Energy Crisis or Intellectual Bankruptcy?


An energy crisis is any great shortfall (or price rise) in the supply of energy resources to an economy. Energy crisis usually refers to the scarcity of electricity, oil, gas and other natural resources.

Energy crisis usually have wide range impact on the economy, it can definitely lead to stagnant economy having higher inflation due to rise in cost of production. As we have witnessed our GDP dropped to 2%. Ironically we are still aiming at 2.5-3.5% GDP with no and expensive electricity, gas (rapidly depleting) and with soaring prices of oil prices.

We all know we are in the middle of this energy crisis. What caused this crisis. Let’s explore. During the past decade growth rate of our economy was soaring to the unprecedented heights i.e. 7-8% per year. The economy was progressing at very rapid rate. This rapid industrial and economic growth led to the unprecedented consumption of the resources including gas, oil and electricity. The rapid increase in consumption caused the profound demand and supply gap.

What they planning and policy makers forget to pay heed to is the bridging the gap between supply and demand. There were both political and non political (developmental) reasons for this gap. These political reasons including, provision of electricity to 300 villages during the last decade. Local political leaders were aware of there constituency’s demand and they fulfilled it and rightly so but on the other hand this rapid supply of the electricity wasn’t backed by proper planning to increase in the production of electricity.

Several political and non political figures including renowned journalists blame to the previous government that it failed to produce the 1 Mega Watt (MW) of electricity during the last 5-7 years. But unfortunately they are either short sighted or are suffering from short term memory loss. “GAHZI BROTHA” producing 1,450 MW (5×290 Turbines) and has the world’s longest concrete-lined channel, inaugurated in 2002 when GDP was 3.3%, which was enough to keep our economy moving at steady rate. The problem of energy shortage rose with the rise in GDP. Both manufacturing and non‑manufacturing sectors allowed our economy to expand by exploiting the lower interest rates.

Now we know what and where the fault was and whose repercussions are we facing. No let’s come to the solution.

Several economic think tanks are suggesting industries to shift towards the alternate resources of energy, such as, solar, wind, tidal energy, cell fuel and bio-diesel etc. Because energy resources are rapidly deleting, this is evident from the global oil prices. Let’s take most attractive alternatives one by one.

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Let’s take wind energy first. Last government had the received the tenders from 11 intl. (out of which 2 were signed) companies to install wind mills on Sindh-Baluchistan coastal line. Why they are so delayed or pending yet?? Why more contracts aren’t signed yet?? These are the question present Govt. needs to answer.

Secondly, the very often and easy to talk “solar power”. I have one line for it. Be realistic, its very expansive in both it’s fix and maintenance cost. It’s not the near future at least.

Fourthly, Yes! The best option i.e. nuclear power generation option. That’s the way forward. It definitely has the high fix cost but considerably low maintenance cost as compared to its production. Here we definitely lack political, strategic and willpower. Either our planning elite is ignorant of it or they are intellectually bankrupt.

Thirdly, “Coal” OMG! The most text message circulated resource. To be very honest, I still remember my Social Studies from primary grade that we are blessed with abundant Coal but not of good quality. That is the only reason Pakistan imported 1.246 Mt in 2000 and 2.85 Mt in 2007. The bitter reality is we do not have a quality coal to boast of. Yet we can burn it and produce some electricity which does not require a good quality.

“Pakistan will require to import three to four million tonns coal for generating over 1000 MW thermal power to bridge the gap between electricity demand and supply, a senior government official told Daily Times.” By Fida Hussain: Sunday, February 04, 2007

So why are not we burning it yet?? What are we waiting for?? Do you know?? No?? The answer is we are desperately waiting for this fossil coal to turn into Diamond the precious Diamond. That is the most awaited panacea for all kind of monetary, economic and energy crises. I can bet in near future when we will realize that we need this coal to burn and produce electricity, the global environmental rules and regulation will be so tough and tightened that we will be unable to mine and our quarries will be buried with this black gem forever.

Unfortunately, our planning elite including the think tanks and political leadership is intellectually bankrupt.

Syed Abdul Wahab Gilani
Author is an MS scholar of Management Science
Member Youth Parliament Pakistan (Sargodha Youth Assembly).

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5 thoughts on “Energy Crisis or Intellectual Bankruptcy?

