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Energy crisis, causes & remedies

Pakistan has been suffering from an energy crisis for about half a decade now. The power crisis is proving to be unbearable. The sad state of affairs is that despite having enormous renewable resources of energy, Pakistan has to import a huge amount of hydrocarbons from abroad to meet its energy needs. As recently as 2001, the country had 4,000 megawatts of excess power capacity. Today unfortunately the situation has gained threatening prospects. According to a research most of the high enthalpy geothermal resources of the world lie within the seismic belts passing through Pakistan. Pakistan has a history of geotectonic events. Tectonic plates are segments of earths lithosphere, hard rocky outer shell. Hence this geothermal energy can be exploited in a better sense of the term. The major resources of energy are oil, gas, petroleum products, coal, nuclear, solar, biomass and wind energy. Let us chalk out the reasons for shortage of energy. Lopsided priorities, poor management and lack of accountability can be denoted as the reasons for dearth of energy in Pakistan. The number of consumers of electricity are now increased owing to the rapid urbanization process. The facility of electricity is now provided to the remote villages. We waste a lot of energy, about 15 to 20 percent through poor distribution system. Industrial, transport and domestic sectors are the three important consumers of energy. It is assumed that a misplaced use of energy is rampant in industries which need to be curtailed. Few years back Pakistan used to get half of its electricity from hydel power and remaining from thermal generation. However there is a limit to the extent of exploitation of hydel resources and thermal power plants due to environmental and other concerns. Modalities for overcoming the energy crisis are multifold. To meet the challenge there is a dire need to go to the alternate sources of energy. Some people suggest that process of converting coal into product gas underground can be a good alternate source of energy. Technically this process is called as underground coal classification. Through this the underground deposit of coal is treated with controlled fire. Gradually the coal turns into gas. The largest coal reserves of Pakistan exist in Thar. There this source can be encashed. Besides coal, the renewable energy as biomass has solutions to our problems. Biomass, material derived from plants or animals, includes wastes, agricultural residues and garbage. It is suggested that subsidies and tax concessions must be provided for importing machinery for establishing biogas power plants in Pakistan. It can prove to be a great source of energy for us as Pakistan is an agricultural country. Come to solar energy panels, though initial cost of installing solar panels is comparatively high but through them the highest levels of efficiency can be reached. I visited Balochistan recently and was really surprised to see the great solar potential there. It is not only the valley of minerals but it has a lot of wind and solar energy, having a scattered habitat and ample sunshine. But to my utter dismay the number of solar panels installed there were very few. Some important advantages which favour the use of solar energy use in Pakistan include low operational and maintenance cost, environment friendly dimension etc. Similarly the wind energy is also in excess and we can harness this energy in a much more

effective way. Wind can be utilized to produce electricity at the coastal areas. If power plants are set up driven by the wind energy along the coastline and this venture is handed over to foreign investors, the results can be quite satisfactory. Manufacture of wind generators can be made indigenously. Still other sources apart from hydel and thermal which can meet the growing demand nuclear energy can also overcome the energy needs. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission has developed a large infrastructure to manufacture equipment for power but even then we are not able to make considerable progress in the nuclear field. More and more nuclear reactors for power generation must be built. Similarly, hot climatic conditions of some areas of upper Sindh and Southern Punjab may prove to be a source of solar energy. We have to devise bold and concrete ways on a war footing to overcome the electricity deficit coupled with an instant change in attitude at the earliest. The Quaid-iAzam said: Let us mobilize all our resources in a systematic and organized way and tackle the grave issues that confront us with grim determination and discipline worthy of a great nation. Therefore the consolidation of the domestic resource mobilization is a call of the time. A collective national effort is needed to face the challenge .Prompt measures need to be taken by the government. The belated response will only add up to more problems. One other suggestion is that the existing thermal power plants running on expensive imported furnace oil can be converted into natural gas and afterwards to coal. The government can go for establishing a government body for fixing targets for development of power sectors. Ways must also be devised to stop power theft besides transmission and distribution losses. The long transmission lines connecting grid with hydel stations are faced with transmission losses. These hydel stations are located mostly in the north of the country while thermal units are mainly installed in the centre and southern areas of Pakistan. Political controversies relating to Kalabagh dam must be resolved. In this connection seminars and media can play a good role. If there is a need the modifications in design may also be suggested.

