Solving Pakistan’s Energy Crisis

Pakistan’s longstanding electricity problem is three-pronged.

First, there’s a power shortfall that no government has been able to fully fix. Second, Pakistan’s energy mix – a large portion of which comes from oil, gas, and coal – is taking a heavy toll on the environment. Third, the unstoppable power tariff spike is making electricity consumption very expensive for a common user.

Despite repetitive claims of the present and past governments, Pakistan’s power crisis remains unresolved. With Pakistan’s transmission and distribution capacity of 22,000MW, and the consumer demand of 25,000MW (the stats are subject to seasonal fluctuations), a deficit of at least 3,000MW remains unmet.

The dilemma is that due to its distribution limitations, Pakistan can’t transmit additional power to where it’s needed even if it’s generated.

The US government statistics estimate Pakistan’s energy mix to be composed of 64% fossil fuels, 27% hydropower, and only 9% other renewables and nuclear power. According to Energypedia too, oil and gas are by far the dominating sources of energy in Pakistan.

This kind of power mix isn’t helping the environment in any way and is rather deteriorating the already hazardous air quality. It’s not uncommon for Pakistani cities to top the world in the air quality index.

A 2020 study by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) showed that Thar coal power plants alone could cause 29,000 deaths from pollution.