Energy Crisis In Pakistan

(Nadeem Israr, Karachi)

Self-sufficiency in energy is the assurance to excel any country’s economy. According to an international analysis, the oil and gas reserves will be finished into the second half of this current century. For that reason, to attain self-sufficiency, alternative energy resources are being explored. There are 929 billion tons approx. coal reserves available in the world whose 40% is used to produce the electricity. As per an estimation, third biggest coal reserve of 185 billion ton exists in Pakistan which is equivalent to 400 billion barrels of oil. In other words, our coal reserves are equivalent to Saudi Arab and Iran’s combined oil reserves.

As per research, $50 per barrel price gives the value of our coal reserve as high as $30 trillion which goes to 187 times high as compared to current GDP of Pakistan. Current government has taken appropriate actions to produce the electricity from Thar coal and other resources during the three to five coming years. Recently, Sindh Government has contracted with a multi-national firm and work has been started to produce the 1000 mega watt electricity from the coal.

These power generating projects will save huge foreign currency which is spent on the import of oil. The second largest oil producing country Iran too is producing electricity from coal. China, in this time is producing 75% electricity with coal and is ready to help us produce electricity with coal. The strong lobby of multi-national oil companies didn’t let the plans of generating the electricity from wind and coal come into being.

 In world level, the share of electric produced by the gas is 19% while in Pakistan 45%, nuclear energy’s share in world total energy is 16% while in Pakistan only 2%, hydro-generated electricity’s share into the world’s total energy share is 16% but in Pakistan 3.3% and from oil in world only 7% but in Pakistan is 16%. Poland and Germany produce the electricity more than 80% from coal. Likewise, South Africa 93%, India 78.3%, Australia 77%, China 72%, Germany 52%, America 49%, Denmark 47.3% and UK 32.9% produce the energy from coal. Pakistan produces only 200 mega watt from coal which is 7% of total energy production while the energy produced by coal should be up to 25%.

An important and natural resource of alternative energy is wind. Minimum 13 kilometer per hour wind blowing is supposed to be sufficient. By luck, we have the points for the production of wind energy which is available into the coastal areas of Karachi, Thatta, Jiwani and Baluchistan’s coastal belt and other areas situated into northern areas and Azad Kashmir. This time from wind Germany 18000 mega watt, USA 7000 mega watt, and Spain 8000 mega watt are producing the energy.

Wind energy is of importance as it does not create any environmental pollution at all. Solar energy is one of the cheapest and important way to produce the energy. As per scientists, the energy received from the sun in one hour is more than the whole world’s total produced energy in a year. As per analysis if only half percent of desert land is used for solar energy it would cater the energy demand for this entire world. Pakistan has much potential for solar energy because Pakistan is receiving 19 mega joules per square meter in a year through which 90% of rural area can be provided the electricity.

Like wise, geysers run by solar energy can reduce the demand of natural gas in the northern areas. Nuclear energy is also a cheap resource to attain the electricity. We are producing only 462 mega watt electricity from nuclear resources which is only 2% of our energy production by alternative resources. In the contrary, in the world 16% electricity is being produced by nuclear energy. Our natural gas reserves are finishing rapidly so therefore, it is necessary that electricity be produced by alternative resources and dependency over the natural gas could be lessened. If just 50% of alternative resources available in Pakistan is used so we can export the additional energy to neighbor states. No doubt self-sufficiency in energy is the first key in attaining the country-wide economical and social development.

Nadeem Israr
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