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The Baluchistan Times

Published Date: Jun 13, 2019

20 percent of country’s population lack access to clean, affordable electricity

ISLAMABAD:Around 20 per cent of the country’s population lack access to clean and affordable electricity despite the fact that generation capacity over time has been increased as the left over population is not connected with the national grid.
Joint Secretary and Chief Climate Change and Energy Section, Planning Commission, Arshad Ali Chaudhary said Pakistan’s future largely linked to cleaner, cheaper and sustainable energy for all, which has direct implications for the country’s economic future.
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”, organized by 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) here on Wednesday, a press release said.
Arshad Ali said. “UNESCAP is helping in building the capacity of the planning ministry in preparing policy and plans for greener, sustainable and affordable energy for all.”
He added that 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, were major challenges of the power sector.
Pakistan had a lot of potential in solar, wind, hydro and bio-mass to meet future energy demand and the ministry had already incorporated in its 12th five year plan which was at the final stage, said the Joint Secretary.
“We need to achieve the clean and green energy mix with negligible environmental impact and more economic dividends,” he added.
Chief of Energy Division, UNESCAP Michael Williamson 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.
He said, “We have to change our priorities towards energy mix to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 7, Clean and Affordable Energy for all.”
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.
However, planning departments of federal and provincial governments were also in the process of finalizing 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 had joined hands to develop energy planning models, which could develop alternate scenarios of Pakistan’s future energy demand and supply needs, he remarked.
Ahmed 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.
Energy Research Institute National Development and Reform Commission, China’s Director Dr Jiang Kejun during the training workshop explained energy modeling activities in the world, China’s energy transition & low carbon development and assessed modeling activities in Pakistan and need of energy modeling in Pakistan.
He deliver hands-on training on LEAP (Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning) to the participants which was an integrated modeling tool that provides a range of accounting and simulation methodologies for modeling energy sector generation and capacity expansion planning.