There are of views, ideas, opinions shared by experts at every platform and lot of knowledge is now available to move to sustainable energy path and frame policies, plans, regulations and actions accordingly.

Pakistan Energy Dilemma and Sustainable Energy Path
Pakistan Energy Dilemma and Sustainable Energy Path

Faiz Bhutta | Techfa Consulting

Last decade (2008-2019) in Pakistan was the decade of information sharing and exchange era and lot of seminars, conferences, Policy dialogues, Discussion forums and Expos were held on Energy crisis, Energy Policy, Integrated Energy Planning, Energy Regulations, Energy Transition, Energy analytics, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Management etc and we are on way to resolve energy crisis and move on sustainable Energy path in Pakistan.

There are of views, ideas, opinions shared by experts at every platform and lot of knowledge is now available to move to sustainable energy path and frame policies, plans, regulations and actions accordingly.

We see what experts have been saying during this era and how much different opinions, ideas and views exists to prepare an Integrated Energy Plan for next 20 to 25 years.

Some experts say that the energy crisis is the negligence of consecutive governments and now the crisis has grown to a level where there is no quick fix and short cut. Some experts say that the Renewable Energy is the only path to sustainable development. Some experts say that quick solution is the deployment of energy from local coal available in huge quantity and it can put the country on sustainable energy path. Some experts say that the electricity is surplus and no need for more electricity generation and there is a need to devise the energy management strategy and manage the electricity sector. Some experts say that energy management is the solution not the energy generation as it is better to save energy rather to generate more as one dollar saving is the saving of one dollar on generation.

Some experts say that one energy administration authority is the solution which can integrate all the scattered and ineffective energy related institutions. Some say that energy task force is doing nothing except to hold meetings and meetings. Some experts say that energy policy should be integrated with Climate change Policy as Climate change policy is the holistic policy and all other policies should be part of Climate change policy. Some experts have the opinion that hydro power generation is the only solution to energy crisis which has been missed by breaking the WAPDA ( Water and Power Development Authority) and WAPDA was weakened by taking off thermal power from its ambit and cutting its funds.

Some experts have the opinion that Integrated Energy Plan is the only solution to energy crisis. Some experts say that energy planning was not done in timely manner and now the crisis has reached to a point where no quick solution is possible and only planning and planning and right planning is the solution. Some experts have the opinion that we have all the policies and regulations and the weakest part is the implementation and no new law or policy is required. Some experts say that we do not have yearly, three and five yearly plans and there should be National Energy Plan and its component should be renewable energy plan, energy management plan, energy generation plan and energy implementation plan and there should be regular monitoring of the plan and then the corrective action should be taken to put it on the right path.

When such diverse ideas and opinions exist there is no such authority which should come up with one consensus plan and put the country on the path of sustainable Energy.

Question arises from where we should start and how we should move. Let us do first situational analysis of the country so that some objectives could be developed and then strategy should be formulated. The country has passed 18th amendment by which the provinces are autonomous and  there is lack of coordination between center and provinces regarding energy related decisions. Transmission and Distribution (T&D) is under the control of the federal Government but generation is under the control of the provinces and center both. So this created conflicts. Recently the Renewable Energy Policy draft 2019 was prepared and sent to provinces for their feedback and till today no feedback received as the provinces have the view that there should be no energy generation license from NEPRA for all captive energy generation projects in provinces and similarly for off-grid renewable power plants.

Provinces have started thinking of putting their own Transmission and Distribution companies so that they should have the control on evacuation of power from Renewable Power Plants. Similarly the Power Wheeling Policy could not be implemented because of lack of inter-coordination and inter-operatability amongst DISCOS and lack of software capability for credit and debit. ODGC regulates Oil and gas sector and they never discussed with other Energy related departments and authorities. Land is owned by the provinces and power developers get IPP license from the federal AEDB ( Alternate Energy Development Board) and provinces have to arrange land and give ways for deployments and it takes lot of time.

The good step was to change the Ministry of Power into Ministry of Energy and one separate Energy Minister is now active on energy front and one Energy Task force was also made consisting of energy experts to energy guidance and support and there is a need to develop Provincial Energy Task Forces on the lines of National Energy Task force so that cohesion and uniformity in policies can be achieved. NEPRA is the federal regulatory authority. Provincial energy departments are not under any federal energy department and there is lack of coordination between Ministry of Energy and provincial energy departments.

There is lack of trained manpower and lack of standardization at energy front and recently Government has taken good step to implement standardization on import of Solar Power Equipment and lot of hue and cry from importers importing substandard equipment. One reason of energy dilemma is the variety of energy related departments, boards, councils exist and have overlapping. NEPRA is National Electric Regulations Authority. CPPA is central Power Purchase Authority, WAPDA is Water and Power Development Authority, AEDB is the Alternate Energy Development Board and NEECA is National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.  PICRET is Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies and MOE ( Ministry of Energy and all have overlapping and energy sector needs to be restructured in to two parts one is Authority and other is Ministry. All authorities should be merged into one Energy Administration Authority whether it is energy from renewable or non-renewable resources.

All departments and councils should be merged into Ministry of Energy. Ministry of Energy should have two major parts one Renewable and other non-renewable. Energy Industry and academia has very low participation in energy decisions and in every board or advisory council experts from Academia and Industry must be made part and their share should not be less than 25%. This will streamline the energy sector. Under the Ministry of Energy there should be one Inter-provincial coordination Unit to resolve issues related to provinces and they should provide support to provinces in energy development and regulations and similarly Energy Administration Authority should have one inter provincial coordination unit for support to provinces in development of regulations in line with the federal policies. 

Now what is the way forward to sustainable Energy path.

  1. Restructuring of energy sector by dividing the into two major parts one Authority and other Ministry and all departments to be under each as per their role and work. This will help in uniformity and cohesion in policy making and help in development of Integrated Energy Plan. Without this IEP ( Integrated Energy Plan) is not possible.

  2. There should be two National plans only one Renewable and Alternate Energy Plan and other non-renewable or Conventional Energy Plan.

  3. National Vocation and Technical Education plan dedicated for Energy sector should be framed and Government should initiate valid certifications for skilled people in every sub-sector of energy  and its name should be National Energy Manpower Development Plan.

  4. Induction of Energy graduates, masters and PhDs in all energy related departments and authorities by transferring non-energy educated people to other ministries.

  5. All boards and task forces must have 25% share from Industry and Academia

  6. All Energy related departments and authorizes must have information centers or customer support centers and all such centers should be equipped with females.

  7. 100% transparency and integrity in Government Procurement Process.


faiz photo by komal.jpgFaiz Bhutta is president of AEE Pakistan Chapter





The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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