  1. I think, our all think tank, planning elite and the leadership know about this all better than us. I dont remembet any time in histoty of Pakistan when the development projects were didnt get approved or could be started just because the development authorities didnt know the opportuinites and good and bads of the projects, but there has alwayes been the personal/party objects and political reasons or the forieng interfarence for not pusuaing the development projects. So if you are aimed to let the management know about the development opportunities and matural resources we have in out country, then I would advise you not to be part of band vagon (as every writer is doing so). I would ask you to divert your writings to motivate the public to push the management to take the intiative, and to try the plannning wing have a sense of answerablility. Thanks
    Rizwan

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  2. Selection of topic is great and superb meticulous work by you!!!
    Firstly, you emanated that political and non political woes have caused energy crisis which resulted in economic chaos , secondly one by one you have delineated all the alternatives sources of renewable energy along with the implementation hurdles in wind, solar, coal power generation is excellent work and thirdly the solution suggested by you Nuclear Power generation really entails low cost as all European countries are producing electricity through nuclear power so Pakistan can also very easily use of already available nuclear energy for the purpose.
    In Pakistan electricity supplied is mainly through thermal plants which meet 66 percent of the requirements, hydroelectric plants about 32 percent and the rest is meeting through nuclear power plants. To overcome the demand-supply gap, the govt has proposed rental power plant as temporary solution, Rental power plants?? This is totally absurd decision as they consumed more fuel. Matter of the fact is that day by day world prices of oil are soaring up and could be very expensive….
    Dr Anjum Khalid a wind energy expert at NED university of Engineering and Technology in Karachi is of the view that Pakistan has promising future for the wind energy technology saying 1GB installation or more can be achieved in a year. Like other sources of the renewable energy, the biomass offers a great potential and opportunity for our energy starved countries about 1,113. MW electricity can be produced from total sugarcane and cotton trash if proper infrastructure availability, research, investment and proper awareness could be applied. Small hidel units need to be developed as these are more beneficial.
    Even our countries is bestowed with lot of resources to produce electricity but irony is that non availability of proper sincere planning to take advantage of domestic resources if present govt is being obtuse in solving the problem on their own then the solution is by contracting and contracting with Iran as Iran is ready to help Pakistan. Iran is already supplying electricity to Turkey and some other counties. It has now offered Pakistan electricity on low costs so international politic snags don’t be taken into account. If policy makers continue to dither to make appropriate planning regarding energy crisis, then consequences may be too grave to contemplate and control.
    No doubt that the present Energy Crisis has led Pakistan’s economy towards a grim outlook and pulled back the whole country on the edge of the abyss. Non visionary and short sighted representative authorities have no acumen abilities to bring the constructive measures in order to take all sectors of economy and whole masses from this agony. Policy maker’s epitome is “A bull in china Shop” and sorry to say their mission is just to embezzle money of nation. What I think about the all the present Crisis in our country is! Whether it is energy, food, yarn or financial these are just created by our own great national big wigs for their own benefits and nothing more than this. What is the dire need of this country is?? GOOD GOVERNANCE in which leadership must be sincere to their commitments, visionary, accountable, honest, adopt austerity, patriotic, who prefer to make institutions stronger than individuals.
    Yeah you are absolutely right that our planning elite including the think tanks and political leadership is intellectually bankrupt but I think it is also morally corrupt too.
    As the American say “Crisis provides an opportunity that must not be wasted, it should be used to put in place a well thought out strategy.” But unfortunately, grandiose promises were made in 2008 by present Govt that in December 2008 power outages would be entirely abolished but all in vain nothing has been yet done to overcome it that’s the reason; now people of Pakistan are very skeptic about any sort of pledges shown by Govt and definitely it must be quite alarming one for Govt in coming days !!!!

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  3. @Rizwan: Yep, you are right.

    Major problem and dilemma is “AWAAM”. They will ever and ever vote for the same person. AWAAM only cries for time being until and unless the get the lolly lop (Sorry 4 bit harsh). AWAAM never knew what are their rights?? AWAAM is so gullible that they will come to streets only for the people of Palestine and Kashmir or for a person fighting for his highly paid job. They will not come out for their own.

    “Hamaray dil mein doosron ka dard ziada apna kam hai”

    We need a paradigm shift.

    awGilani

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  4. @Aliya:
    Thanx 4 so detailed comment backed by extensive research. Esp. quoting Dr Anjum Khalid’s view (a wind energy expert at NED university of Engineering and Technology in Karachi) I agree with cent percent.

    awGilani

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