Baqir Bilal Hussain - Every country has significant natural resources, which play an important role in stabilising its economic development. Pakistan, in terms of such natural resources, is the richest country among all, but the tragedy with Pakistan is that these natural resources are being consumed by officials as their personal property and not being used for country’s development.

Pakistan is facing many issues at the same time. In recent years, the energy crisis spiralled out of control and the last two governments failed to address it. This issue has not only affected the economy of Pakistan, but significantly increased inflation and unemployment. The 18-hour loadshedding has made the ordinary people mentally ill and created a hysterical situation in the country. Sometimes, it seems that electricity crisis is the only single issue in the life of Pakistanis.

Pakistan’s electricity consumption is 18,000 megawatts and the production capacity is 20,000 megawatts, which is generated by Wapda, Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC), Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and Independent Power Producers (IPPs). However, Pakistan is still facing a shortage of 8,000 megawatts. Now the issue is that the government sector is not working properly or paying properly to the private sector.

We need to develop a strategy to resolve the energy crisis . If we want to resolve the energy crisis , we should focus on long and short-term strategies. As part of long-term strategies, we should work on projects involving power generation from our own natural resources like water, coal, wind and biogas.

Hydropower generation is a long-term and cost-effective plan. The second long-term strategy involves power generation from coal. Coal is the biggest natural resource of Pakistan and the country is lucky to have three biggest coal reserves in the world. However, it is unfortunate that we are not taking advantage of this resource. According to a report, Pakistan’s coal reserves are bigger than Iran and Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves. By bringing these coal reserves in use, we can meet our energy needs within two years and also sell electricity to our neighbours.

The fourth natural resource is sunlight. Pakistan is located in such a hot region of South Asia where it can generate a lot of power from sunlight. We can tackle the energy crisis with many other resources such as wind, biogas, plants and small turbines on rivers after every 100km.

In other words, we are completely unfamiliar with all methods, which can save energy. The countries, which have no energy issues, are also saving energy.

The world has made progress in technological energy plans and we still are trapped in old-fashioned and outdated practices. The use of technology has become instrumental in saving energy and the countries, which know how to make smart use of technology to produce and save energy, have prospered and made many achievements.

Today, the world agrees on a single point: save the world by saving energy at every level. European countries are very conscious about the use of domestic energy. The use of domestic energy is very important in development of any country and Pakistan is among the countries badly lacking in this respect.

If we want to save energy, it is very important that we prefer LED lights to conventional and old-fashioned lights being used at domestic level as well as banks, factories and all commercial centres.

By using LED lights, we can save five percent of energy; three megawatts at a single unit. With this process, we can save 5,000 megawatts. LED lights consume 50 percent less energy than ordinary lights.

European countries have banned hazardous energy bulbs and other high voltage lights. A few days ago, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired a meeting on energy crisis and gave instructions to the Energy Commission, which is working to produce energy from hydel, coal and biogas projects, to start work on pipeline energy projects.

Apart from all these efforts, our problem is how to use energy through the Modem Technological Energy System. If the government is sincere in overcoming the energy crisis , it must follow the energy-saving practices. The government should work on the latest technologies and encourage the foreign and domestic companies working in this direction. These are the steps, which can help the government become self-sufficient in energy technology. The incumbent government can boost its standing and save itself from people’s wrath by working on smart solutions to the energy crisis .