Energy is the lifeline of any country. Unfortunately, Pakistan is facing chronic and severe energy crisis which has badly affected the industry and economy. The reasons for acute energy crisis in Pakistan are growing energy demand due to population growth, imbalance energy mix, and non utilization of indigenous resources, lack of proper planning, high transmission and distribution losses, circular debt and above all, lack of concern towards renewable energy sources.
Pakistan depends too much on non-renewable energy sources – gas and oil – to meet industrial/domestic demands. As non-renewable energy sources are limited, expensive and unsustainable, Pakistan pays a lot as these sources are a constant burden on country’s foreign exchangereserves. Therefore the only way for Pakistan to overcome chronic energy crisis is to shift from conventional and non-renewable energy sources to renewable energy sources which are environment-friendly as well.
Among all renewable energy sources the solar energy is the most plentiful and widely spread in the country. Solar PV power potential has been estimated as 1600 GW which is about 80 times greater than current non-renewable energy power generation in Pakistan. Many solar plants are in pipeline under CPEC. Pakistan has also the potential of generating electricity through wind. Wind in southern and coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan should be harnessed to generate electricity. Electricity in Pakistan can also be generated through biomass energy. Pakistan has the potential of 1500 MW electricity generation through biomass-based power.
Pakistan has massive hydropower potential of 60000 MW. Building potential dams does not only generate cheap electricity but it also mitigate flood and store water for irrigation. Hydro energy is cheap, clean and environment-friendly, therefore should be preferred to other sources for electricity generation. Thus, keeping in view its high potential for electricity generation renewable energy sources should be used.