This article defines the term ‘energy crisis’ and discusses the importance of natural resources i.e. energy resources in the development of a country. It also suggests remedies to overcome the issue of the energy crisis in Pakistan.
What are the energy resources?
Energy resources/power resources are means which mankind uses to fulfill the different needs of life. For example, we use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as fuel in transportation; hence it is an energy resource. Other energy resources include petroleum, natural gas, coal and hydel, etc.
What is the importance of Energy resources?
Anything that has any use in life is important. Energy resources are important as they have pivotal uses in our daily life. Some of the examples of energy resources along with their uses are as follows;
Petroleum is the crude oil drilled from beneath the earth and processed in Oil refineries to make different goods called petroleum Products e.g. Petrol, diesel, kerosene oil, etc. We use Diesel and Petrol as fuel for transportation, in the generation of electricity, etc.
Natural gas acts as a source of power in industries and fuel for vehicles. Similarly, we can also use it for cooking and heating purposes.
Coal also acts as a source used for cooking and heating at homes, hotels, etc. It can also be used to convert into gas and generate electricity from this gas.
Hydel refers to water as a resource to produce electricity. Electricity can be generated by setting up hydropower stations on rivers or dams.
The need for an increase in the production of energy resources in Pakistan
According to the Power Division, the average power demand in the country is about 24000 Mega Watts. As per reliable estimates, the country faces a shortfall of almost 5000MW on daily basis. With the increase in population over the years, the demand for power is also increasing resulting in an increasing gap between demand and supply. According to some estimates, almost 140 million people face 12 hours of load shedding on daily basis in Pakistan.
Pakistan fulfills only 34% of its energy needs with the use of energy resources found within the country. To fulfill the remaining 65% of energy needs, it imports oil from other countries by spending a huge amount of foreign exchange. Therefore, it is very important to increase the production of energy resources within the country.
What are remedies to counter Energy Crisis in Pakistan?
To overcome the energy crisis in Pakistan following remedies at both the individual and Government levels can be effective.
- Switch off the lights, laptop, computer, TV, and other electronic devices when they are not in use or before going to sleep.
- Use public transport instead of public transport whenever possible.
- Buy and make use of such electronic devices that consume less energy.
The government can take the following remedial measures to overcome the energy crisis in the country.
Overcoming power theft
People steal a major part of the power supply through Illegal electricity/power connections. This power theft is one of the causes of power outages for hours. Government and power supply companies should take proper measures of checking and monitoring to stop power theft in the country.
Dealing with Line losses
The loss of huge megawatts of power causing the loss of billions of rupees is another cause of power shortage. An efficient supply system with reduced line losses should be ensured by the government and power supply companies.
Provision of efficient Public Transportation services
The government should introduce an efficient public transportation system and take legal steps to encourage the public to use more and more public transport. Metro bus services should be expanded in all small and big towns and cities.
Use of alternate sources of energy
Pakistan imports furnace oil which it also uses to generate thermal power in the country. The use of alternative energy resources can help reduce the reliance on thermal power plants which mainly use furnace oil which Pakistan imports. Thus the government should;
- make use of hydel resources to generate electricity by making dams and small and medium-size hydropower stations in mountainous areas. In Pakistan, the potential of hydro resources to generate is 4100-45000MW. The current generation is only 6555 MW.
- Install and set up Windpower Stations at the Coastal areas of Sindh and Baluchistan where sea breezes can be used to generate electricity. The potential of wind energy is up to 50000 MW whereas the current generation is 06 MW.
- Set up solar power plants in different parts of the country. Pakistan has more sunny days throughout the year. The potential of solar energy is 100,000 MW.