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=35838

5 steps to solving Pakistans energy crisis


March 3, 2012

Are political parties finally taking the energy crisis seriously? If so, I have a few suggestions... Out of all the problems we face as a country, energy seems to be the one that annoys us the most. Its not that other issues are not important or are somehow less annoying; it is just that every single person in Pakistan uses energy in one form or another and hence is directly affected by it at a very personal level. So when a few days back I was invited as an expert delegate to the PML-Ns energy conference , I was pleasantly surprised that our political parties are beginning to showing signs of maturity and started talking issues. The conference itself was an unusually serious affair where actual experts sat through a gruelling six hour discussion session on the draft PML-N energy plan. It was for the first time I saw an actual alternative workable policy being presented and discussed by a

political party with stakeholders such as academia, power producers and energy experts. All in all, it was a great platform and serious discussion took place that can potentially lead to a solid energy strategy. I later found out that PTI also held an energy conference of its own and presented their draft plan as well. Even though I would have personally preferred the perspective economic plans to be put forward first, but a start on an issue like energy strategy seems to be pretty good too. This is a national issue and we need all the alternative policies we can get to finally craft a solid national policy and in that regard, political parties putting forward their workable strategies is something the people have longed for. And in that spirit, I would like to present a few ideas that can help with our energy crisis. 1. Replacing thermal power fuel Pakistan produces about 81 percent of its electricity through oil and gas which costs us about 9.4 billion dollars. To put it in other terms, that is about 53 percent of our total exports and is the biggest cost on our import bill. Now given that our reliance on thermal power is so large, we simply cannot dismantle it and magically move to hydro power, however we can change the fuel used to gain thermal power. Instead of using oil and gas, both of which are getting more expensive and have volatile international prices, we can move to using coal. But not the Thar coal, I will explain why later, but imported coal. If we were to import clean coal and use that as a fuel instead of oil and gas, it would cost us less as the price of coal is more stable than that of oil and gas in the international market. This can bring some sort of price stability in our electricity prices that keep changing due to changes in international market prices

2. Moving past the myth of Thar coal

Yes, there is coal in Thar, but assuming that it can be used immediately or it will solve all our energy problems is a myth propagated by a few people and political parties for their personal gains. Experts agree that Thar coal is highly unstable making it difficult to transport it from one location to another and even its gasification is not risk-free. On location gasification also requires heavy investment, which has practical difficulties due to the unstable nature of the coal deposits. So instead of wasting time and effort on this, we should focus on importing coal to replace the ever increasing oil and gas bill. 3. Improved energy mix Energy mix refers to the sources of energy we utilize in Pakistan to fulfil our overall energy needs. I need to give credit to the PML-N on this one as they are the first ones to talk of the holistic energy mix and not just the CNG or the electricity crisis.

The fact is that all our energy is interdependent.I have previously advocated that we need to move off CNG as we simply do not have enough of it to supply to all the commercial, industrial and home users. Its about time that any future energy strategy Pakistan is supposed to have comes with a proper energy mix to solve our issues. We need more hydel plants and renewable energy projects. In the next five years, the aim should be at getting five percent of our total power supply from renewable sources and to also use the nuclear power we are so proud of, to provide electricity. Right now, we are at about three percent power generation from nuclear sources, which have to go up to at least percent. Hence an overall improved energy mix is what can solve our issues in the long run.

4. Stand alone power projects This is a suggestion that I gave at the conference and I am advocating it now again. About 40 percent of Pakistan is off the national grid; that means they effectively get to no electricity. The way our grid operates, it is already suffering from heavy line losses and other technical issues, which makes it extremely hard and costly to get 40 percent of the Pakistan on to the national grid. However there are solutions to this. We can finance independent stand alone power projects that can function in areas where there is no national grid, this way the local communities and businessmen can set up their own energy solutions without taking prior permission from the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) like they have to now. This will enable them to set up small scale solar panels and plants in their communities and sell electricity locally. Small wind farms can also be used in areas which are close to wind corridors. The bottom line is, let the people who are living in areas that dont come under the national grid, do whatever they can to supply themselves with electricity without any government involvement. 5. Dismantle the national grid The national grid needs to be dismantled and provincialised, because under the 18th amendment, the profits of power generation go to the province that is producing the power, meaning if electricity is being produced at Tarbela, royalties of that are being paid to KP Government by all other provinces. However, they sell it to the national grid and then the national grid sells it down to the District Electrical Supply Companies who further sell the power to the consumers. This way, if there is a shortfall, national grid chooses the electricity supply patterns and hence decides which areas suffer outages the most. If we dismantle the national grid and change the electricity supply to an open market, where provincial grids can buy energy directly from the source, it would improve the power supply and be more financially beneficial for the power producing province. This way, the provinces with the most issues with electricity supply can simply outbid the others to get enough for their local demand. This would not be privatization but provincialization, and will encourage provincial governments to start doing more for their people instead of relying on the federal government. This can eventually lead to provinces working harder to upgrade their grids and reduce their line losses as their people would know exactly who to blame if the power goes out. I think it is time we started thinking on these lines given that the 18th amendment has already been passed and provincial autonomy is our future.

