Genesis of Energy Crisis of Pakistan and Potential Solutions By: Mr. Fazulullah Qureshi (Chairman BoD of Pakistan Steel Mills)
Introduction Realizing the lack of civic spaces in Pakistan in general and in Islamabad in particular, Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO) has taken the initiative of launching a platform – the Civic Café. The basic idea behind the Civic Café is to strengthen the role of civil society through dialogue, and to provide space for discussion on various topics, building new relationships, and strengthening old ones.
Details of the event Considering the current energy crisis Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO) held a lecture on “Genesis of Energy Crisis of Pakistan and Potential Solutions” at SPO Civic Café. The lecture was delivered by Mr. Fazulullah Qureshi, Chairman BoD of Pakistan Steel Mills.
Introducing the theme of lecture Zafar Zeeshan, Chief of Programme SPO, said that energy is the backbone of modern economy. He said in the initially stage of industrial revolution coal was source of energy. Latter it was replaced by petrol. ‘The current energy crisis is unprecedented in history. Therefore, efforts to seek alternative energy solution have increased in the last few decades.’ Zafar said that the problem of energy crisis in Pakistan is grave for we have not increased available sources of energy and did not explore alternative solutions.
Speaking on the occasion, Fazulullah Qureshi said that the national grid system was introduced after Mangla Dam in Pakistan. He provided the detailed history of electric power in Pakistan. Fazulullah stated that the Mangla and Terbella Dams had lions share in the production of electricity until 1990. ‘The decade of 1990s witnessed not only emergence of independent energy producers but also saw shifting from hydel to thermal production of electricity’ he asserted. Since hydal power was cheaper, so nobody bothered about the prices.
With the increased share of thermal power in the overall production of electricity the cost of production per unit also increased. On the other hand our income did not increase accordingly. Therefore, he identified the tendency of rise and rise in electricity rate in this phenomenon. Qureshi presented disaggregated data of electricity consumption according to which industry consume only 2%, whereas commercial and domestic sector consume 12% and 86% respectively.
Shedding light on the other factors contributing to energy crisis he termed electricity theft and central distribution mechanism as important causes of shortage of electricity. He regretted that policy makers had not exploited the available potential of energy in Thar Coal, Kalabagh and Basha Dam. ‘Absence of continuous policy regarding energy is also one of the reasons of energy crisis. He claimed that Pakistan is the first among countries, which spend maximum money on thermal energy production. To rectify this situation he called for improvements in governance mechanism, devolution of distribution system to provinces and continuation of energy policy regardless of changes in political set up. In the end Naseer Memon, Chief Executive SPO, thanked the speaker and participants.