The energy deficit is currently 5,000 megawatts. In most cities, load-shedding can last up to 12 hours, and the situation is worse in rural areas. According to Reuters, Pakistan has experienced hours-long power cuts over the last month, with urban centers seeing four- to six-hour outages a day and rural areas over eight hours, as temperatures across the country soar – to 50 degrees Centigrade in some areas.
When there is insufficient fuel, blackouts occur. In addition, the fuel price on the international market has reached an all-time high, which harms Pakistan’s economy and makes it more dependent on energy imports from other nations. Does the government provide a variety of energy-generation options?
The government should utilize local energy sources, such as hydropower, renewable energy, and the abundant Thar coal, to produce inexpensive energy. This can help the nation become less reliant on foreign energy sources and reduce its energy imports.
In 2020 and 2021, 8.4% of Pakistan’s total electricity production came from nuclear power. Nuclear energy is the least expensive way to generate electricity.
Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) nuclear power plants provide electricity to K Electric in Karachi and Central Power Purchasing Authority (CPPA) throughout the rest of the country. PAEC is working towards the Energy Security Plan target of 8,800 MW of nuclear power by 2030. The completion of K-2/K-3 will assist PAEC in reaching its goal of 2,200 MW. PAEC also intends to construct additional nuclear power plants across the nation.
Almost 11,000 megawatts of the 18,400 megawatts of energy are generated by hydropower and nuclear power plants. The remaining 7,400 MW came from gas and coal-burning power plants.
These figures indicate that energy can be produced for less money. Wind generates 1000MW. In 2025, according to the US Energy Information Administration, coal will cost $90 per megawatt-hour, onshore wind will cost $63 and solar will cost $48. Pakistan and the majority of Asia are powered by coal, hydropower, and nuclear energy.
To make up for the lack of electricity, the government recently issued a request for proposals to purchase ten LNG cargoes from the market. However, since there was significant competition and prices in Europe were high, none of the companies placed a bid. Pakistan should have prioritized nuclear power over LNG and coal-based power plants, which are both costly and difficult to construct.
Pakistan is overly dependent on coal-fired power plants, which are hazardous due to the climate crisis and the expense of carbon emissions. Prior to the war between Russia and Ukraine, the majority of Pakistan’s energy came from liquefied natural gas (LNG). Because Russian oil is prohibited, all LNG is transported to Europe. Pakistan constructed new power plants that utilize re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) and coal to produce additional electricity. However, the country lacks sufficient funds to fuel these plants. Gas or coal-fired power plants are susceptible to price fluctuations on the international market.