A country sadly lacking in natural resources like coal, gas, oil, wood and the sources of nuclear power, solar power, thermal power, and hydropower is ultimately doomed to the serious, energy crisis. It means a constant failure in generating and harnessing the sufficient amount of energy to meet the survival. and growth requirements of the masses. Unfortunately, we are a nation that has remained energy starved since its independence. The terrible energy crisis is obviously getting worse each year and crippling our entire economic system. The nations of the west, on the other hand, have exploited energy resources to the maximum extent and now they are self-sufficient in terms of generation and usage of energy. But Pakistan will still have to cross many more milestones to tackle this acute and, urgent problem.
“There is not a fiercer hell than the failure in a great object.” Jhon Keats, Endymion, Preface
Energy Crisis Factors
It is not knowing we are ignorant that causes the difficulty. Horace
There are various factors which have caused the crisis of energy in Pakistan. Firstly negligence on the part of the rulers and the officials concerned has worsened this problem. They could not perceive that the requirement of energy was increasing dramatically day by day. Today, Pakistan is faced with a shortage of 1000 to 3000 megawatts of electricity which is further increasing 500 to 600 megawatts every year. As the traffic of our country is constantly on the increase, we are also suffering from severe shortage of gas and petrol. But so far all the Governments of this country have shown gross rather criminal negligence towards this basic problem. Ignorance is not the real problem.
“It is a bad plan that cannot be changed.” Publilius Syrus, Moral Savings
Secondly, wrong planning is also one of the reasons for the crisis of energy. All the Governments of the past kept claiming that they would soon solve this problem. But the bitter reality is that none of them took any decisive step to deal with the crisis of energy. Consequently, the crisis of energy is now adversely affecting all sections of national life. Under the circumstances, it was imperative to work on new and more feasible plans for the production of energy and complete them as soon as possible. But, instead, they kept putting off this grave matter for unknown reasons. On account of this delay, the country is undergoing a loss of 200 billion rupees every year.
Politicians are the same all over the world. They promise to build bridges even where there are no rivers. Nikita Khrushchev
Thirdly, the national and international politics of dams and rivers has also played a significant role in the creation of the energy crisis. It is an open secret that the construction of large reservoirs including the Kalabagh dam is absolutely essential for the economic survival and well-being of the people of Pakistan. Pakistan needs the Kalabagh dam to help mitigate water and power shortfalls. We let as much as 35 million acre-feet of surface water go to waste into the Arabian Sea every year. It is hard to believe that our own politicians oppose it just for their personal reasons and interest.
“If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.” Napoleon Bonaparte
“Just over the hill is a beautiful valley, but you must climb the hill to see it.” Ron S. Boster
Fourthly, our too much dependence on the west and America has also deepened this crisis. It has been our habit right from the beginning that we look toward either the western countries or America for the solution of our problems. These countries can provide us temporary relief through financial help, but they have never taken any considerable step to resolve this huge problem. Instead of finding a permanent solution to the problem, we always resort to temporary measures.
Fifthly, we are facing the problem of the energy crisis, because we have so far failed to use nuclear power as a source of energy. The conventional energy sources are depleting at a very fast rate and our long-term dependence upon the same is an irrational proposition. Pakistan must utilize her nuclear power for the benefit of her masses.
Solution of Global Energy Crisis
Even if we start with correct energy conservation policies today, it will be really effective in the minimum three or four years. But at least, we will be satisfied that we are moving towards a workable solution. The following drastic measures should be taken in this regard. Firstly, solar energy should be used as a source of power. Many advanced countries of the world are using solar energy as one of the major sources of power. Secondly, wind power is another major alternative energy source. It can be used very effectively in the coastal areas right from Karachi to Gwadar. We surely have required weather and wind velocity along the coastline.
Thirdly, the power of the sea-tides is also being used to produce electricity. The natural motion of the tides is used to fill reservoirs and then they are slowly discharged through electricity providing turbines. Over the last 60 years, we have remained dependent on hydro and thermal power generation. We never took any initiative in developing and using alternative energy sources. Fourthly, the Government should also make it mandatory for large buildings, commercial projects, private hospitals, hotels, shopping malls and new industries to make their own arrangements for power generation. Central cooling and heating system should not be allowed to huge buildings. Fifthly, the Government should come forward and allow the private sector to import duty-free generators. Local industry should be encouraged to prepare cheap, powerful and durable generators.
“Politicians do more funny things naturally than most of us can do purposely.” Napoleon Bonaparte
Sixthly, the politicians who oppose the construction of the Kalabagh dam should be asked to come forward and give an alternative solution. The Kalabagh dam is simply unavoidable for Pakistan. So it should be started and completed within the shortest possible time.
Seventhly, the heat of the burning garbage can also be put to good use for producing electricity. This process is called incineration. Companies have recently come up with processes that can derive biogas from sources such as sewage and industrial waste.
“If we can really understand the problem,
the answer will come out of it, because the
answer is not separate from the
problem.” Krishnamurti, The Penguin
Ninthly, the sources of energy like oil, gas, coal, wood, water and electricity should in no way be wasted. It is an extremely painful paradox. On the one hand, we are suffering due to an unprecedented shortage of energy, while on the other hand, we are ready to waste it at all times and in all forms. Lastly, we must keep in mind that fossil fuels would not stay with us for a long period of time if we continue to exploit them at such a fast pace. So nuclear energy will have to be generated in Pakistan in order to meet the demands of the households, industry and all the other important fields of life.
Briefly, energy has immense significance to meet the survival and growth requirements of the public at large. In Pakistan, the demand for electrical power has always been more than the actual production of the same. The globe has already entered the new millennium with its unlimited resources of energy. But we are still far behind waiting for some miracle to solve our energy riddles. Now it is up to our leaders to decide whether they want their nation to go through the next millenniums or not. And above all, each and every individual of this nation will have to be involved in this herculean effort. Almost unquestionably, it has become a serious concern for survival on this blue-green planet.
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds. George Eliot, Adam Bede