Load shedding is one of the serious problems of Pakistan. PML (N) claimed in the elections of 2013 that it will solve this problem only in one year. In spite of, all claims and their rule of 5 years, they failed completely in generating the sufficient electricity. The former CM of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif said, “Load shedding is your problem now.” The long duration of load shedding in the sacred month of Ramadan exposed the performance of the ruling party. The circular debt of 400 billion is a clear proof of the mismanagement in energy sector. Auditor General of Pakistan objected severely to the payment of 80 billion rupees in this regard previously. The reasons for the fake energy crisis and its solution are given below.

According to an estimation 22000_24000 megawatt electricity is needed in Pakistan. This demand increases up to 5% each year. It means 1000 or1200 megawatt is added. Unfortunately, we have never been able to produce more than 18000 megawatt energy. The government claimed to produce 24000 mw electricity. But even NTDC which is an institution of government does not confirm it. Because this institution does not have the capacity for transmission and distribution of more than 18000 mw. For this reason, several new institutions including the wind power generating institutions are not being allowed to produce the electricity more than a certain level. The difference between power generation and capacity for transmission is also the inability of our governments. It means that there is a difference of 6000 mw between the production and the transmission of power. It is expressed in the form of load shedding in the whole country. Definitely, government has completed many power projects in its five years. But the difference between demand and supply which was 5000 mw in 2013, has reached up to the level of 6000 mw in 2018. The government of PMLN has started the energy projects that are based on LNG and coal. This government has completed only two hydro and atomic power projects that were inaugurated by the previous governments and were on the stage of completion in 2013. Same is the case of other wind and solar projects. It shows that the projects that can be started without foreign help (LNG, imported coal) are not the priority of the present government. Consequently, the circular debts have increased up to the level of 400 billion. Government could complete the wind, hydro and solar projects of 2000 mw with this amount. 4500 mw electricity and 6.4 million acre feet water could be generated with the completion of Bhasha Dam. Dasu Hydro Power Project which is in the lower stream, can also add 30% to the total production of electricity. This important project was absolutely ready before 2013. But government did not pay attention to it. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced 474 billion RS for ECNEC in the last month of his Govt.

The government focused on non-development projects like the division of laptop. If it had invested 100 billion yearly on energy projects, the dam and water reservoir could be made ready. We can be able to borrow equipment for the production of energy from the relevant institutions instead of begging from international financial institutions. But the government was interested only in those projects that could be started and completed in five years. This is the reason that this important project which was inaugurated by Yousef Raza Gillani and Pervaiz Musharraf many years before could not be carried on. Hydro Power is the most inexpensive source of producing the electricity in Pakistan. But the present government ignored it completely. LNG and coal have remained its greatest priority. Such projects are useful for short term only. These projects are not durable and dependable for long term due to their heavy cost of production. According to WAPDA, Pakistan has the capacity for producing 100000 mw electricity through hydro power projects. Almost 65000 mw projects have been designed and studied. Same is the matter of solar and wind projects. The sources of fossil energy are reducing all over the world. The environmental pollution is also a serious issue. All these factors have changed the dynamics of the energy industry in the whole world. All developed countries, including China, America and Germany (even our neighbour India) are increasing the production of hydroelectricity. China has the capacity of 114000 mw of wind energy. The capacity of its solar energy plants is 28000 mw.

Germany has less than 50% of total area in comparison with Pakistan. It is producing 39000 mw wind energy. It has 50% sunshine hours than Pakistan but still producing 38000 mw solar energy. Can’t we fulfil our needs of electricity by establishing the wind, solar and hydro power plants? These projects are cheap, durable and environment friendly. According to an American research institution NREL, Pakistan has immense capacity for producing wind and solar energy. The estimation of solar energy is almost 29000 mw. It is 100% more than our needs. The capacity for generating wind energy in Pakistan is 346000 mw. Aren’t we thankless to Allah Almighty and depending on foreign investment, loan and interest? It is the need of the hour that we should learn to secure our interests as a nation. We should lay stress on the governments to change their priorities. They should establish cheap and durable power projects instead of expensive projects. If we want to get rid of load shedding and provide electricity to industry and trade, we have to depend on hydro, solar and wind energy. We should set our priorities honestly and sincerely. We should save money and produce investment opportunities for foreign countries. We should attract the foreign investors to our energy projects. So that we can be able to produce energy according to our needs.

 

The writer is the chief of Jamaat-e-Islami.