I hope our political parties come with their own alternative strategies while taking these points in to account too. Energy crises is a national issue and all possible solutions should be explored to solve it.

http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/10507/5-steps-to-solving-pakistans-energy-crisis/

Energy Crisis and Pakistan An energy crisis is any great shortfall (or price rise) in the supply of energy resources to an economy. It usually refers to the shortage of oil and additionally to electricity or other natural resources. The crisis often has effects on the rest of the economy, with many recessions being caused by an energy crisis in some form. In particular, the production costs of electricity rise, which raises manufacturing costs. For the consumer, the price of gasoline (petrol) and diesel for cars and other vehicles rises, leading to reduced consumer confidence and spending, higher transportation costs and general price rising. Future and alternative sources of energy Some experts argue that the world is heading towards a global energy crisis due to a decline in the availability of cheap oil and recommend a decreasing dependency on fossil fuel. This has led to increasing interest in alternate power/fuel research such as fuel cell technology, hydrogen fuel, biomethanol, biodiesel, Karrick process, solar energy, tidal energy and wind energy. To date, only hydroelectricity and nuclear power have been significant alternatives to fossil fuel (see Future energy development), with big ecological problems (residues and water spending). Hydrogen gas is currently produced at a net energy loss from natural gas, which is also experiencing declining production in North America and elsewhere. When not produced from natural gas, hydrogen still needs another source of energy to create it, also at a loss during the process. This has led to hydrogen being regarded as a 'carrier' of energy rather than a 'source'. There have been alarming predictions by groups such as the Club of Rome that the world would run out of oil in the late 20th century. Although technology has made oil extraction more efficient, the world is having to struggle to provide oil by using increasingly costly and less productive methods such as deep sea drilling, and developing environmentally sensitive areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The world's population continues to grow at a quarter of a million people per day, increasing the consumption of energy. The per capita energy consumption of China, India and other developing nations continues to increase as the people living in these countries adopt western lifestyles. At present a small part of the world's population consumes a large part of its resources, with the United States and its population of 296 million people consuming more oil than China with its population of 1.3 billion people. Efficiency mechanisms such as Negawatt power can provide significantly increased supply. It is a term used to describe the trading of increased efficiency, using consumption efficiency to increase available market supply rather than by increasing plant generation capacity. Energy Crisis In Pakistan Energy resources have depleted! Whatever resources are available are simply too expensive to buy or already acquired by countries which had planned and acted long time ago. Delayed efforts in the exploration sector have not been able to find sufficient amounts of energy resources. Nations of the world which have their own reserves are not supplying energy resources anymore; only the old contracts made decades ago are active. Airplanes,

