The issue of energy shortage is not going to go away in a short span of time because of the non-seriousness in construction of big dams. Currently, we are adopting various short term solutions but this is not the answer to the issue. The picture looks gloomier when the increase in demand over the next five years is taken into account, with no investment made in building of big dams. The situation demands an urgent decision. There should be more emphasis on renewable resources but conventional hydro, thermal and coal fired power plants should be established in the short to medium run. The strategy should be to explore indigenous local resources. For example, furnace oil plants are best suited in Karachi where the port and refinery facilities are available. Gas plants to be installed in Baluchistan, Sind and KPK near to existing gas fields. KPK should explore medium, small and micro sized hydro projects. Sind must use its coal reserves. Wind turbines to be installed in coastal belt, and Punjab must explore bio-gas and city waste plants.

We should borrow and purchase the technology from US and Europe to manufacture various power plants. For example, if we start building 1-3 KW micro hydro, wind or solar power plants in Pakistan it would be sufficient to provide energy to one home and we can sell electricity to individual families at low installments. The cost will be recovered in utility bills. The IPP and captive power plants should be allowed to import furnace oil duty free. This way the existing power plants will become operational. Then Pakistan should look for nuclear energy possibilities. Pakistan is one of the seven countries in the world who has an indigenous capability to operate the nuclear power plant for the last forty years. Pakistan should look for all alternatives to increase its electrical energy production by 10,000 MW in two years.

Besides generating more energy, one easy option for all energy users is to conserve energy. A dedicated campaign of energy conservation is needed to spread the awareness of energy conservation programs. In many countries, people on voluntary basis adopted easy ways to save energy and have achieved up to 20 percent savings in energy. We can study the behaviours of modern nations and can adopt the same strategies to conserve energy. Generally major energy consumers have little or no awareness of energy saving procedures.

MUHAMMAD YASIR KAYANI,

Kasur, April 15.