LAHORE: Energy is crucial for socio-economic development, new dams and the full exploitation of renewable energy is the need of the hour to address the ever growing energy gap between supply and demand.
The consensus was reached at the end of the roundtable on “Pakistan’s energy needs” held here on Thursday and organized by a group of steel companies. Presiding over the conference, Abdul Basit, former President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and organizer of the Kala Bagh Dam Committee, stressed the urgent need for full utilization of renewable energy resources and construction of new dams, including Kala Bagh Dam for water storage for irrigation and power purpose.
He said hydropower is one of the major and cheapest renewable energy sources in Pakistan with great potential and billions of rupees of flood water that can also be stored for multiple purposes. He said Pakistan has become the top 10 water poorest country in the world. “Due to climate change and other developments, we suffer from floods in summers and droughts in winters on several occasions. Cross-border water cooperation plays a crucial role in supporting broader regional integration , peace and sustainable development, as well as to address regional security challenges and support adaptation to climate change.” He underlined the need for cross-border cooperation which took on even greater urgency with the growing water.
The host of the conference, Meher Kashif Younis, former senior vice president of the Lahore chamber, said that at present, Pakistan meets its energy needs more than 75% from national resources, of which 50.4% by indigenous gas, 28.4% by domestic and imported oil and 12.7% by hydroelectricity. -electricity. On renewable energy, he said that Pakistan has four major sources of renewable energy namely wind, solar, hydro and biomass. He said these resources have significant potential to provide solutions to Pakistan’s long-running energy crisis. He said these resources, if fully exploited in a true spirit, would go a long way in improving the diversified energy supply market, reducing dependence on imported fuels and eliminating environmental pollution.
Kashif said solar energy is considered one of the most endowed renewable energy resources, equally reliable and capable of producing a substantial amount of energy without having a negative impact on the environment. He said the geographical position and climatic conditions in Pakistan are advantageous for harnessing solar energy.
Shahid Nazir, Member of the Lahore Chamber Executive Committee, stressed the need to tackle the gap between supply and demand and a constant transformation has been observed around the world, from primary energy supplies based on conventional sources to renewable resources. Pakistan should continue to formulate renewable energy efforts. However, with the current gap between electricity demand and generation in Pakistan, it is alarming with a steady increase of 8-10% per year and the heavy reliance on limited fossil fuel resources, alternative renewables capable of supporting conventional energy commercially. options should soon be fully operational.
SAARC Chamber Founder General Secretary Rehmatullah Javed said policies for purchasing small-scale renewable energy systems using repayable loan scheme for the public should be streamlined and simplified to encourage people. Security, law and order situations in the country should be addressed as a priority to encourage local and foreign investment. Pakistan’s electricity demand is expected to increase up to 11,000 MW by 2030. Therefore, a more holistic approach by addressing all the mentioned issues is important to fully utilize the potential of renewable energy to achieve an energy future. sustainability of the country. Determined political will is the key to energy independence, he concluded.