One out of Four Pakistanis have no Electricity as per analysts.
Pakistan Rethinks Power: Local Coal Offers Light in the Darkness for Millions
Pakistan’s ongoing electricity crisis, with one in four citizens living without electricity, has reignited the debate about energy solutions.
Amidst frustration with unreliable supply and high costs due to imported fuels, local coal is emerging as a potential game-changer.
Here’s why local coal is gaining traction:
- Addressing the Gap: Analysts like Osama Siddiqui, a microeconomic analyst, point to the government’s inability to bridge the vast demand-supply gap with imported fuel. They argue that local coal, particularly from the massive Thar coalfield, presents a reliable and cost-effective option for energy self-sufficiency.
- Breaking the Cycle: The recent global energy crisis, with skyrocketing petroleum prices and growing circular debt within the energy sector, has exposed the vulnerability of Pakistan’s current system. Local coal offers a way to break free from external dependency and ensure stable power generation.
- Thar’s Potential: With an estimated 175 billion tons of coal reserves, Thar holds the key to Pakistan’s energy future. Siddiqui argues that tapping into this potential, currently limited to just 15 million tons and 2600 MW of electricity generation, can fuel the nation’s progress for years to come.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Converting existing coal-based power plants to use local coal is seen as a significant cost-saving measure. Studies suggest that a 20% local coal blend requires minimal additional investment, leading to cheaper power production and a lighter import bill.
Challenges and considerations:
While local coal offers compelling advantages, it’s crucial to address concerns surrounding environmental impact and sustainable mining practices.
Investing in cleaner coal technologies and implementing strict environmental regulations will be essential for long-term success.
The Road Ahead:
Pakistan’s energy woes demand a comprehensive approach. Leveraging local coal resources responsibly, while pursuing investments in renewable energy, can illuminate the path towards a stable and sustainable energy future for all its citizens.
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