Sep 3 - 9, 20

The electric power shortage crisis in Pakistan is affecting economy and various sections of people and the situation is getting worse to worst to day by day.

In spite of the fact only 48 percent of the population of the country has the offer of electricity but nevertheless the government is not able to provide a non stop power to them.

Poor governess, planning, chaotic economic condition, recent climatic changes, heavy oil prices and politics are primarily responsible for today's threatening energy crisis.

International Monetary Fund in its report on Pakistan while expressing concern of economic and financial meltdown, increase in government expenditure, less revenues, falling behind in health and education sectors from neighboring country and increase in unemployment also has showed that Pakistan's economy is suffering due to prolonged load shedding in the country and by ceasing subsidy on electricity the problems could be reduced.

Pakistan energy crisis is affecting all sectors of the economy and the various section of the society. Intermittent outages due to the broadening gap between the demand and supply of power in Pakistan have at present started affecting particularly the electrical equipment manufacturing units.

Occasional voltage fluctuations and long duration of power cuts have extensively increased the production costs of the units, affecting the overall production.

Electrical equipment units are facing massive power cuts, as long as seventeen hours per day. Sometimes power cuts keep happening frequently throughout the day. Million of rupees on imported fuel have to be spent to run the generator set because of long hour's power cuts.

Long hour power has retarded the work as it is not possible to run all the gadgets and machines on diesel or fuel generators for hours every day. With such overutilization, generator sets breakdown soon.

Fortunately, the only business that is flourishing in the times of substantial power crisis is that of electrical repair. Most complaints have been seen about AC and fridge primarily due to frequent voltage fluctuations and long hours of power cut down.

Among many industries, the IT industry is the one affected the highest degree with the coming of the energy crisis. The IT industry is providing services and products through the use of electronics, computers and everything that is related to power.

Our IT industry was among the rapid growing industry in the Asian region. The energy crisis has hit the IT industry in its worst form. The whole industry has now been compelled to cut their costs down heavily in order to survive. This has crippled the whole economy and has badly also affected the jobs situation in the country.

The common people are now completely aware that this energy crisis has completely destroyed our economy. International Aid cannot be seen as the solution, as is may be only but a temporary cure. There has to be a permanent solution.

With very little effort, national electricity can be saved to some extent by applying certain level of energy conservation methods. Unnecessarily leaving lights and home appliances on even when they are not being used is a usual practice in our high class society. This must be stopped forthwith.

About 16 percent can be achieved by introducing the second level of energy-conservation practices, especially in the manufacturing industry. A clear picture must be drawn between necessities (lighting, fans, TVs, computers, etc) and luxuries (air conditioners, microwaves, etc).

We should utilize daylight as far as possible. An early start and early end is recommended rather than having opening hours from afternoon until late at night. Air-conditioning, usually a sign of a luxurious lifestyle, needs to be reduced as far as possible. Air conditioning should not be allowed except for areas such as hospitals and research centers.

The dominating and elite class should lead simple life example in matters of power conservation. If they will follow, then the common man will follow also. It is time for both the bureaucratic and affluent class to take energy-saving initiatives like abandoning the use of central air conditioning, travelling by special flights and unnecessarily use of official transport.

We must try our utmost best to adopt energy conservation both as individual and at national level. If strictly practiced by all segment of our society by our affluent class then the energy crisis can be solved to a large extent.

To cause less comfort to consumers WAPDA and KESC should organize the cuts in a reasonable way. Load shedding schedules should be properly planned and announced. Both WAPDA and KESC should see that there is minimum line losses and electricity theft.

If we start working on projects utilizing our natural resources to get cheap electricity from alternate resources than there would be no load shedding and neither our economy would have to face extensive loss.

China and India and many other countries by making banks on rivers, canals have fulfilled their needs of electricity through hydro power.

Pakistan has plentiful hydro resources of energy. According to guesstimate it has enough resources to generate about 40000 mw of hydro-electricity. Notwithstanding, presently it is only generating approximately 8000 mw of electricity against an installed capacity of 11327 mw.

Further Pakistan has all the capability to generate electricity with the help of wind and solar energy which has not yet been exploited well to meet the energy shortage. Almighty Allah has given our country many extensive resources such as abundant sun and wind, which can be used to produce alternate energy but we have chosen not to utilize these natural resources. Nuclear energy is another important source of energy that must be explored.

Pakistan must try its best to switch over to coal from the indigenous source of energy that is estimated to be the third largest in the world with a reserve of 33.0 trillion tons.

Pakistan's Thar Desert contains the largest coal reserves discovered to date, covering an area of 10,000 square kilometers. The Thar Coal Field, should it be developed, will yield over 200 billion ton of coal used to produce electricity, it will yield enough power to make Pakistan self-sufficient in Electrical power.

Thar Coal Reserve of Sindh is about 850 Trillion Cubic Feet, which is more than oil reserves of Saudi Arabia and Iran. These reserves estimated at 850 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas, about 30 times higher than Pakistan's proven gas reserves of 28 TCF.

These reserves of coal worth USD 25 trillion can not only cater the electricity requirements of the country for next 100 years but also save almost four billion dollars in astounding oil import bill.

There is an encouraging sign that the present democratic government is making aggressive efforts to get gas from Turkmenistan, Iran, Qatar and Russia to meet the energy needs of the country.