trains, cars, motorbikes, buses and trucks, all modes of transportation are coming to a stand still. Many industries have closed due to insufficient power supply. Price of oil has gone above the ceiling. At domestic level, alternate methods like solar, biogas and other methods are being tried for mere survival. The above is a likely scenario of Pakistan and around the globe after 25 years. A pessimistic view, but realistic enough to think about and plan for the future. But are we doing anything about it? Lets have a look at the current energy situation of Pakistan and the world. Pakistans economy is performing at a very high note with GDP growing at an exceptional rate, touching 8.35% in 2004-05.In its history of 58 years, there has been only a few golden years where the economy grew above 7%. This year official expectations are that GDP growth rate will be around 6.5 7.0%. For the coming years, the government is targeting GDP growth rate above 6%. With economy growing at such a pace, the energy requirements are likely to increase with a similar rate. For 2004-05, Pakistans energy consumption touched 55.5 MTOE (Million Tons of Oil Equivalent). The energy consumption is expected to grow at double digit if the overall economy sustains the targeted GDP growth rate of 6% by the government. Pakistans energy requirements are expected to double in the next few years, and our energy requirements by 2015 is likely to cross 120MTOE. By 2030, the nations requirement will be 7 times the current requirement reaching 361MTOE. Pakistans energy requirements are fulfilled with more than 80% of energy resources through imports. On the other hand, international oil prices have not only broken all records but are touching new highs, with every news directly or indirectly affecting the black gold industry. Moreover, speculators all around the world expect oil prices to touch $100 per barrel in medium term. With concerns over Irans nuclear program, terrorist issues in Nigeria and high economic growth in China & India and their ever rising energy requirements, oil prices dont see any another way but to shoot upwards. What is the government doing to ensure a sustainable supply of energy resources for economic growth? What strategic steps are being taken to acquire energy resources in future? Is private sector willing to invest in Pakistans oil industry? What are the incentives being offered to the foreign players to continue working in the exploration sector? What hurdles are stopping other big players around the world to enter Pakistan? What is the role of gas distribution companies so far? Are the citizens of Pakistan being robbed by energy giants with ever rising utility bills? What should be the real price of petroleum, kerosene and other oil products in Pakistan? When will the nation have load shedding free electric supply? Have we been able to make long term contracts with the countries to provide uninterrupted supply of energy resources? Will the government be able to provide enough sources to the citizens for a sustainable economic growth? Have we lost the race for acquiring maximum energy resources for future survival? Pakistan: Power crisis feared by 2007 The country may plunge into energy crisis by the year 2007 due to rising electricity demand which enters into double digit figure following increasing sale of electrical and electronic appliances on lease finance, it is reliably learnt Thursday.

The country may face energy crisis by the year 2007 following healthy growth of 13 per cent in electricity demand during the last quarter, which will erode surplus production in absence of commissioning of any new power generation project during this financial year, informed sources told The Nation. As per Pakistan Economic Survey 2003-04, electricity consumption has increased by 8.6 per cent during first three-quarter of last fiscal year. However, a top level WAPDA official maintained that electricity demand surged up to 13 per cent during last quarter. The survey said household sector has been the largest consumer of electricity accounting for 44.2 per cent of total electricity consumption followed by industries 31.1 per cent, agriculture 14.3 per cent, other government sector 7.4 per cent, commercial 5.5 per cent and street light 0.7 per cent. Keeping in view the past trend and the future development, WAPDA has also revised its load forecast to eight per cent per annum as against previous estimates of five per cent on average. Even the revised load forecast has also failed all assessments due to which Authority has left no other option but to start load management this year, which may convert into scheduled loadshedding over a period of two year, sources maintained. The country needs a quantum jump in electricity generation in medium-term scenario to revert the possibilities of loadshedding in future due to shrinking gap between demand and supply of electricity at peak hours. According to an official report, the gap between firm supply and peak hours demand has already been shrunk to three digit (440 MW) during this fiscal and will slip into negative columns next year (-441 MW) and further intensify to (-1,457 MW) during the financial year 2006-07. The report maintained that the difference between firm supply and peak demand is estimated at 5,529 MW by the year 2009-10 when firm electricity supply will stand at 15,055 MW against peak demand of 20,584 MW. Chairman WAPDA Tariq Hamid at a Press conference early this year warned about the possible energy crisis and stressed the need for quantum jump in power generation. The experts say it could only be possible through a mega project of hydropower generation, otherwise the gap between firm supply and peak demand will remain on the rise. They said the power generation projects, which are due to commission in coming years are of low capacity and will not be able to exceed the surging demand of the electricity. They say no power generation project will commission during this fiscal year and the total installed capacity of electricity generation will remain 19,478 MW to meet 15,082 MW firm supply and 14,642 MW peak demand.

Giving details of projects, the sources said Malakand-lll (81MW), Pehur (18MW) and combined cycle power plant at Faisalabad (450MW) are planned to be commissioned during the year 2007. Mangla Dam raising project would also add 150 MW capacity to the national grid by June 2007. Besides this, Khan Khwar (72MW), Allai Khwar (121MW), Duber Khwar (130MW) and Kayal Khwar (130MW) are expected to be completed in 2008 along with Golan Gol (106MW) and Jinnah (96MW). Moreover, Matiltan (84MW), New Bong Escape (79MW) and Rajdhani (132MW) are expected by 2009 while Taunsa (120MW) is likely to be completed by 2010. Sources say WAPDA has also planned to install a high efficiency combined cycle power plant at Baloki (450MW), which is expected to be completed by 2010. In addition of these, power plant 1 & 2 of 300 MW each at Thar Coal with the assistance of China are also planned for commissioning in 2009, sources said. Moreover, efforts are also under way with China National Nuclear Corporation for the construction of a third nuclear power plant with a gross capacity of 325 MW at Chashma, they added. When contacted, a WAPDA official said there is no power shortage in the country at present as the Authority still has over 1,000 MW surplus electricity. However, he admitted that the shortage may occur in the year 2007 and onward and said the Authority will utilise all options including running of IPPs plant at full capacity to avert any possible crisis. About the system augmentation to bring down line losses, the official said the Authority would spend Rs 3.5 billion on augmentation of distribution lines this fiscal while another Rs 5 billion will be consumed on transmission lines. We have been negotiating Rs 9 billion loan with a consortium of local banks to upgrade and augment the power transmission system, he disclosed. The official further said that five new transmission lines of 220-KV would be installed by the end of 2004, that would ensure smooth supply to the consumers. He expressed full trust on present transmission and distribution system and said it could easily sustain the load of total installed power generation in the country

