06 Mar

The growing menance of electricity and gas load shedding, combined with constantly rising electricity and gas tariffs has mushroomed into a grave national crises. It has not been affecting the trade and industry, development  and construction, education and administration gravely, but has also serious impeded the progress of the whole national life. Inspite of higher authority claims of narrowing the gap between energy demand and supply, the ground situation is showing a discouraging picture. The power shortfall has crossed 5000 figures.. Unless immediate  remedial measures are launched on footing. Pakistan would lead to even deeper crises.

Causes of energy shortfall:

Few of the basic causes of shortfall are given below.

Failure of the last regime to increase electricity:

The basic cause of energy shortfall in Pakistan is the failure of last regime to increase the supply of electricity with the growing demands. While the installed capacity had increased by 53% from 1994-1999 from 11,320MW to 17,400MW. It increase only by 12% between 1999-2008 to 19420MW.

Under utilization of the existing generating capacity:

Another serious  cause is the under utilization of the existing generating capacity. The availability of hydel electricity goes in winter by 60% but unfortunately, the actual generation of electricity from thermal plants has also declined sharply, thus rising demand and supply gap to around 5000MW.

Circular debts:

One main reason of the shortfall of thermal electricity is the problem of circular debts. In 2007 the government did not compensate the power companies for the subsidy that was being given to the consumers. Power companies turn could not pay the oil and gas companies, reducing their liquidity to import the furnance oil that was needed to generate electricity. This problem has not only continued , but presently it has turned grave crises. Presently, the power companies in debt of about 100 billion  rupees to the oil and gas companies. Therefore, oil and gas to the power companies which results in shortfall of electricity.

Other factors:

Some other factors that contributed to energy crises are as follows.

Line losses:

Very heavily line loss in the transmission and distribution because of old and poorly managed 20% as compared to 8 to 10% in other countries.

Large scale theft of electricity:

There is a large scale of theft of electricity as clearly revealed by the growing difference between units generated or purchased and those paid for.

Waste of energy by industrial sector:

There is a huge wastage of energy by industry which consumes 30% of the total electricity due to the less efficient system and other practices.

Over use of energy by transport sector:

Transport sector consume 28% of the total energy. This over use of energy is due to old and poorly tuned engines.

Domestic wastage:

Domestic wastage is about 45% of the total energy. There is unnecessarily use of lights and air conditioners and large scale illumination on different occasions.

General wastage:

Excessive use of electricity in government offices, roads and parks illumination have also contributed to the worsening energy crunch.

Corruption and lack of political will in the concern energy department:

Corruption and lack of political will in the concern energy department have also helped the energy shortfall to rise to such a disturbing heights.

Effects of energy cruch:

The effects of energy crunches are as follows.

Routine life:

Energy crises are badly effecting the routine life in Pakistan 8-10 hours of load shedding in cities, 12-18 hours in rural areas. Affected seriously the domestic life, offices, hospitals and education.


Many industrial units have closed and many shifted their installation to Bangladesh. Pakistan's industrial Production, ultimately affected the GDP of the country. Downsizing of the workers in industries. Many workers turned jobless.


Markets are closed early due to load shedding. Secondly, production cost of commodities has raised.


The agriculture land that is dependent on tube well and dug well, it's yielding capacity has sharply reduced, due to load shedding. As crops do not gets water on time.

Strikes and agitations:

Due to load shedding in the country many strikes have occurred across the country, destroyed government installation. 

National growth:

The load shedding has affected the national growth badly, less progress or no progress at all in all walks of the country. Ultimately,less GDP growth rate.

Remedial measures:

The problem of circular debt should be solved on prior basis, in order to enable the power companies to clear their debts. Secondly, the agreement of importing electricity from Iran and Tajikistan needs to be implemented in a quick fashion. The Pak-Iran gas pipeline project needs to be completed on the earliest dates.

Mid term Plan:

First, all the gas and in efficient  Wapda plants should be replaced by more efficient and combined cycle plants. Second, there is an urgent need of modernizing teh overloaded transmission and distribution system. The expenditure of updating our electricity system could be recovered in only three years through savings from the line loss.

Long Term Plan:

The long term plans are necessary for the production of electricity and to get rid of electricity crises.

Dams constructions:

The longer term solution of energy crises will be to restore the hydro-thermal  mix to 60:40 or atleast 50:50 in the coming five years. According to world bank report, Pakistan can create above 50,000MW from water. There is a need of building kalabagh dam of 4500MW capacity, Basha dam 4200MW, Neelum Jehlum 996MW, extension of tarbela dam 960MW, Suki kinari 840 MW, Munda dam 700 MW etc. Need of foreign investment for his institution like world bank, Asian development bank etc are needed to be attracted to invest in this project.

Gas exploration:

License should be issued to local and foreign exploration companies. As there is a high untapped gas capacity in Pakistan. On 18th of June, a reservoir near Mianwali, Punjab started gas production. It is considered to be the large reservoir of the sub-continent. Three new reservoirs in karak one in sindh and one in sui discovered are explored. Such more reservoirs are needed to be explored to meet out the energy needs of the country.


Pakistan has the second largest coal deposits in the world i.e 185 billion metric tons, most of it is in "Thar", Sindh. The initiative being taken by government to facilitate Dr.Summer Mubarak Mand's step of glasification and then turning this coal into electrical energy, must be implemented on larger scale. Once his first experiment is succeeded. "We can produce 50,000MW electricity from thar coal for the coming 200 years.

Wind Energy: 

Pakistan is blessed with a 1000 kilometer long coast and touring mountains of Himalayas, which provide excellent source for wind energy. The alternative energy development board (AEDB) needs to plant wind turbines in these areas. More projects on the model of wind mill, Jhimpir, Sindh, thar produces 50MW electricity, are required to be planted in Pakistan.

Solar energy:

Pakistan gets ambulance of sunshine throughout the year. Around 1800 KW/h per square meter can be produced annually through sunshine.

Peace and security in the country:

Peace and security is necessary for implementing all the plans about the generation of power resources in Pakistan.


God has blessed Pakistan with a variety of energy resources and those also in abundance. There is a need of proper planning and political will to take out these. It is high time to formulate such policies that could bridge the gap, between the country. Once a proper policy is formulated and steps were taken with nationalistic zeal.Then, we would not only have enough energy to be utilized domestically but we would be among its exporter.

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