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.
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).