http://www.cssforum.com.pk/css-compulsory-subjects/current-affairs/current-affairsnotes/4082-energy-crisis-pakistan.html

WATER and power are no more synonymous. However, Wapda makes us believe that water and power are inseparable and that the present energy crisis in the country is because we have failed to build large dams. Wapda and the proponents of big dams use this argument in favour of building Kalabagh and other large dams. We need to look at the larger picture and think out of the box. Pakistan produces about 19,500 MW of electric power; Wapda provides about 11,363 MW, or 58 per cent of this. The remaining power is supplied by the KESC, nuclear and IPPs. There is currently loadshedding of up to 700 MW a day because of shortage and poor transmission capabilities. Electricity demand is expected to grow by eight per cent a year during the period 2005 2015, requiring an annual installation capacity of about 2000 MW for the next 10 years. The worldwide electricity production, as per the World Bank, is as follows: coal: 40 per cent; gas 19 per cent; nuclear 16 per cent; hydro 16 per cent; oil seven per cent. Pakistans power production is gas 48 per cent; hydro 33 per cent; oil 16 per cent; nuclear two per cent, and coal 0.2 per cent. There has been a global trend to shift away from oil because of its rising price expected to reach $100 a barrel by the end of this year depending on the international geopolitical situation. Despite the lowest cost of hydroelectric power, there have been environmental, ecological and geopolitical concerns over the building of large dams. The supply of natural gas in Pakistan has been depleting over the years, and the country is now looking at the option of importing gas from Qatar and Central Asia. This leaves the possibility of exploring nuclear, coal and other alternative energy sources. Nuclear energy and coal form the lowest source of power production in Pakistan. On the other hand, the world average for nuclear energy is 16 per cent and for coal 40 per cent. Let us first consider these two potential sources of electric power production for Pakistan. The US obtains 20 per cent of its electric power from nuclear energy with 104 reactors; France 78 per cent with 59 reactors, Japan 24 per cent with 54 reactors, the UK 23 per cent with 31 reactors, and so on. Even India has signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States to develop its nuclear capability for power generation and economic development. It has currently six reactors in operation with a capacity of 3750 MW, and another six with a capacity of 3,340 MW are under construction and should be completed by 2007. The new agreement will further boost the nuclear power generating capacity of India. Today, nuclear power plants have average capacities of 600 1,000 MW. Pakistan only produces two per cent of its power through two reactors (Karachi and Chashma at 137 MW and 300 MW respectively). Pakistan is a nuclear technologically

