Seminar on Conservation of Power

Economic Review, March 1990 | Go to article overview

Seminar on Conservation of Power


WAPDA in collaboration with Institute of Electrical Engineers (LEEP) Organised a Seminar on Power Conservation at Lahore on March 24, 1990. The Seminars was inaugurated by Begum Nusrat Bhutto. In her inaugural speech Begum Nusrat Bhutto under scored the need for strengthening electricity conservation measures in the country because even after augmenting production there would still be power shortage.

Begun Nusrat Bhutto pointed out that despite limited resources, 30 per cent of the national budget is set aside for electricity generation. That is why, she explained, the government has invited the private sector to help supplement power generation efforts. In this connection, she made particular mention of the oil-based 1200 megawatts Hub project in Balochistan. The project, showing the confidence of the private sector in the people's government. It will cost Rs. 23 billion and will be completed in 46 months.

Begun Nusrat Bhutto disclosed that in order to spread the message of conservation, the Prime Minister has ordered that all advertisements on television for saving electricity will be free. The minister emphasised the need for motivating the people.

Earlier welcoming the chief guest, Lt. Gen (Retd) Zahid Ali Akbar Khan, said that the per capita consumption of power in the country is around 24B kilowatt hour per annum. This present a dismal picture when compared with the United States of 10,000 KWH per capita, European countries on an average of 6,000 KWH and of developing-countries like Philippines, 530 KWH, Iran 700 KWH and South Korea 1272 KWH.

However, he added, Pakistan may, find some consolation in the fact that it has the highest per capita consumption of electricity among the SAARC countries.

Giving the example of finland, he said though its population is barely 5 million, i.e., just about the size of Lahore, the country generates a total of 12,000 megawatts of electricity, about one-and-a-half times that of the whole of Pakistan. The WAPDA chairman said that the biggest problem today is the lack of financial resources. During the past decade, WAPDA has been receiving from the government only 50 to 60 per cent of what it actually requires to execute its generation projects.

Though hydel generation is the cheaper source of energy and its total potential in the country has been estimated around 50,000 megawatts, the WAPDA chairman lamented, "in this area we have run into political and environmental difficulties". He expressed the hope that the Government would soon be able to overcome the objections raised by various quarters and give WAPDA the go-head for the construction of one of our important hydel projects.

The WAPDA chairman said that a nuclear power plant of 900 megawatts capacity was to come on the stream in the early eighties. It was unfortunately delayed due to international political pressures. "We are now very greatly relieved by the success of the People's Government in negotiating a deal with the French which has cleared the way for the nuclear power plant. Nuclear projects take six to eight years for completion of which seems far away when seen in the context of the present situation of shortage of power. Nuclear power due to environmental problem, capital cost of construction and decommissioning cost is expensive."

Keeping in view the above serious limitations he explained the country seems to have no other option today but to resort to power conservation.

"I am a strong believer of the saying 'a kilowatt saved is a kilowatt produced'. We want to make this as our motto and to put the concept into practice, with the support of the People's Government". The speakers of the seminar presented the following proposals:

Load Management

The following short time load management measures can result in the conservation of considerable amount of electrical power:

* closure of shops before sunset.

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