Availability of adequate supplies of energy is a pre-requisite to promote trade & industry and to generate economic activities in a country. Moreover, self-sufficiency in energy plays a vital role in ensuring all round development and growth of economy of a nation. However, it is ironic that despite availability of enormous potential of indigenous energy resources, Pakistan remains energy deficient country and has to rely heavily on the imports of petroleum products to satisfy its present day energy need. Therefore, it is high time that government should devise an integrated strategy to exploit its indigenous energy resources to overcome the energy crisis in the country and to ensure the availability of cheap energy to facilitate the growth of trade and industry. This was said by Mian Shaukat Masud, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a statement.
ICCI President said development of all sectors of the economy including agriculture, small & medium enterprises and information technology depends on consistent supply of energy, but it is regrettable that no long term energy strategy could be worked out as yet to ensure uninterrupted supply of energy. He said Pakistan has wide spectrum of high potential renewable energy sources, conventional and as well non-conventional, which have not been adequately explored, exploited and developed and stressed upon the government to take measures to utilize these untapped sources to generate cheap energy which will reduce the cost of doing business in the country and enhance our exports. He said Pakistan should reduce its dependence on thermal power which is proving very costly to the national economy. He said our power generation included about 70 percent thermal, 25 percent hydel and only up to 3 percent nuclear and added that it should be changed to enhance the share of hydel, coal, wind, solar and nuclear energy sources in the energy mix to generate less costly energy.
Mian Shaukat Masud said there are bright prospects for the exploitation of various renewable energy sources, which include mega & macro/micro-hydel, biomass, biogas, wind, solar, co-generation, city and other solid wastes, utilization of low-head canal levels, sea wave & tide and geothermal energies etc. He said technologically, all these renewable energy sources are viable and suit to efforts for poverty alleviation and cleaner environment in Pakistan. He said the country can be greatly benefited by harnessing these options of energy generation as substitute energy in areas where sources exist. He said Pakistan is an agricultural country and major part of our population lives in the rural areas, thus electricity generated by renewable sources will also improve rural life, thereby reducing the urban migration that is taxing the ability of cities to cope with their own environmental problems. Therefore, he called upon the government to increase the share of these energy sources in the future energy mix to get rid of our heavy reliance on natural gas and oil and to produce cheap energy which will prove beneficial to all stakeholders.