Energy policy of Pakistan
The energy policy of Pakistan is formulated and determined by the federal, provisional, and local institutional entities in Pakistan, which address the issues of energy production, distribution, and consumption of energy, such as gas mileage and petroleum standards. Energy policy requires the proper legislation, international treaties, subsidies and incentives to investment, guidelines for energy conservation, taxation and other public policy techniques.
Several mandates and proposals have been called over the years to overlook the energy conservation, such as Neon signs were banned and the official weekend was extended from one to two days in an attempt to conserve electricity (Gillani, 2010) and reducing the electricity load used by industrial units by 25% during peak hours (Aziz, 2007), but no comprehensive long-term energy strategies were implemented. Since 1999, many legislative provisions were adopted for energy conservation including the seeking energy from various renewable energy sources. There is also an intense criticism about the unequal distribution of energy, the irresponsible usage of energy sources, and the country's new plan which is aimed to raise country's dependence on imported oil for power generation to 50% by 2030. After much public criticism, the long-term energy security policy was announced in 2013 through the introduction of equal cutting edge energy transmission network, minimizing financial losses across the energy system and aligning the ministries involved in the energy sector as well as improving the governance of energy sources.
Studies and policy implementation recommended by AEDB, Water ministry (as policy enforcer), the NEPRA regulates the energy sources network as well as determining the financial prices of the usage of energy. Government-specific energy-efficiency incentive programs also play a significant role in the overall energy policy of Pakistan. As of 2013 Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced a determined and aggressive energy policy to meet the energy challenges and energy management.
- Government of Pakistan
- Industrial energy sector
- Energy and power regulatory authorities
- Energy corporations
- Karachi Electric Supply Company
In 1960s, a large civilian energy input and infrastructure was built by the Pakistan military, with the financial funds provided by various countries and international monetary sources. In 1960s, much of the energy was produced by the hydroelectric dams and thermal power stations. In 1970s, Pakistan's energy consumption expanded to nuclear power sources with the establishment and commissioning of first nuclear power station in Karachi. In 1980s, the dependence on nuclear sources further grew and the military continued engineering and building the nuclear power infrastructure.
In 1994, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) launched the country's first ever and largest energy conservation program to produce 13,000MW and issues 70 Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) and Letters of Intent (LOIs) to Independent Power Producers (IPPs). This 1994 energy policy brought a decisive shift in Pakistan's diverse energy sources. In 1994, out of the total installed capacity of 11000MW, ~60% of energy was produced from the hydroelectric power sources while nearly ~40% was produced from the thermal and nuclear sources. According to the economic statistics provided by economist, Sartaj Aziz, this mix was reversed from 60:40 to 30:70 in favor of thermal capacity based on imported fuel. Every year, this ratio went down further to 20:80 in winter months as hydropower generation was reduced due to lower water flows in the rivers.
Controversially, the energy policy depended less on renewable energy sources and dependence on imported oil increased that created a permanent fault in country's energy conservation system. By 1995, only 27 IPPs were able to generate ~6,335MW of electricity. By 1998, the ratio was stabilized by the policies enforced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In 2001, the military government led by President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, while contributing to the growth of domestic demand for electricity through large scale provision of bank loans for the purchase of air-conditioners and home appliances (share of domestic energy consumption had jumped to 46% of the total by 2008), did not add any new capacity to the energy system.
Energy policy: 2008–10
In 2005, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz announced the long-term energy security program which was aimed to the development of the power infrastructure from all energy sources. This policy relied on privatizing the energy sector by international mega energy corporations. Controversially, this program was aimed to raise dependence on imported oil from Arab countries for power generation to 50.1% by 2013.
In 2006, Prime Minister Aziz held conversation with the officials of the Saudi Ministry of Petroleum and invited Ali Al-Naimi to invest in country's energy sector. In 2007, Prime Minister Aziz allocated ₨. 12.5 billion for power production-related projects which remained unutilised. In his last policy statement, Prime Minister Aziz further called for banning the Neon lights, Neon signs, and to close the market places by 9PM; such policy enforcement was harshly resisted by the left-wing parties, such as Pakistan Peoples Party, Communist Party and the labour unions.
