Research Analyst
25 - May 1, 2011

Facing record high petroleum prices, Pakistanis are scared and confused about what the government can do to secure affordable and reliable energy supplies for them.

Higher oil prices have slowed economic growth, and forced consumers and industries to cut costs or face hardships. Pakistan has been facing an energy crisis since 2007. The main reason for the current crisis is that in the past no efforts were made to ensure increase in power-generation capacity in proportion to increase in population growth.

Pakistan energy requirements are increasing day by day and not only economic growth but political stability is also linked with the availability of energy resources.

WAPDA and KESC purchase expensive oil and transfer the cost to consumers in the country. Prices in the international market are increasing. When the price of electricity is raised, then the whole economy gets disturbed as a result of inflation and increase in the prices of essential products. Many times, KESC has announced eight to 14 hours load shedding in the metropolis. The authorities are also considering over 20 per cent cut in gas supply to the industries and closure of CNG stations. During July-March 2009-10, the installed capacity of KESC's various generating stations was remained at 1,955 MW, against the peak demand of 2,459 MW. During July-March 2009-10, KESC's own generation stood at 5,504 Million units (kWh) against 5,837 Million units (kWh) during the same period last year thereby showing a decline of 5.7 per cent. Total units available to the KESC's system exhibit an increase of 5.6 per cent during July-March 2009-10 against the same period last year. On the other hand, the installed capacity of WAPDA declined by 0.5 per cent during July-March 2009-10.

The major reason which has led to the energy crises is the wrong policies of the government. Corruption is a major reason. The government should have to develop electricity through other alternative resources of energy like nuclear energy, natural gas exploration, gas import, solar energy, coal, and wind energy.

The government should produce electricity through coal, wind and water as it is cheaper than the actual cost. Hydroelectricity is the cheapest source of electricity. In the country, the total installed power generation capacity witnessed an increase of 2.1 per cent during 2009-10 against the one per cent growth in corresponding period last year. With the share of 31.6 per cent in total installed capacity during 2009-10, private sector witnessed the prominent growth of 7.1 per cent in its installed capacity during the period. Furthermore, energy shortfall is destroying at least 50 per cent of the industrial sector that leads to increase in the rate of unemployment. It badly affects the fixed income group because cost of goods and services increase. The current shortage of electricity in Pakistan clearly implies failure on the part of the government to tackle it.


AEDB is promoting the exploitation of renewable energy (RE) resources in Pakistan so as to achieve the government's RE deployment targets. The AEDB is tasked with implementing government policies and plans, developing projects, promoting local manufacturing and coordinating all associated activities as the national facilitating agency for the development of renewable energy in the country. AEDB is currently facilitating twenty (20) projects having a capacity of 50 MW each, which are at different stages of development. One IPP has signed a contract with international turbine manufacturer for the supply of equipment for the project. Feasibility studies for 50 MW wind power projects have been completed by two IPPs taking the total to 14 completed feasibility studies.

AEDB through a consultative process identified the barriers to biodiesel feedstock cultivation in Pakistan, and is taking actions to remove these barriers. Pakistan's first ever commercial biodiesel production facility has been set up in Karachi by the private sector. This biodiesel refinery has a capacity of producing 18,000 tons of biodiesel per annum.

AEDB has initiated a project for carrying out detailed studies for biomass/waste-to-energy projects in 20 cities of Pakistan. Companies have been short listed for issuance of RFPs on basis of Expressions of Interest (EOI) submitted by them.

AEDB is also working to install 103 micro hydropower plants at Chitral and other places in Gilgit and Baltistan. The total cost of the project is US$19.5 million out of which one million dollar is for Productive Use of Renewable Energy (PURE).

Recently, AEDB has launched a Consumer Confidence Building Program for the promotion of Solar Water Heaters in the country. Moreover, AEDB is working for the deployment of 20,000 solar water hearers in Gilgit Baltistan.


Pakistan needs a clear and bold power generation strategy to meet the energy emergency. The strategy must prioritize policies, public infrastructure investments, and long-term technology development.


Hydel (WAPDA) 6444 - 6444
Hydel (IPPs) 111 - 111
Thermal (GENCOs/KESC) 4885 1946 6831
Thermal (IPPs) 7039 262 7301
Rentals 122 50 172
Nuclear (CHASNUPP & KANUPP) 325 137 462
Others - 272 272
Total 18926 2667 21593