Pakistan under the power black-outs
REGRETTABLY, PAKISTAN is confronted with black-outs of not just due to terrorism, corruption, inflation but mainly because of electricity and gas shortage and subsequently this affects all sectors of life. Natural disasters like the 2005 earthquake and flood-2010 have drastically affected our national growth rate, besides a number of energy plants were, partially or completely damaged.
About 1.4 billion people of the world today lack access to electricity, and current trends indicate that this will not change significantly by 2030. It is also estimated that 2.5 billion people will still use traditional biomass for cooking in 2030, with related health effects leading to 1.5 million premature deaths per year, mostly among women and children.
Blame game about electricity and gas shortage is on full bloom; so few said, “All this happened to start in just the recent decade in the history and due to some Pakistani leaders.” The local media reports allege that “these expensive rental power plants, which were being installed with tall claims to address the energy crises in the country, were said to have now become one of the major reasons behind a new sort of energy crisis in Pakistan, as their gas requirements are bound to hit other sectors of the economy running on gas supplies”. Currently, the country has actually absorbed some of the unforgettable dents, and subsequently the country is facing crisis.
Is this now we are much more depended on foreign aids; even though Pakistan is blessed with all natural resources we could produce 50,000 MW for 800 years from just one reserve of coal. If we utilize water we could produce the same amount of power, and from the coastal area of just 180 KM on Sindh side we could produce 10,000 MW from the wind for life-time.
Hydel electricity generated by WAPDA varies between two extremities i.e. between minimum of 2414 MW and maximum of 6761 MW depending upon the river flow through the whole year.
Pakistan has almost 3,000 MW power generation potential in sugar industry through biogas, but it is hardly producing some 700MW. A research study conducted by the UAF suggests that the countrys energy demand is expected to increase threefold by 2050, but the supply position is not inspiring in anyway. In such alarming conditions the renewable and sustainable energy resources are the best substitute to the conventional fuels and energy sources.
Total power generation capacity of Pakistan (including all sources) is 19855 MW and the electricity demand is 14500 MW while PEPCO is merely generating 10000 MW.
Due to gas and electricity loadshedding, many people have been at edge to live hand to mouth in big industrial cities where all small and big industries provide the workers bread and butter. In Faisalabad almost three lakh (0.3 million) people have lost their job due to closure of industrial units. Same is the position in other cities like Gujranwala, Multan, Lahore and Rawalpindi. The industries are closed mainly due to 12 to 15 hours of electricity load-shedding and the improper gas supply to the industrial sector has worsened the situation.
The industrial output and commercial activity of a country is gauged by the per capita consumption of electricity. We are one of the lowest consumers of power in Asia as in Pakistan this energy consumption is only 14 MBTU compared to 80 in China, 110 in Malaysia and 115 in Iran.
After much suffering to Pakistani nation, now the incumbent government satisfied them by building more dams to store water for making electricity. A number of dams like Bhasha (4,500MW), Munda (740MW), Kurram Tangi (83MW) and Akhori Dam (600MW) are already announced by the current government while other dams like Bunji (7,100MW), Dasu (4,320MW) and Golen Gol (106MW) have a massive potential of producing hydel power and it would also add to the national grid in the coming years.
The Asian Development Bank lends up to $100 million to UK-based International Power PLC (IPR.L) to build a Pakistani gas-fired plant to help address the country’s energy crisis. The 404-megawatt power plant in Baluchistan is scheduled to be completed by September 2013.
If for a moment we ignore all our natural reserves like coal, water and gas, then still there is hope for survival as long as honesty with own profession is there. We could easily produce electricity by other resources like ethanol (Bio Fuel), bio mass, solar plants, wind, rain and geothermal heat.
The traditional energy sources are no longer abundant as they are rapidly being depleted due to increase in population and pace of development. Pakistan is very fortunate in the sense that renewable sources of energy can meet its entire energy requirements, though its ratio with non-renewable energy (NRE) is desired on technical ground. It is indispensable regularly to explore renewable energy (RE) sources so that NRE is replaced with RE and the present modulation of development may not only be maintained but also improved with the passage of time.
Pakistan simply needs some team to work for just Pakistan that must be protected from corrupt and incompetent elements. We hope that the authorities concerned would ultimately pay heed and stop artificially quelling Pakistans natural growth rate.