- Major issues in energy production is high cost of electricity production, tariff anomalies, circular debt, others
Interview with Mr Khalid Tawab – Chairman, Tawab Group
[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]Profile:
Mr Khalid Tawab is an economics, finance and international trade expert. He is a prominent businessman and former Minister of Commerce & Industry Government of Sindh and former Senior Vice President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI). He has also served as Vice President and Chairman of various Advisory Committees & Senior Vice President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The Government of Pakistan conferred the award of ‘Sitara-i-Imtiaz’ on him in 2008 for his services. He has visited various countries in order to accomplish Pakistan government’s objectives to enhance economic and trade relations especially with the African countries, China, Malaysia, Iran, United States, Mozambique, Egypt, Oman, Poland etc.
He is an active member of Iron and Steel Association of Pakistan. He has been the member of number of official working groups on economic, finance, trade, industrial cooperation and economic corridor and presently is the member Board of Governors of various national public/private organizations. He is the Chairman of Tawab Group, which is in paper manufacturing along with deals in steel, real estate and securities. He is also an honorary Consul General of Mozambique since 1989.[/box]
Pakistan & Gulf Economist had an exclusive conversation with Mr Khalid Tawab regarding the Alternative and Renewable Energy. Following are the excerpts of the conversation:
The alternative sources of energy like solar power, wind power, geothermal, biomass, hydro power, waste energy has huge potential in Pakistan, but due to lack of infrastructure and others issues this source of energy has not exploited in large quantity. Many other factors contributing to slow growth are lack of skilled manpower, lack of bank financing, lack of subsidies, lack of pragmatic energy policy and its implementation, lack of solar education, lack of net metering and FIT policy etc. The alternate energy sources are not polluting the environment and are helping us to reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere and to reduce climate.
The growing population and urbanization increases the energy demand, placing pressure on domestic resources. Despite the existence of indigenous natural gas, renewable, and coal resources, Pakistan has become more dependent on imported oil, gas, and recently coal resources. Although it is a small emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2), unlike India or China, Pakistan is likely to increase its greenhouse gas emissions, depending on the fuel choices and investments it makes. Pakistan has long been experiencing the direct effects of severe climate events like floods and heat waves. In 2018, Pakistan was hit with heavy monsoon rains, reported to have been the heaviest in thirty-eight years. In 2019, the nation experienced a record heat wave as the monsoon rains were delayed, with an all-time high temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit recorded during June 2-3 in Jacobabad.
Sustainable supply of energy to meet the current and future domestic and industrial demands in Pakistan will rely on full-scale generation from the different energy sources in order to make significant contributions to the supply chain. Current energy generation has a huge financial burden on the country’s economy due to the importation of oil to support existing mix, and the situation is heightened by the rapid declination of domestic gas assets.
The current infrastructure and availability of energy resources in Pakistan do not match the required demand, which is growing every year. Though ample resources are available in the country like 60,000MW of hydel power potential, 340,000MW of wind power potential existence, 300 million barrel of crude oil reserves, untapped reserves of 9 billion barrel of shale oil and 105 trillion cubic feet of shale gas and huge coal reserves.
Pakistan is very much keen to attract foreign investment in energy sector and the government has taken a number of initiatives to attract foreign investment for utilization of available resources, exploration of new energy resources and to make the existing power system efficient. In Pakistan, there are 21 areas in Sindh alone, where wind power facilities can be installed. Apart from this, there are regions in Balochistan and the mountainous areas of Pakistan, which have the potential for wind energy generation.
Pakistan has been gripped by a crippling power crisis since the 1990s, which has intensified since 2007. According to a report released by Macro Economic Insights, the power crisis has cost $82 billion in lost GDP between 2007 and 2020 and in per capita terms, the power crisis has cost each Rs43,504. The major issues in energy production is high cost of electricity production, tariff anomalies, circular debt etc. while at the distribution side high transmission and distribution losses, outdated infrastructure, governance issue and tariff related problems is a major issue. The focus of national policy shifted to more expensive and less environment-friendly options of producing energy, where the increasing demand for electricity was met with non-hydroelectric options, primarily in the shape of thermal electricity. These are the issues which is creating problem in distribution and production of energy.