Energy crisis in Pakistan and its issues

Energy crisis is a burning issue in Pakistan today.With the increasing population the demand for energy has increased but the generation of more power remain neglected.

Energy crisis in Pakistan and its issuesTwo public sectors are responsible for the power distribution. These include WAPDA (water and power development authority) for the electricity distribution to the whole country excluding Karachi. Where K-Electric (Karachi Electric supply corporation) supply the electricity to the Karachi.

The short fall in energy sector in last two years is 5,000-7,000 MW in summers and 2,000-3,000 in winter. In 2013 a survey suggests that 11,000 MW was the demand but the generated power stood at 8,000 MW. In last few months the shortfall has exceed to 6000 MW.

A recent study suggests that 2 billion cubic feet shortfall is observed in natural gas sector. The demand is great but supply is less the experts declared year 2007 as the start of energy crises in Pakistan mainly because of the policy that was implemented decades ago.

Even in 2018 the 99% of the population has electricity excess but still there is load shedding on an average of 8-9 hours in cities and 10-12 hours in villages. The current stats show that energy production has stopped due to dependence on hydro power, imported oil, natural gas for generating electricity.

Pakistan is facing many issues due to energy crises that include

  • Unemployment which is the main issue. Due to not availability of electricity many industries are bound to lay off workers. Unemployment rate in Pakistan is 5.90% in 2016 -2017. Many peoples have lost their jobs. This causes ultimately increase in poverty.
  • Physiological and social behaviors of the people are also greatly affected today. Many people living in the areas with high load shedding feel stress, lack of mental stability.
  • Economy is not growing mainly because of energy crises. Each and every sector demand energy to flourish. All these flaws are generated because of poor policies which were given years ago.
  • Other reasons for this huge crises is mainly due to dependence on the furnace oil , natural gas which are imported from other countries. Indigenous technologies , sources are not utilized for the production of energy
  • Pakistan population has increased in last 20 years and demand has increased for the energy. New methods are not adopted to fulfill the demand of increasing population. each and every sector consume electricity .With the passage of time new infrastructure is build for quick and rapid production of power generation. But in Pakistan there is a lack of development of new structure. So the production is slow and consumes more resources for power generation. Pakistan is relying more on imported furnace oil which generate 1 unit of 12-14 rupees for generating electricity, and hydro power generate 1 unit at 1 rupee.
  • Circular debut has increased because imported furnace oil is too much expensive. Delayed payments of bills ultimately mess up the whole scenario. other renewable sources are not considered for power generation like wind, solar radiation, thermal, natural gas, coal which is present in abundance in Baluchistan, and even from garbage.
  • The ground realities show that there are many hurdles in transmission , adulteration in fuel sector, inefficient distribution ,poor planning, and ineffective management , not payment of bills all these issues leads theft in energy supply chain. There is political disagreement in every issue causing the delay of making policies. There are numerous other factors which are contributing of the causes of energy crises in the country. So, there are plethora of issues which couldn’t be sum up. A Renewable Energy Policy of Pakistan was developed in 2006. This policy has great motivations to allow the investment to be done on alternatives sources for producing power.

Pakistan has great potential in generating power from other alternatives.

  • Solar energy is a safe and easy method which need to adopted. Pakistan has abundance of sunshine throughout the year. Industries, public, private sector can easily be turned to solar energy for power generation. This will minimize the cost of production on power. It is used on small scale in Pakistan at household level. But this require implementations to be done on large scale
  • Wind power can be used for production of electricity. The coastline near Karachi is the best area for the wind turbines to run. This method is very cheap. And cost of production is much less than other methods. No heavy machinery and infrastructure is required for the set up. Recently some initiatives have been taken by the government to ensure 5% share of wind power generation on the national level by the year 2030.
  • Construction of more dams is the need of the country in terms of power and water availability. Diamer bhasha and Mohmend dam is the need for the today and the future of Pakistan. These structures would ensure the water for power generation, agriculture sector and domestic consumption and other by conserving the 29 MAF of water annually in the storage.
  • Garbage is another cheap source of power generation. Pakistan generate 20 million ton of garbage annually. Where Karachi is producing 9,000 tons on daily basis. There is a huge potential for generating power from this. Just a lit bit attention is required.
  • Bio gas is also a cheap source of energy production. In rural areas this method could easily be adopted with little investments.

At last I would like that our policy makers should work on different policies for our country to cope with the problem of energy crisis. Everyone should take a part to add its share in conserving or either innovating new measures for power generation. Different strategies should be put forward to solve this situation. Measures should be taken as early as possible. It necessary for today and the future of Pakistan.

Authors: Muhammad Adnan, Dr. Mubashar Nadeem, Akash Munawar, Mubashir Hussain, Mohsin Amin and Hassan Noorani

Department of agronomy, college of agriculture, university of Sargodha

By Muhammad Adnan

I am professionally qualified as agronomist and studying MSc. (Hons.) agronomy at College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Pakistan and focusing on plant nutrition and weed management. I Completed my B.Sc. (Hons.) in agriculture in 2018 from University of Sargodha.