Published Date: Jun 13, 2019
20% Pakistanis lack access to affordable electricity: official
Climate Change and Energy Section, Planning Commission Chief Arshad Ali Chaudhary said on Wednesday that around 20 percent of the population was not connected with the national grid.
He stated this while addressing the inaugural session of second training workshop titled: ‘Evidence-based policies for the sustainable use of energy resources in the Asia-Pacific Region’, organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), in collaboration with Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
“Pakistan’s future is largely linked to cleaner, cheaper and sustainable energy for all. This has direct implications for country’s economic future. UNESCAP is helping in building the capacity the planning ministry in preparing policy and plans for greener, sustainable and affordable energy for all,” he said.
Ali said power generation alone was not an issue but power distribution, transmission and affordability with minimum theft and line losses, which were currently around 17 to 19 percent. “This is a major challenge for the power sector. Pakistan has a lot of potential in solar, wind, hydro and bio-mass to meet future energy demand and the ministry has already incorporated in its 12th five-year plan which is at the final stage. We need to achieve the clean and green energy mix with negligible environmental impact and more economic dividends,” he added.
Michael Williamson, the UNESCAP Energy Division chief, said that ESCAP through its capacity development project aimed to integrate advanced energy based practices in energy planning, particularly in modeling capabilities and institutionalization of these capacities, to understand the role of energy sector in addressing the challenge of climate change through the lens of Pakistan’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and to understand the power generation technologies through the life cycle analysis. “We have to change our priorities towards energy mix to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 7 of clean and affordable energy for all,” he said.
SDPI Joint Executive Director Dr Vaqar Ahmed said as part of the 12th five-year plan of planning commission, it was important for the country to put in place and follow an integrated energy plan, especially when the government was in the process of formulating a new power policy and planning departments of federal and provincial governments are also in the process of finalising long-term growth strategies. He said it was also important to remember that the policies being proposed were based on scientific evidence. “For this purpose, the SDPI, Planning Commission and UNESCAP have joined hands to develop energy planning models, which can develop alternative scenarios of Pakistan’s future energy demand and supply needs,” he said. “Such models would also outline how to protect the environment, which could be ensured through the use of cleaner energy fuels. Provincial energy plans also need to be driven more by scientific evidence, which require linkages between academia, industry and provincial governments,” he added.
Dr Jiang Kejun, the China National Development and Reform Commission Energy Research Institute director, explained energy modeling activities in the world, China’s energy transition and low carbon development and assessed modeling activities in Pakistan and need of energy modeling in Pakistan. He delivered hands-on training on Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning to the participants which is an integrated modeling tool that provides a range of accounting and simulation methodologies for modeling energy sector generation and capacity expansion planning.
The workshop was attended by the key officials and stakeholders from the various public sector institutions including Alternate Energy Development Board, National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, CPEC Center, UET Taxila and all provincial planning departments.