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Renewable Energy Resources Need to Make its way into Overall Energy Mix for sustaining Pak Economy

In 2017-18, Pakistan Commercial primary energy mix was as follows:

  • Conventional Primary Energy (Fossil & Nuclear Thermal and Hydro)-2018
  1. Oil: 31.2%
  2. Gas: 34.6%
  3. LNG import: 08.7%
  4. LPG: 01.2%
  5. Coal: 12.7%,
  6. nuclear electricity: 02.7%
  7. imported electricity: 00.1%
  8. hydro-electricity: 07.7%
  9. Sub-Total: 98.9%
  • Non-Conventional Primary Energy (Solar, Wind)-2018
  1. Renewable Electricity: 01.1%
  • Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan by NTDCL-2040 (official Plan to be owned by the Government)
  1. Renewable Electricity: 16.0%
  • World Energy Outlook-2040
  1. Renewable Electricity: 40.0%

It means that Pakistan will be 2.5 times behind the world; competing in the international market will be difficult and a very uphill task. The Government needs to revise 2025, 2030 and 2040 targets.

The energy of the primary commercial energy is heavily lopsided towards the Conventional resources, which constitute mostly of fossil fuel. Pakistan has a very high deficit in Non-Conventional Energy compared to most of the developing countries, which are non-Oil Gas producing.


Main reasons for having meagre Non-Conventional energy in the overall energy mix (solar/wind) is the failure of Renewable Energy Policy-2006, lack of interest by the Federal Government, CCOE, ECC and its organizations, such as NEPRA, NTDCL, CPPA-G and Discos despite aggressive interest by the private sector. Although there were no technological barriers but NTDCL and CPPA-G focused on LNG and Coal and refused to entertain solar, wind and hydro thus causing retardation of Non-Conventional resources. Once the investor goes away, to make him return is a daunting task. NEPRA also withheld tariff and license approval of 14 Wind projects for almost two years, however recently it allowed 6 projects to go ahead. The Federal Government withdrew a number of provisions of tariff from non-conventional resources which dampened development. Renewable Policy-2006 has become obsolete and redundant, while new draft Alternate Renewable Energy (ARE-2019) although a leap yet needs major surgery to make it investor and consumer friendly otherwise the Energy mix will remain highly skewed towards the Conventional Energy.

The Government needs to issue a new ARE Policy and revamp NEPRA, NTDCL, CPPA-G and Discos, so that Pakistan can have appreciable Non-Conventional Energy in the overall mix.

Pakistan needs to become an industrialized and mechanized agricultural country having low energy price/tariff soonest to survive. Undoubtedly non-Conventional energy resources are low priced, therefore these need to be inducted heavily into the energy mix. Furthermore, Pakistan needs to improve its Power system load factor from about 60% to 77%, i.e. more base load industries to make the system efficient and cost effective. Lower the Load Factor, higher would be the tariff per installed capacity. Energy conservation and efficiency needs to play an important role in the energy system. And, the Government will be investigating IPPs to the point of making them run away; as happening presently at NEPRA. If Pakistan had a robust economy, no such discouraging steps would have been taken.


Also, Pakistan’s Power system needs to have 30% Spinning Reserve all the time with LOLP of 1 hour in 10 years for the industrial and service load. Increasing Tariff is not the answer to our woes, but lowering of tariff through non-conventional energy resources is highly recommended to keep our businesses competitive, especially for exports markets to balance the imports.

Since Solar, hydro and Wind are cyclical and cannot support the base load therefore it is necessary to have state of the art Batteries for non-conventional energy resources. An optimal energy mix for a complex power system of Pakistan can only be done by using state of the art computer program, for example PROMOD and PTI Power Technology; and not some rudimentary software. Nevertheless, taking cue from other countries in our league tentative energy mix ought to be as follows:

Year Conventional Energy Conventional Hydro Non-Conventional (Solar, Wind others)
2017-18 91.2% 07.7% 01.1%
2019-20 87.0% 10.0% 03.0%
2024-25 77.0% 15.0%p> 08.0%
2029-30 62.0% 25.0% 13.0%
2034-35 50.0% 30.0% 20.0%
2039-40 45.0% 30.0% 25.0%
2044-45 35.0% 30.0% 35.0%
2049-50 20.0% 30.0% 50.0%

Demand forecast is equally important. NTDCL has a very rudimentary algorithm to forecast demand and supply done in isolation that is why load shedding and poor industrialization has wrecked the economy. Demand and Supply planning should be housed in Energy Wing Planning Commission which has access to all the other planning sections of the economy. For next 15 years, Pakistan should apply Supply Side Planning and then switch to Demand Side Planning one the spinning reserve of 30% is achieved.


The Power Division has developed Alternate and Renewable Energy ARE-2019 Policy; which is a very positive step. It needs to polish it with the help of experts to make it target oriented and hassle free approvals.

The Petroleum Division needs to develop its own Bio-Fuel Policy to replace imported Petrol and Diesel with Jatropha and other Green fuels. It needs to avoid adding harmful and carcinogenic additives to Petrol and add green additives.

Raziuddin (Razi)
Email: razi1234@gmail.com

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