Power sector

08 Oct 2020


PAKISTAN’S power sector has been under review for the last few weeks by the government. The major issues being discussed are too many power plants versus demand, high capacity charges and low transmission capacity.

The transmission capacity should have been upgraded. It is important for Pakistan’s growth and should still be expedited.

Similarly, the government should create a list of all the power plants along with their capacity, efficiency, unit rate, capacity charge, fuel that can be used, and other important notes to be published on a website.

It will allow quick comparison of all the various rates and help the government in figuring out the expensive and low-efficiency ones that should be closed down or renegotiated.

The government can also help increase energy usage by allowing fixed electricity rates for 10 years for new industries and electric vehicle charging stations.

The government should target having 100 per cent renewable energy supplies. Therefore, all hydro and other renewable energy projects should not be delayed or stopped at any cost.

Instead, fuel-based power plants should be eased out of the supply chain. The inefficient ones should be stopped, while some can also be sold and relocated to another country.

As an option, Pakistan may explore the possibility of selling electricity to Afghanistan through some US grant. I am sure the US or Qatar will not want to see the RLNG power plants getting sold and relocated to another country. The US or Qatar may help new industries to get established in Afghanistan with the availability of cheap electricity.

Shahryar Khan

Published in Dawn, October 8th, 2020