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Monday, January 30, 2023
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EditorialAlternative power resources

Alternative power resources

In addition to making things tough for consumers, the current electricity issue is to blame for the ongoing rise in the cost of oil, gas, and electricity. As a result, the public is vocally protesting the harm done to farmers, industries, and even the government. To address their complaints, every action that can be taken is being taken. In this sense, the usage of enormous coal reserves discovered in Sindh’s Thar desert is a cheap source of energy, and its utilization is a significant improvement in the national economy. This project is the result of the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, whose first unit has begun producing 660 MW of electricity, and up to 1,320 megawatts will be produced under the project from Thar coal. As the generation is less expensive than hydel, this will help in reducing reliance on costly thermal electricity, whose bills are increasingly out of reach for the general public, particularly low-income earners.  The project’s second unit is currently being wired up to the national grid. From here, the national grid will receive the same quantity of power. The units are a part of 51 renewable energy projects across the nation that have been put into service or are going to be. The country’s four million homes could potentially receive affordable energy from these coal power plants, which also supply the national grid with clean energy.

Private sector investors are completing these renewable energy projects, pushing the use of solar and coal energy technology at the consumer level in the household, commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors. There are 591.65 solar installations based on net metering, totalling 350.29 megawatts, which is encouraging for the nation experiencing an energy crisis. Along with this excellent news, there is a worry that the government has not been able to meet the statutory targets of reducing energy losses due to the rise in international oil and gas prices and subsequent increases in the import bill.

The cost of importing LNG into Pakistan has risen by 91% until June 30, 2022, according to the three-year performance report of the Ministry of Petroleum, and is now $14 billion. Gas and petroleum goods are becoming more expensive, and this increase is related to rising global costs. On the one hand, importing oil and gas will burden common consumers who are already suffering from price increases and exacerbate the trade deficit, which will have a negative effect on the economy. Aside from the import bill, the government will need to gradually lessen the reliance on importing oil and gas in this situation. On the one hand, the government will need to pay greater attention to using internal resources, and the utilization of thermal coal is a good illustration of this. There are coal and gas reserves in other parts of the country, some of which are being utilized, but most of them are waiting to be explored, so attention should also be directed to their exploration.

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