ISLAMABAD: Energy experts at the 10th Power Generation Conference underlined the need for exploiting indigenous energy resources – including coal, hydropower and renewable energy (RE) – for socio-economic development of the country.

The energy conference with the theme ‘The next emerging challenge, sustainability and growth in power generation’ was held on Friday. The event was organised by Energy Updates in collaboration with other partners.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Planning and Development Commission Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui said the energy demand always increases with increasing population of the country. The incumbent government had done a lot in power generation sector and now transmission capacity was being enhanced, he said.

Mr Siddiqui said many investors were coming to invest in the energy sector of Pakistan. He urged the business community to come forward and join hands to provide affordable and clean energy to the consumers.

Mr Siddiqui also stressed the need for water-integrated plan to construct small hydro-projects.

Chief Marketing Officer Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) Brigadier Tariq Lakhair said that Thar Block-II could alone generate 5,000 megawatt (MW) electricity for next 50 years.

He said 80 per cent work on Thar Coal power plant has already been completed and its first unit would start generation by December 2018.

Managing Director Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB) Shah Jehan Mirza said efforts were being made to provide clean, affordable and sustainable energy to the consumers. On the generation side, over 10,000 MW power had already been added to the national grid system during the last five years, he added.

“The per capita consumption of electricity in Pakistan was 1/5th of average per capita consumption of electricity in rest of the world. This means we have to supply more electricity to raise standard of living of our people,” he said.

He said coal power projects being set up under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which were considered most efficient power plants in the world with 62 per cent efficiency.

MD Siemens (Pakistan), Helmut Von Struve said affordable energy would be foundation of social and stable Pakistan.

He was of the view that energy landscape had gradually been changing to RE.

On the occasion, Prof Dr Faiz Chaudhary was of the view that after dismantling of Wapda, codes and policy guidelines were not followed to provide affordable and reliable electricity.

Speaking in the conference, Acting German Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Jens Jokisch said Germany and Pakistan had massive potential to collaborate with each other in the RE sector.

He said the German energy model posed an excellent example for Pakistan for adoption as the former swiftly overcome its power crisis by maximising power generation through renewable means while gradually lessening reliance on conventional means of power generation that harm the environment

CEO Star Hydro Waqar Ahmed said all future energy policies must have backing of all stakeholders. He pointed out that hydropower was a suitable solution for cheap electricity.

Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2018

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