IN a historic development, the Council of Common Interests (CCI) on Monday unanimously approved the National Electricity Policy 2021 for the next ten years aimed at inducting power generation capacity on the grounds of transparency, lowest pricing and open competitive bidding model.
The policy includes special targets for renewable energy, long-term projects for hydroelectric energy and focuses on developing local fuels.
To a great extent, Pakistan currently relies on imported fossil fuels to meet its energy demands.
This, on the one side, puts pressures on our foreign exchange reserves and, on the other hand, the cost of electricity generation becomes much higher.
In this context, focusing on local fuels to generate electricity is a step in the right direction to achieve the objective of providing cheap and clean energy to the people besides addressing the issue of circular debt once and for all.
It really goes to the credit of the present government for initiating work on several mega hydel power projects which will also help increase our water storage capacity and irrigate the barren lands.
However such projects take time. Therefore emphasis should also be laid on exploiting the potential of other renewables such as solar and wind which can be completed in less span of time.
Whilst the aim is to increase the share of renewable energy in total power generation to 30% by 2030, this can be done by extending maximum facilitation to the foreign investors.
China has emerged as a global renewable energy leader and our authorities concerned must engage with the Chinese friends in order to fully exploit the renewable energy potential and become self reliant in its energy requirements.
Apart from generation, massive investment also needs to be made to upgrade the transmission and distribution system.
Currently, we do not have the capacity of transmitting more than twenty four thousand megawatts of electricity.
Though four thousand megawatt capacity was increased in the last two years but there is still a gap of ten thousand megawatts that needs to be filled. Upgradation of the system will also help check line losses.
A mega drive also needs to be launched to check power pilferage and ensure recoveries of bills.