Energy Crisis in Pakistan: Solutions – Part Three
In part two of this three part series, solutions of the ongoing energy crisis were discussed. However, only highlighting a few of these solutions is not enough. Certain long term measures need to be taken and in this part some of these solutions will be discussed.
A few NGOs and public communities have taken the initiative in harnessing the renewable resources of energy such as wind and solar. Pakistan is ideally situated to make use of both these resources.
Isolated cases of developing these modes of energy can be seen in the villages of Thar Desert (solar energy) and in some areas of Thatta and Karachi (wind energy) but it still needs massive government support.
Interestingly, the Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) of Pakistan has collected data of all areas in the country suitable for making use of these alternate sources of energy but initiative for utilization of these sources are absent. Pakistan can very efficiently make use of its long day light hours and wind power in the coastal region to produce power for upcoming years.
Most important in the long term planning and goals must be to streamline the foreign policy of the country according to its economic and energy needs. Improving and increasing ties with future energy rich countries must not be neglected.
As mentioned earlier, China can be a great asset in technical training and facilities. Similarly, bilateral relations with Russia, Central Asian, and East African states need to be strengthened. These countries are the new energy hubs of the world, and being mostly land locked (C.A. states) can make use of Gwadar port and in return assist Pakistan as well.
Taking Provincial prejudices and politics into view, the matters which are indispensable for the survival of the country and economy should be kept above such strife. Building new dams, at least Kalabagh dam should be taken on without any delay.
Transparency and clarity in the policies and implementation methods of government and public sector power companies is of paramount importance. Without checking corruption and applying stringent measures against malpractices, all well executed policies will ultimately become another drain for the economy.
Moreover, educating the stakeholders and workers in the industrial and agricultural sectors on adoption of new and efficient practices of water and energy consumption will tend to reduce the wastage of energy.
The theft of electricity must be considered and declared a heinous crime and any violations by domestic or industrial users should be liable to legal penalties and complete power cut off for such consumers.
Taking a look at the energy crisis in the transportation sector, there is no doubt that fossil fuels are indeed depleting in the world and Pakistan is no exception. To curb the hike in prices and supply shortage, research and exploration of new sites must be given impetus under the patronage of AEDB.
Meanwhile, bio fuel (alcohol or synthetic fuel) can be produced quite easily in Pakistan. Raw materials for this fuel being wheat and other crops are ample in Pakistan. Alcohol can be easily prepared by fermentation of molasses and is already a proper local industry in the country it just needs to be diverted in the right course.
Finally, the system and standard of public transport must be improved to discourage the trend of personal vehicles which leads to greater demands of fuel.
Making policies has never been the plight of our government. It is the lack of implementation which keeps the wheels of crisis moving. Today our government not only needs to take initiatives and hard decisions it also needs to give a boost to the dying economy by providing unimpeded supply of power to industries.
Secondly, corruption, misuse of funds, malpractices of energy consumption and wastage must b avoided and eradicated at all costs.
Last but not least, the public trust and support is of utmost important. No policy can succeed if it doesn’t enjoy public support. Media can play an effective role in creating awareness and trust that it is actually a global crisis which can only be solved with help and conscious effort by every citizen.
Conclusively, curbing the energy crisis requires transparent efforts at every level imaginable. The future policies and projects should be so oriented as to make Pakistan self sufficient in the energy sector. Self sufficiency in the energy sector will be the key to a flourishing economy, and a stable economy can serve as a device of curbing several interlinked adversities. The sooner we realize the gravity of this as a whole, the sooner we will emerge out of this crisis.