It is high time that we should move towards more cleaner,affordable and green energy solutions and that too incorporate in the 12th five-year plan, which is in finalization phase, said Arshad Ali Chaudhary, Joint Secretary and Chief Climate Change and Energy Section, Planning Commission.
He said that said that in Pakistan power generation alone is not an issue but power distribution, transmission and affordability with minimum theft and line losses are major challenges of the power sector, which also require due attention by the policymakers.
He said this while addressing the inaugural session of training workshop titled “Evidence-based policies for the sustainable use of energy resources in the Asia-Pacific Region”, organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), in collaboration with Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) here at Islamabad. Arshad Ali said that the challenge for us is to achieve the clean and green energy mix with negligible environmental impact and more economic dividends.
Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI said that current primary energy mix is dominated by traditional, biomass, oil and natural gas with coal, whereas nuclear, hydro and other renewables playing a limited role. He said that the government in its recent economic reform package removed all sort of taxes and duties on imports of renewable energy products, which is a positive step-forward towards green energy commitment of the country. He said that SDPI has now collaborated with Energy Research Institute of China for evidence based research and assessment of energy sector challenges faced by Pakistan and the region. SDPI continues to extend its research on energy sector including, Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) Pakistan’s perspective and Bioenergy and Sustainability in South Asia, he added.
Michael Williamson, Chief of Energy Division, UNESCAP said that the choices we all have made in the past to use oil and biomass for power generation now led to dire consequences in the form of climate change. He said that we have to change our priorities towards energy mix. For that, there is a need to strengthen capacities of policymakers to develop evidence-based policy and planning for sustainable use of energy resources at national and regional levels. He further added that Pakistan has wonderful opportunities and potential in solar and wind energy.
Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, SDPI said that the planning departments of federal and provincial governments are currently in the process of finalizing long term growth strategies, where the Planning Commission is also formulating the 12th five years plan. He said that as part of this five-year plan it is important that Pakistan should put in place and follow an integrated energy plan. It is also important to remember that policies being proposed are based on scientific evidence. For this purpose, SDPI, Planning Commission and UNESCAP have joined hands to develop energy planning models which can develop alternate scenarios of Pakistan’s future energy demand and supply needs, he added. These exercises will also forecast investments which may be requested to meet future energy demand. Dr Vaqar said such model will also inform regarding the protection of environment which can be ensured through the use of cleaner energy fuels. This exercise will also involve collaboration with the ministry of climate change, he added.