Pakistan is a country that lacks energy and has been facing energy crisis since long time back. The fact remains that the energy demand is growing. Besides the shortage of energy happens to be the largest concerns the present and the upcoming governments will have to face and tackle with. This will have to be resolved to bring the country out of this situation. Well, an initiative in this regard to resolve this problem has been taken by the present government in form of CPEC. Massive investment has been seen in the energy sector now under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and with this the country will be able to resolve the energy crisis in next few years or so.
But there is a problem with this initiative, as it comes with high environmental costs because the main energy projects taken up by CPEC are coal-based plants.
The share of coal in Pakistan’s energy mix in present time is around 0.04 percent that is negligible as compared to the neighboring country India. But this is now all set to change with the launch of coal power plants. Since Pakistan has plenty of local coal, thus it is the cheapest option available to use it. But now that coal is being imported, the economic justification to produce cheap electricity for a country with growing energy needs is no longer viable.
If we glance a look at the world scenario, it is speedily switching to renewable energy to lessen the carbon footprint , therefore it seems that Pakistan too would soon retire the coal plants. Pakistan has been on the right track by using very little coal in its energy mix and incentivizing the renewables sector through net-metering and alternative energy mapping. It has set up an alternative energy development board which has also laid out the framework for power and cogeneration through Bagasse (biomass) which has a huge potential in Pakistan.