Rising power shortfall threatens the future of economy – ICCI

  • March 19, 2010
Showing extreme concerns over the rising electricity shortfall, which has reportedly rose to a staggering 4500 MW, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has urged the government to take war footing measures to overcome this situation as it has created new threats to the future survival of businesses and the overall economy.

Zahid Maqbool, President ICCI while chairing a meeting of businessmen said that due to electricity and gas shortage in the country, industry has already suffered a loss of over Rs.220 billion annually while over 400,000 workers have lost their jobs. He said that if this problem was not resolved on emergent basis, all efforts of entrepreneurs to promote industrialization and job creation will prove fruitless.

He said there are many options for the government to cope with the energy crisis and one of these is to go for nuclear power generation. He said today, there is a worldwide trend of nuclear power generation because of uncertain oil prices and international concerns on carbon dioxide emissions.

He said currently about 436 nuclear power plants, with cumulative net output of 370,326 MW electricity, are operating in 31 countries while Pakistan has only 1.7 percent share of nuclear power in its total energy mix.

He said that optimal nuclear power is the only solution to meet the growing needs of affordable electricity for industrial and commercial sectors as the oil and gas based power plants are no longer viable. Therefore, he stressed upon the government to seek Chinese help and speed up the construction of nuclear power plants, which are cost competitive, safe and reliable.

The businessmen said that another good option for the government to reduce energy crisis is to exploit the huge potential of small, mini and micro hydropower generation. They said that according to Wapda estimates, only NWFP has the potential of generating 70,000 MW hydropower and government should build small dams to exploit this potential. For this purpose, private sector should be encouraged by simplifying the process of establishing micro-power stations in potential areas, they added.

Zahid Maqbool said the renewable energy is also offers good prospects and stressed that government should encourage the private sector to come forward and play a proactive role in the development of renewable energy by utilizing wind, solar, biomass and other renewable energy sources for overcoming the energy insecurity.