Renewable Resources Only Solution to Energy Crisis

Economic Review, May 1996 | Go to article overview

Renewable Resources Only Solution to Energy Crisis


The government has to take the initiative to introduce the non-traditional energy technology. The oil technology took 60 years to gain currency. Pakistan should, instead of relying on costly western technology, devise indigenous environment-friendly energy technologies.

Pakistan needs to maximise the use of renewable energy resources to avert the impending energy crisis and environmental catastrophe. The country's dependence on the non-renewable sources of energy was on the rise and these resources were fast depleting. This trend has to be arrested, otherwise, we are fast heading towards an energy crisis. The proven reserves of gas in the country were enough for 17 years and the oil reserves, which are about 2.363 million barrels will last for a couple of more years. The coal reserves will be finished within the next three decades.

To achieve the current pace of development, Pakistan will require investment of $100 billion in the energy sector. The country will have to get $40 billion from foreign sources but the borrowers may offer only $10 billion. The government has allocated Rs.302 billion for energy sector but the allocation needs to be doubled to meet the future needs.

The per capita consumption of energy was also one of the development indicators. In Pakistan per capita energy consumption was only 304 kwh, which is among the lowest in the world. Despite such lowenergy consumption, the country is currently facing the menace of loadshedding. Loadshedding was incurring a loss of about Rs.12 billion to the national exchequer.

The country's reliance on oil has been on the rise since the last five years which is now 42 per cent. The industrial sector presently consumes 40 per cent energy, transport 29 per cent, domestic 19.9 per cent, while agriculture sector consumes 4.3 per cent of the total energy production.

Loadshedding is not only the issues. The core problem is the increasing trends in the energy sector. The power demand is rising by 8.3 per cent, while supply was increasing by only 7.2 per cent. The gap between supply and demand is rising sharply. The shortfall of power at peak demand hours is said to be about 30 per cent of the total supply. Rationing of the energy was not possible due to high population growth rate.

The average consumption of energy should be at least 1,200 Metric Tonnes Oil Equivalent (MTOE), which appears non-feasible in the face of current energy situation.

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