Pakistan's Electricity Crisis or is it Management Crisis ?

Arslan

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Pakistan has been mired by electricity shortage since decades now, the short fall increasing every year. The load-shedding phenomenon, taking households and business off the grid amounting to multiple hours everyday, has not only brought disastrous results to the economy of Pakistan but has also hammered the citizens badly in their daily routine and way of life. The citizens already combating with the stresses of water-shortage, are left stranded looking for other avenues for power generation in their homes. Few who can afford, use Generators running on petrol, diesel and gas to counter the energy crisis. Mostly use UPS (Uninterrupted Power supply) systems to at least keep the lights shining and fans sending waves of air in their homes. The majority who cannot afford either, spend their day on the mercy of the power companies.

The Solar-power revolution has been a costly enterprise with mixed results. The wind-turbines, almost all can be seen in the Sindh province, has brought some relief in that region, but the total power generation cannot meet the demand. Pakistan still relies on coal plants, however, the coal found inside Pakistan has to be refined to a certain standard of quality to be fully utilized for power generation in coal plants. The up-keep of dams, as in hydro energy as well as thermal power plants has been a factor amounting to rise in cost of electricity in Pakistan. The plans to import electricity inside Pakistan lay in papers only; from Tajikistan and Kyrgystan and so does the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project. It was expected that energy generation may get boosted through CPEC project, but that is yet to be seen. The nuclear power has seen employment more in weaponisation of missiles than to curb energy hardships faced by Pakistan..

All the above stated factors combined with natural calamities like earth quakes and floods etc, further deteriorate the situation, sometimes even damaging the power plants themselves apart from ruining the supply lines.

China, which is one of the largest producers of the electricity in the world, faces natural disasters like floods on a huge scale, yet retains the capacity to not only get its people to safety but manages to keep the power generation intact. If resources are to be considered, Pakistan has abundant manpower with respect to its area and retains capacity through use of diverse technologies (hydro, thermal, solar, wind, nuclear, coal) to tackle the electricity crisis.

Is it management? or do the priorities lie somewhere else?

No one wants to live in stone age for a dozen hours every day, it is the 21st century after all. While the world moves ahead towards developed societies, Pakistan must ensure that the electricity crisis doesn't become a thorn in the progress and development of the country. This matter has to be addressed on priority basis with the heat wave hitting the country in this warm season. The economy, which has seen a setback due to electricity crunch, needs to get back on road for a sturdy GDP and a prosperous Pakistan.

Written by: Arslan Javed.

https://meetarslan.blogspot.com/2018/06/pakistans-electricity-crisis-or-is-it.html
 

Nilgiri

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Nice write up Arslanji.

Pakistan ought to start up an investment fund/cess exclusively for buying solar fabs from China (in bulk so you get good discount). Prices are at rock bottom and if you bid well, you can get them even lower given Chinese overproduction/investment into the area.

Tie up some portion of (low interest) Chinese loan commitments there instead of diverting so much to forex help (which just kicks the can and makes worse instead of tackling the persistent large CAD), and build up the local manpower for assembly and last tier installation etc.

This will help low consumption households the most (given the investment is hedged rather than consolidated densely) and also reduce the amount of pilfering/buffer local goons have (all caused by the base scarcity largely)...so power company finances are also helped from the demand side...and over time they get sustainable margins again for better capex allocations (without over taxing the taxpayer or debt).

But maybe its precisely because it is anti-politican and pro-consumer that such ideas are not being done....given they should have been done years ago already.
 

BATMAN

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Real crisis is politics of power.
Otherwise, electricity crisis can be solved over night by simply announcing a liberal policy on electricity generation and state sharing distribution infrastructure.
 
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