advanced country with capabilities to produce fuel, yet falls behind most other countries, including India, in terms of nuclear power production. Regarding coal power generation, the US produces 51 per cent of its power using coal, Poland 96 per cent, South Africa 94 per cent, India 68 per cent, Australia 77 per cent, China 79 per cent, Israel 77 per cent, UK 35 per cent, Japan 28 per cent, while Pakistan produces only 0.2 per cent of its power through coal. Pakistan has the worlds seventh largest reserves of coal, after the recent discoveries in Thar. The total coal reserve in Pakistan is about 175 billion tons. The current coal production is only 3.5 million tons per year, which is mostly used for the brick and cement industry. Coal has typical problems, such as a high sulphur content (it produces sulphur dioxide, the source of acid rain), mineral matter content (leading to ash and pollution problems), carbon dioxide emission (contributing to global warming) and high moisture content. However, technologies are available to minimise all of these. Conversion technologies are currently under development to convert coal into environmentally-friendly methanol and hydrogen gas to be used as clean fuel. The US is working on a major initiative called future gen to produce zero emission power plants of the future. There is large-scale application of coal for power generation around the world. The largest coal-fired plant in the world today is at Nanticoke, Canada, with a capacity of 3900 MW. In the US, which is the largest consumer of coal-generated power the power plant at Coal Creek has a capacity of 1,100 MW. Coal-fired power plants of 500 MW are the norm today and many are currently under construction around the world. In Pakistan, there are plans to build only two 300 MW coal-fired plants at Thar. In addition to the option of using nuclear plants and coal for power production, alternative energy sources are also available, including wind and solar. Wind energy is the fastest growing energy source in the world. It grew at an astonishing 43 per cent in the last one year alone. Total installed capacity worldwide is 60,000 MW. Technologies have greatly improved in the last two decades, making wind energy very feasible as compared to other sources of power. In the 1980s, the cost of wind energy production was 40 c/kwh; today it is only four c/kwh (Rs 2.40 per unit as compared to Rs. 4.00 for fossil fuel) and therefore it is growing very rapidly. Ecological issues continue to be addressed for large wind farms. The worlds two largest growing economies China and India are capitalising on wind capability. By 2010, China will set up plants of over 5,000 MW of wind power. India last year alone set up 1,430 MW of wind power plants and is expected to add another 5,000 MW by 2012. The worlds largest producers of wind energy today are Germany at 18,440 MW (equal to Pakistans total power output), Spain 10,000 MW, the US 9,150 MW and India 4,430 MW (at number four). The Indian government is envisaging a capacity addition of 5,000 MW of wind power by 2012 by extending major

financial incentives to the wind energy sector. Denmark is obtaining 15 per cent of its electric power needs from windmills and it is expected to grow to 50 per cent by 2012; Britain, France, Ireland and Canada are countries which are rapidly expanding their wind energy potential. Large-scale wind farms today include a 300 MW plant in Oregon-Washington, while an underconstruction 520 MW capacity in Ireland will be the worlds largest. China has announced that it plans to build a 1000 MW wind farm in Hebi by 2012. Smaller windmills are also very feasible for remote villages, and in desert, mountainous and coastal regions, cutting down on the cost of power transmission and distribution networks. In remote farmlands, they have been successfully used for decades in the United States and Europe. In Pakistan, smaller windmills are now visible, such as the ones at Gharo, where SZABIST set up an experimental research station many years ago. The Sindh government has recently announced plans to build a 50 MW wind farm in the vicinity in the coastal region at Gharo. Solar power (photovoltaic or thermal) is another alternative energy source option that is generally considered feasible for tropical and equatorial countries. Even though the accepted standard is 1,000 W/m2 of peak power at sea level, an average solar panel (or photovoltaic PV panel), delivers an average of only 19-56W/m2. Solar plants are generally used in cases where smaller amounts of power are required at remote locations. PV is also the most expensive of all options making it less attractive. However, costs have halved in the last five years because of better production technology and growing demand. A typical solar power plant today will pay for itself in five to 10 years. Japan is the leader in solar PV power plants with over 1,200 MW of installed capacity, followed by Germany (794 MW), the US (365 MW) and India (86 MW). Typical solar (PV) power generating stations are in the 300 600 KW capacity. The worlds largest PV solar power plants are in Germany and Portugal with a capacity of 10 MW and spread over 62 acres. In 2005, Israel announced the building of a 100 MW solar power plant. Thermal-based solar power plants using reflectors are also in use today, the largest of these in California with a capacity of 350 MW. These are, however, not very popular, like other types of solar power options. It is, therefore, very clear from the above that Pakistan needs to aggressively pursue ways to increase its power-generating capacity. The best options available today are nuclear and coal, followed by wind and solar. Hydroelectricity can only be pursued after all environmental, ecological and geopolitical issues are settled with a consensus among all four provinces.

Pakistan needs to set up at least a dozen nuclear power plants, large coal fired plants, wind farms and solar plants in the next 10 years to generate about 20,000 MW of electricity. We need to invest at least a billion dollars a year in developing the infrastructure and establishing power plants using nuclear, coal, wind and solar technology. We need to cut back on non-development expenditures by at least one billion dollars a year to invest in energy needs. Industrialisation around the world has taken place because of the abundance of reliable and cheap electrical power (infrastructure, human resource and government incentives follow). Reliable and cheap availability of electric power in Pakistan will lead to large-scale investment in industry, creation of jobs, elimination of unemployment and poverty, greater manufacturing and exports, trade surplus and the reduction of deficits. It will lead to a prosperous Pakistan