SURPLUS power is likely to increase 15 per cent against the projected demand per annum because of over-commitment of power-generation projects.

Decades of crippling spells of load-shedding necessitated quick-build excessive capacity additions in the recent past. The power sector now faces a new, and no-less serious challenge – a period of expensive capacity surplus which currently amounts to 4,000MW during seasonal peak.

Decision-makers in the country are in a fix about how to alleviate the financial consequences of the past decisions and transform this critical sector into a vibrant contributor to realise the nation’s dream of progress and prosperity.

To mitigate the problem, I suggest to the authorities concerned that current billing tariff based on slab system should be stopped. Instead, a flat-rate tariff should be introduced by lowering the per-unit rates to encourage more usage of power, particularly for domestic appliances. This should be done by replacing gas geysers with electric instant geysers and electric plates to overcome the prevalent gas shortage and to provide relief to the consumers.

This step will not only absorb the system’s surplus power, but will also reduce burden over capacity payments to the IPPs.

Ejaz Bukht Durrani
Lahore

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2020

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