The energy crisis can be explained as blockage or shortage of energy as compared to its demand. When the government cannot fulfill the supply of energy according to the requirement.
After 1947, the energy demand available was 46 megawatts. After that in 1958, a specific department was formed for the dealing of energy in Pakistan named WAPDA. Many dams like the Tarbela dam were constructed for fulfilling the energy demand.
1n 1980’s load-shedding started. This only occurs when there is a difference between supply and demand.
The required energy is 22,000 to 24,000 megawatts. But the shortfall is 3000 to 4000 due to which Pakistan is facing an energy crisis.
Pakistan has mixed energy resources. Pakistan relies majorly on non-renewable energy resources. Like coal, gas or petroleum, etc. The maximum contribution is from thermal resources. Fossil fuels are used to produce energy but in the near future, this method will become extinct. Energy is mainly produced by oil which is around 58%. We have almost depleted 80% of our oil resources. We mostly import oil from other countries. Thermal power plants produce 14,365 megawatts energy.
- Hydral power plants produce 6611 MW energy.
- Nuclear power plants produce 775MW energy.
- Solar power plants produce 1000MW energy.
- Windmills produce 206.4 MW energy.
- Causes of the energy crisis in Pakistan:
- Poor distribution of infrastructure:
The energy distribution infrastructure in Pakistan is very poor even though intense weather conditions affect them badly.
Power theft is also the major cause of the energy crisis. Pakistan is not only facing domestic theft but also on an industrial level. It directly affects the country’s economy. Power theft and under-recovery bills result in the loss of 260 billion approximately.
Raised Living Standards:
By improving living standards, the requirement of energy also gets high. For our ease, facilities available also acquire energy thus energy shortfall occurs.
Low Hydropower Production:
Low hydropower production is also the main cause of the energy crisis. Pakistan has only a few dams which are working 24/7 to produce electricity. Pakistan has numerous sites for constructing dams and to overcome the energy crisis. but the government is not taking any serious action on this matter.
Low Nuclear Power Production:
Pakistan has 5 nuclear power plants. And 2 are under construction. Nuclear power plants can fulfill the 50% need of energy but unfortunately, Pakistan is not taking advantage of the nuclear power plant as it should.
Many countries like Belgium, are relying on nuclear power plants and fulfilling their energy needs.
The fuel shortage is also causing an energy crisis. The fuel supply to the power production cut out due to any of the issues hence resulting in short of the generation of rated energy.
The population is increasing every second. New connections are required and when are made thus causing the shortfall of energy. Production and demand have gaps that cause an insufficient supply of energy.
Climatic changes like extreme summers or extreme winters also bring a sudden change in energy supply. Further mishaps or accidents like floods or earthquakes contribute to the imbalance between demand and supply.
New Housing Societies:
New housing schemes are being constructed. These not only need a lot of new electricity connections but also need an uninterrupted supply. That’s why the load-shedding rate is very minor in these societies.
Lack of Fundings:
We have to take lots of funds to start new projects. The government has not enough funds to make new dams or power stations. So many of the projects are being delayed due to a lack of funds. And also a lot of maintenance work has not been done due to lack of fundings.
Miscellaneous factors like strikes, protests, disturbance in rules and regulations, government instability, an increase in taxes, etc are also the reasons for the energy crisis.
Consequences of the Energy Crisis in Pakistan:
The energy crisis has the worst effects on a country’s economy, GDP rate. It badly affects the agricultural and industrial sectors of Pakistan. It also increases the crime rate, inflation rate, unemployment, poverty, and other social evils.
- Economic effects:
- Energy is the basic need for the smooth running of all the sectors of a country whether it is industrial or agricultural. Economic losses are severe when industries suffer less productivity than required causing the termination of industries. Textile industries are directly related to electricity. Due to the less availability of energy textile industries have become local markets. Many textile brands like Gul Ahmed have shifted to India. Because of these reasons the country faces economic losses.
- Agricultural sector:
- Pakistan is an agricultural country. 42% of the labor is engaged in agriculture. Agricultural commodities or machinery like tubewells are used in agriculture. So due to the power crisis crops suffer a shortage of water which may cause drought. Moreover, the production of insecticides, pesticides or fertilizers also obstructed thus affecting the backbone of Pakistan.
- As a result of the above-mentioned factors like the closing of mills or factories, different working operations or shifting of industries in other countries causing the dismissal of employees and laborers from the working area which obviously leads to unemployment.
- Inflation rate:
- The inflation rate also gets worse with unemployment and a lack of business or investment opportunities.
- Due to unemployment, high inflation rate, the decline in industrial growth, less production in agriculture, and the worst economic condition then a nation faces poverty. Same is the condition with Pakistan. Now 40% of the population of Pakistan is below the poverty line. And this figure is increasing every day.
- Nonrenewable energy sources like solar or tidal should be promoted to produce more power than petroleum. Pakistan mostly imports oil and petrol from other countries so producing energy from oil is costly as compared to solar or windmills.
- Pakistan should improve the infrastructure of the transmission network so that in any sudden climatic condition like storms the transmission network should not be affected.
- The government should pay attention to constructing new hydropower or nuclear power stations so that productivity increases.
- Power theft should be controlled on every level either it is industrial or domestic.
- Maintenance of the existing power stations should be improved.
- The efficiency of the existing power stations should also be maintained.
- The maximum output should be drawn out from working power stations.
- A group of researchers should be formed which researches and explores more resources of energy production.