PAKISTAN’S energy sector has been facing a tough and unique time. On the one hand, a large number of power production projects have been initiated and many are coming online each year, effectively increasing energy production.

But owing to Covid-19 the economic activity across every sector has reduced and, therefore, energy demand has also decreased, creating high costs and low income for the energy sector.

But engineering projects are very systematic, and with good planning the problems faced by the energy sector can be proactively handled by shutting down some plants during these months. Unfortunately, we don’t see such proactive planning by the energy ministry.

There are is no long-term energy production and supply matching plans. In fact, not even production data or other information has been uploaded to the ministry of energy’s website since 2012.

Similarly, the Renewable Energy Policy 2019 has been approved by parliament but till date it has not been printed in the official gazette of Pakistan. All in all, it seems that the thermal (oil, RLNG, coal) power plants are using their influence to delay renewable energy power plants, while also hiding data on inefficiency of thermal power.

The government should look into these problems. Data of power plants, plant efficiency, line losses of distribution companies and Nepra rates of contracts should be made available online so inefficiencies are exposed. The inefficiencies of this sector affects the entire nation. Therefore, this ministry has to show higher standards of administration than others.

Mohammad Baseer
Peshawar

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2020

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