The list of power projects inaugurated by the PM and other dignitaries are many - Bhasha, Nandipur, Gadani, and so on. The latest in the list is a Solar Park is inaugurated by PM Nawaz Sharif. But where is all this electricity? Solar energy has been allowed an upfront tariff of Rs. 19 per unit. At this cost, is solar energy affordable? On the other hand the Neelam-Jhelum Hydropower Project completion is getting delayed due to the non-availability of required funding - but the Government can spend 50 billion rupees on the Pindi Metro Bus project?

The problem with the Sharif government is and has always been the lack of transparency. So even when they launch a project, that might be for the public good, they are so opaque and so averse to advice or protest, that people just cant get behind the project to support or appreciate it. Solar power would be the way to go. Electricity generation, especially thermal power, is expensive, needs massive investments in infrastructure and it has been failing us since the 1970s. Rationality demands reducing the reliance on oil. LNG is difficult to import, using coal has environmental issues, using shale gas also has environmental issues attached with it, and wind power has transmission network challenges. Hydropower would be best and long lasting, and we have been shouting for Kalabagh to be built so that it can come online in the next decade, but no such projects are forthcoming.

The Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park (QASP) has been designed to generate a total of 1,000MW of electricity. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that once completed, the QASP will be the biggest solar power project in the world and that China provided a Rs2 billion concession on the project. This may explain the why this project was even begun. Maybe China will push us for better power provision, and that which has not been possible in the last thirty years will be made possible.