Energy Crisis In Pakistan
Energy is considered to be life line of any economy and most vital instrument of socioeconomic development of a country. Supply of energy is, far less than the actual demand, resultant crisis has emerged. Pakistan is currently facing up to 18 hours of electricity outage a day in rural areas. While in urban areas its 8 to 10 hours, it will be more increased in future. State actions, activities economy is highly effected by this problem, it makes lives of all classes so miserable. High rate of illiteracy and lack of bill payments causes improper and careless usage.
Pakistan’s Energy Sector
Pakistan’s energy infrastructure is considered to be underdeveloped and poorly managed. Despite of rising energy demand during past decade, no serious efforts have been made to install new capacity of generation. Moreover, transmission losses due to outdated infrastructure, power theft, and seasonal reductions in the hydro power have worsened situation. Consequently, the demand exceeds supply and hence load-shedding is a common phenomenon through power shutdown.
Sources of Energy in Pakistan
Fossil fuels which results in Petroleum products, Natural Gas, Coal(Non-Renewable). While renewable resources are water, sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat and also nuclear resources.
Energy Supply in Pakistan
Now a days, Pakistan needs around 15,000 to 20000 MW electricity per day. However, currently it is able to produce about 11,500 MW per day. Hence there is a shortfall of about 4000 to 9000 MW per day. This shortage is badly hampering the economic growth of the country.
Pakistan’s energy consumption is met by mix of gas, oil, electricity, and coal with different level of shares. Share of gas consumption stood at 43.7 %, followed by oil 29.0 percent, electricity 15.3 percent, coal 10.4 percent and LPG 1.5 percent.
Causes of Energy Crisis
Pakistan’s energy crisis traces its roots to following distinct causes.
- Growing Energy Demand
Over the years there is greater need of energy because of increase in population, industrial and agricultural growth, greater transportation needs.
- Lack of proactive planning for production of energy
Pakistan has had wider potentials to tap energy, however, due to lack of any integrated planning, very less number of power producing plant were installed.
- Non-utilization of enormous indigenous energy resources
- Thar Coal
Pakistan is having one of the largest coal fields in Thar, having reserves of more than 175 billion tones, which exceeds equivalent oil reserves of Saudi Arabia, Iran etc.
- Hydal power generation
Pakistan has potential of hydro resources to generate 41000 to 45000 MW, however, only 6555 MW is currently being generated by this important renewable resource.
Consequences of Energy Crisis
Economic Factors: The economic progress is hampered by decline in agricultural productivity. One important factor of lower GDP and inflation of commodity prices in recent years is attributed to shortfalls in energy supply.
Agriculture Sector: Agricultural productivity of Pakistan is decreasing due to provision of energy for running tube wells, agricultural machinery and production of fertilizers and pesticides.
Industrial Sector: Nearly all Industrial units are run with the energy and breakage in energy supply is having dire consequences on industrial growth. As a result of decline in energy supply, industrial units are not only being opened, but also the existing industrial units are gradually closing.
Unemployment: By closure of industrial units and less agricultural productivity, new employment opportunities ceased to exist. Thus energy crisis contributes towards unemployment.
Social Issues: This factor is primarily related to the domestic usage of energy (cooking, heating and water provision). Load shedding cause unrest and frustration amongst the people and results in agitation against the government.
Recommendations to Reduce Energy Crisis
Reducing Unnecessary Energy with Usage of electricity saving devices, Awareness campaign for energy saving ,Reduction in industrial uses with installation of effective equipment and with increasing efficiency and cost effective ,Decreasing line losses by using efficient power transmission cables.
Developing New Energy Resources, Using renewable resources (water) by constructing new dams and hydro power plants ,Import of natural gas by IPI (Iran Pakistan India) and TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) pipelines ,Import of electricity from Tajikistan -through Pak Afghan Tajikistan transmission- and Iran (approximately 1000 MW from each of them) pipelines.
Utilizing Alternative Energy Resources like, Wind power, Biodiesel /Biomass, Solar, Tidal.
Energy Crisis has, more or less, plagued all sectors of Pakistan’s machinery ranging from economy to industry, agriculture to social life, inflation to poverty and it is hampering national progress in a drastic manner. Nonetheless, menace of energy crisis can be overwhelmed by government through making effective policies and its proactive implementation. Simultaneously, it is the responsibility of us, the people of Pakistan, to utilize the available energy astutely and wisely to play our due role for progress of the country.