Our country has been in a state of crises since long, but the last decade has been the most dwindling of all. Frequent internal and external issues have critically hampered the national growth out of which the energy crisis has been the most denting.
Pakistan, in 2013, was going through two kinds of transitions. One was the political shift and the other was grave energy crisis. Pakistan was going through a jolt of 8500 megawatt where urban areas were receiving load shedding of about 12 to 14 hours and rural areas were benching on 18 to 20 hours of rigorous load shedding. Industry was effected badly which had adverse effects on the national economy and the lives of common people were becoming miserable.
That was the time when the newly elected government promised to fight the demon of energy crisis and over throw it once and for all. Difference between the last government and the current government is that PPP worked on short term energy projects such as independent power Producers (IPPs) whereas the PML-N government focused on long term power projects, which is the definite way of getting out of such a problem. The IPPs were expensive and didn’t fulfill the requirement as well. The current government worked on making new power projects, solar systems/ solar parks and improvement of grids.
Power generation being the most important issue has been an integral part of any development project. This is the reason why the Chinese government worked on the electric supply which was executed on prior basis. Once the resources were deployed in the CPEC power generation sector, no province thought of provincial energy supply except Punjab. It was Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif who advocated provincial power generation to be strengthened and proposed a plan of making Punjab a luminous province by starting new power projects. This was the point where the CM Punjab had to face opposition across the board but eventually convinced the opposing parties by presenting forth the long term benefits of the project.
Starting from the Bhikki power project having a capacity of 1180 MW, 717 MW is contributed in the national grid. Punjab government is producing 760 MW from Haveli Bahadur Shah power plant and 1000 MW from Laal Sohanra Solar Park Bahawalpur.
The quantum of electricity added to national grid from March 23, 2013 to March 13, 2017 was 3582.80 MW. As per details, during year 2013, the authorities managed to add 423 MW to national grid, 1421 MW during 2014, 720 MW during 2015, 920 MW during 2016 and 99 MW was added to national grid during 2017.With regards to reduction of load-shedding in the country as compared to load-shedding in 2012, the data further revealed that during 2012, the duration of load-shedding in urban parts was 12 hours, rural parts 13 hours and seven hours each load-shedding for mix and independent industries. This has now reduced during 2017 to only three hours in urban, four hours in rural while zero load-shedding is being observed in mix and independent industries.
Similarly, during 2013, the duration of load-shedding in urban areas was 13 hours, 14 hours in rural, mix industries eight hours and six hours in independent industries.It was gradually reduced during 2014 with eight hours load-shedding in urban, nine hours in rural and six hour each in mix and independent industries.
The year 2015 witnessed further reduction in load-shedding with urban parts facing six hours load-shedding, rural eight hours, three hours in mix industry and only one hour in independent industry.
During year 2016, the duration of load-shedding for urban localities was six hours, rural eight hours and one hour each for mix and independent industries.
This is a comparison showing percentage of reduction in load-shedding during 2017 as compared to 2012, it was revealed that 75 per cent reduction has been witnessed in urban parts, 70 percent in rural while 100 percent reduction has been made in mix and independent industries.
In terms of our national production and contribution, Punjab is the major contributor of electricity in the National Grid, whereas the other provinces lack big time in this regard.