Energy Conservation-The Ultimate Panacea

By Soharwardi, Aurangzeb | Economic Review, July-August 2009 | Go to article overview

Energy Conservation-The Ultimate Panacea

Soharwardi, Aurangzeb, Economic Review

Electricity has become the most important utility in the contemporary era. Its usage has engulfed the complete human life. Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) has the responsibility to provide electricity in Pakistan to about 18,126,004 consumers, through a vast network of its 8 distribution companies. Electricity consumption increasing day by day due to change in life styles and introduction of technology. Considering the indispensability of energy - since 1947, per capita electricity dependence in Pakistan has grown 82-fold .The current energ consumption trends in Pakistan are extremely inefficient, whether it be in the domestic, industrial, trade or commercial sectors. With minimal effort, well over ten per cent of national electricity can be saved by applying only the first level of energy conservation, that is a change in attitude. It is simple, instant and effective and all it requires is a stop to using energy unnecessarily. Leaving lights and home appliances on even when they are not being used is a common practice in our society. Similarly, many businesses such as shops dealing in cloth and garments, jewellery, cosmetics, home appliances and electronics are usually extravagantly lit. It is commonly observed that shops that could do with two or three 40-watt tube lights to meet the desired level of luminance use as many as 15 to 20 tubes. Not only does this increase power consumption, it also generates heat and makes the environment uncomfortable.

At present total power production capacity in the country is about 19,500 MW, out of which Hydel Power is only 6,500 MW, balance of 13,000 MW is thermal either using Natural Gas or Furnace Oil. Small capacity of 450 MW is Nuclear and only 150 MW is through coal. Although gas is to be provided for 5800 MW to various thermal plants, but in actual fact much less gas is being mad available, the deficiency is being filled through furnace oil. China showed her consent to recommence the Thar Coal Power Generation Project of 600 Mega watt at Lakhra. In all, WAPDA's Hydel generating capability varies between the two extremities of 2414 MW and 6746.0 MW over the cycle of a year. Total installed capacity of electricity generation will remain 19,478 MW to meet 15,082 MW firm supply and 18000 MW peak demand. WAPDA has planned to install a high efficiency combined cycle power plant at Baloki (450MW), which is expected to be completed soon. In addition of these, power plant 1 & 2 of 300 MW each at Thar Coal with the assistance of China are also planned for commissioning in 2009. Moreover, efforts are also under way with China National Nuclear Corporation for the construction of a third nuclear power plant with a gross capacity of 325 MW at Chashma. IPPs and captive power generation efficiencies are being enhanced through efficiency improvements and all other possible means for obtaining additionally of 1000 MW in IPPs and 800 MW in captive and small power generation. PEPCO provided energy savers to its consumers for achieving 500 MW savings. Efficiency of power generating plants is being improved through implementation of house keeping measures, boiler efficiency improvement and waste heat recovery for achieving conservation potential of 309 MW. Time based tariff shall be introduced along with staggering for domestic and commercial consumers. The Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) has devised a public awareness and social outreach campaign to promote energy conservation.

A plan to conserve energy had been chalked out, in which PEPCO would request consumers to help the company meet the power deficit. PEPCO will request every consumer to switch off one light: if each of its around 20 million consumers do so, the company will save more than 2,000 megawatts. The company has directed the distribution companies (DISCOs) to use generators and solar energy to power billboards, while advertisement companies have also been urged to use solar energy, the source said. …

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