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The Express Tribune

Published Date: Dec 11, 2014

Alarming state: One-fourth of South Asia without electricity

ISLAMABAD: The lack of
electricity in South Asia is at an alarming level where around 26 per
cent of the population does not have access to electricity, while 62 per
cent lacks access to modern fuel-cooking technologies.

Pakistan is deemed to be energy inefficient like India and needs to
overcome these problems by politically and institutionally supporting
renewable energy.

These views were expressed by speakers at a session on “Sustainable
Energy for All” on the second day of the 17th Sustainable Development
Conference, organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute on

Speakers concluded that dependence on a single type of fuel was the
prime reason for lack of electricity, adding that even though the region
was filled with natural resource, there is a mismatch in managing them.

Dr Musadik Malik, special assistant to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,
stated that “We assume ourselves to be who we are not. We are not Iraq,
Saudi Arabia, and even Qatar. We blindly invest in projects that do not
have scope in the future, like in the case of gas when it was supplied
all over the country and now we are running out of reserves.”

He said supplies are being cut down and replaced by Liquefied
Petroleum Gas (LPG). Despite the risks of LPG, it is still prevalent in
the country due to the low cost, he added.

Sohaib Malik from the World Wind Energy Association, Germany said
South Asia was lagging behind in exploiting wind energy potential.

India meanwhile, he shared, was leading the wind energy market and is
currently the first with a staggering high production rate. “Pakistan
only produces 106MW energy through wind,” he said adding “because of
insufficient grid infrastructures and interconnection facilities, lack
of coordination among government agencies and government’s inability to
fulfill power purchases commitments”.

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