Industry needs reliable, affordable energy to become productive, competitive: Muffasar
Our Special Correspondent
President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Muffasar Atta Malik has said that the Industries need reliable and affordable energy to become productive and competitive whereas they must also find an appropriate balance between growing demand for energy and responsibility to protect the environment.
Speaking at the Top Management Awareness Training Session on Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency organized by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), he said that Pakistan has large and economically viable resources in Wind, Solar, Biomass, Waste, Geothermal and Hydel power, waiting to be harvested. “Renewable energy is a viable option for enhancing access to energy at energy intensive sectors and businesses especially in SMEs”, he added.
Special Secretary Energy Department, Government of Sindh Rashid Hussain Qazi, National Project Coordinator – UNIDO Masroor Ahmad Khan and others also share their views at the session.
UNIDO under its ongoing GEF funded project titled “Sustainable Energy Initiative for Industries in Pakistan” successfully conducted a round of two back to back training sessions on Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) in Karachi.
Muffasar Malik further commented that the importance of energy generation cannot be underestimated due to its pivotal role in the industrialization process and the socio-economic development of the countries. “It is also the single largest contributor of climate-change and greenhouse-gas emissions due to heavy dependence on fossil fuel.”
In Pakistan, he pointed out that the energy mix was heavily reliant on oil, natural gas and coal that makes it susceptible to both economic and environmental damages.
Unlike coal and thermal power plants, solar and wind power generation does not add pollution or contribute to global warming which has become a serious national and international concern endangering human health, causing global warming which leads to increased floods and natural calamities.
President KCCI was of the opinion that in addition to the hazards of thermal electricity generation on the environment, the increasing share of expensive thermal electricity generation leads to increase the cost of doing business particularly in times of high oil prices.
“Promoting renewable energy will also help make businesses and industries energy independent and secure from energy price volatility”, he stressed, adding that lately, several industries have opted for captive power generation in Pakistan to get uninterrupted electricity supply in their industries which is more costly and mostly run on thermal. By shifting to renewable energy sources for power generation, industries can generate sufficient electricity for their own use, avoid fuel price volatility and sell the excess through the grid as well.
Muffasar Malik further stressed that as heavy oil imports are a major cause of rising trade deficit and Pakistan’s oil and natural gas reserves are also depleting rapidly therefore, it was necessary that dependency over the fossil fuel should be lessened.
“This means that Pakistan needs to rethink on its energy policy shifting towards more feasible options for the generation of electricity. As the international oil prices are gradually witnessing a rising trend, the efficacy of having alternate energy sources will be of great value”, he added.
“It would be a wise idea to either increase the hydel generation or work on other cheaper renewable and alternative energy sources through concerted efforts of both government and private sector to pave way for economic prosperity and stability”, Malik stressed while embracing UNIDO’s efforts in building the capacity of the professionals and bringing the best practices followed globally in to the local industry.