Islamabad - Energy experts have emphasised the need for focusing on indigenous resources for power generation to solve the energy crisis in Pakistan.

They were speaking at a seminar titled “Towards an Ideal Fuel Mix for Pakistan: Streamlining the Priorities” organised by Institute of Policy Studies on Friday.

Dr Muhammad Bilal Khan, principal Centre for Energy Systems, NUST, stressed on enhancing efficiency for optimum usage of power plants the country already possess before the installation of new ones. He mentioned that the current capacity of installed power plants in Pakistan was 21,000 megawatts while the peak consumption was around 14,000 megawatts; however due to mismanagement, lack of maintenance and issues related to circular debt, the capacity has never been fully utilised.

He feared if governance issues were not resolved, all new projects being installed by the present government would meet the similar fate as that of the existing ones as issues of maintenance, protocols, and energy waste management still persist.

“Energising our own reserves and exploiting them optimally is the only way-out,” he said while referring to a recent study conducted jointly by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics and Oil and Gas Development Company, according to which more than 360 million barrels of explored oil was still waiting to be extracted.

He also advocated for exploiting the immense indigenous potential of ethanol, bio-diesel and coal-to-diesel conversion.

The NUST, according to him, had already taken an initiative by installing the first plant in Pakistan, which has successfully started converting coal into diesel a few weeks ago.

Mirza Hamid Hassan, former secretary water and power, said that an ideal fuel mix for any country would depend on its own indigenous capacity and natural resources. He backed the idea of investing in hydel resources, shrugging off the misconception that this is an expensive option. The large dams, he said, are multipurpose, designed primarily for the storage of water and having electricity as its by-product, making it a very economical solution in the end.