Energy Policy: 2010–12
After the general elections held in 2008, the mismanagement and weak policies led to an intense repetitive cycle of loadshedding in the country. Responding to a massive demonstration against the loadshedding and the growing power shortages in the country, Prime Minister, Yousaf Gilani announced the "energy policy" on 22 April 2010.
The policy was announced after the Prime Minister, Gilani had held a three-day national energy conference in Islamabad with energy experts that discussed the causes of the power crisis in Pakistan and possible steps to relieve it.
Energy consumption and demands
Due to rising demand and a failing power infrastructure severe electricity shortages have occurred in Pakistan. This has led to widespread rolling blackouts that have paralysed industry and led to protests and rioting. Power outages can last 6–8 hours a day in the cities and many more in the rural areas. According to Mahnaz Parach of Network for Consumer Protection "Children can't do their homework. Housework doesn't get done, as washing machines and other appliances cannot work. When you go home from work, you have no idea whether there will be electricity at home. Your whole life is disturbed."
Experts have warned of an impending energy crisis since 2006. Speaking at a Seminar 'Fueling the Future: Meeting Pakistan's Energy Needs in the 21st Century' held in Washington, D.C. in June 2006 then energy adviser to the prime minister of Pakistan Mukhtar Ahmed stated that the country was taking steps to address the energy shortage. Pakistan Electric Power Company estimates that there is a shortage of 6 gigawatts or about 60% of its total generation. One of the main reasons of the shortage is thought to be the failure of past governments to anticipate growth in need and the delay in implementation of projects to increase power production. In addition there is widespread power theft and lack of investment in the existing power grid.
The United States has made improving Pakistan's power infrastructure one of its top priorities. US special envoy Richard Holbrooke, while describing the power situation in Pakistan as "unacceptable," has stated that the US would go to its "absolute limits" to help Pakistan overcome the crisis.
Measures and efforts
Measures are aimed at cutting consumption by 500 megawatts. The official weekend has been extended from one to two days. Neon signs and decorative lights have been banned. Power has been cut to government offices by 50% and air conditioners will only be allowed to be switched on after 11 am. Street markets have been asked to close early. Commercial centers except drug stores will be closed at 8 pm and wedding celebrations will be limited to three hours. The government will pay off its $1.38 billion debt to power producers allowing them to pay fuel suppliers. Power supply to Pakistan's commercial capital Karachi will be decreased by 300 megawatts in order to allow fairer distribution of power to the remaining parts of the country. Tube wells will not be allowed to operate from 7 pm to 11 pm. The measures will be reviewed on July 30, 2010.
2013 Energy Policy
Musadik Malik has been entrusted to develop Energy Policy for Pakistan. He was appointed Federal Minister, Water and Power of the Pakistan Government in 2013.
He has advised a large number of cabinet ministers on national health and economic policies in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Pakistan and Puerto Rico. Dr Malik’s success also includes the establishment of two management consulting businesses in the Middle East and growing them to over $20 million in revenue. In addition, he has served as the Vice President and Regional Director of Charles River Associates (CRA International), and held leadership positions at Arthur D. Little and SRI International.
In the days following the announcement, traders in Lahore rejected the government's decision and kept the markets open after 8 pm in defiance of the ban. Shops were kept open in other cities also after 8 pm. Kashif Shabbir, president of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce warned the situation would get worse if authorities used force to implement the decision. There was confusion over implementation of the two day weekend, and many banks and educational institutions remained open. Commenting on the defiant mood of the traders, an editorial in Dawn urged everybody to find middle ground.
Reacting to the decision to curtail power supply to Karachi, the "City of Lights", leaders of various political parties in the Provincial Assembly of Sindh condemned the decision and some of them called it "a conspiracy to create a law and order situation." Former Nazim of Karachi, Naimatullah Khan warned that curtailing the power supply of the city could lead to street battles between protesters and law enforcement.
Some analysts have predicted that reduction in the banks' workweek to 5 days will result in revenue losses.
The prevailing energy crisis in Pakistan is taking away 2 percent (or Rs380 billion) of the economy, despite the government has spent Rs1.1 trillion as subsidies on the sector in the last four-year which accounts for 2.5 percent of the total volume of economy.
During June 2012, President Asif Ali Zardari had said that the government realised the enormity of the challenge of energy shortage and was determined to overcome it in the shortest possible time.
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