
- Gas: 43.7%
- Oil/Petroleum: 29.0%
- Electricity: 15.3%
- Coal: 10.4%
- LPG: 1.5%
In renewable resources we do have the hydro power system which can be increased and enhanced so that we can meet our demands and the short fall can be decreased.
Current Hydropower stations:
- Tarbella Dam : 3,478 MW
- Ghazi Brotha: 1450 MW
- Mangla 1,000 MW
- Warsak 240 MW
- Chashma 184 MW
Potential Hydropower stations:
- Diamer-Bhasha Dam 4500 MW
- Munda Dam – Swat river in Mohamand Agency 740 MW
- Kalabagh Dam 2400-3600 MW
- Bunji Dam 5400 MW
- Dasu Dam 3800 MW
In the alternate solutions for the meeting the demand and supply gap in Pakistan we need to establish those means of energy production which are not that much common in Pakistan, as in this process we can shift from the traditional means of generating energy, this will also enable us to generate more energy and will also help us to prevent the reserves of the oil and gas in our country. The alternate means of generating energy in Pakistan are;
- Agricultural Biomass and Biodiesel
Causes of Energy Crisis in Pakistan: The major causes and the reason which have contributing in to the power shortfall is the mainly due to the increasing populations, because as simple as that the population is increasing day by day in the state which is definitely increasing the demand of energy and that is increasing the demand to supply gap. Energy theft is also a curse which Pakistan is bearing in which people not only on domestic level but even commercially and industrially are doing energy theft in which they are consuming the energy on high levels but are not paying the concerned department and body for which that all energy is being drained in vein.
Recommendations & Solutions: The solutions of the energy crisis in Pakistan must be implemented and adopted on emergency basis and the main solution to the problem is that the administration should shift to more modernized means of production so that they can increase the level of production and should meet the demand and at the same time the responsibility also lies on the people of the state that they should play their role in reducing the consumption and saving the energy so that Pakistan can be brought out of this alarming situation and from this threatening problem.