ntro: to sense the magnitude of this issue.
ntro: 196Pakistan is currently facing, arguably the world’s largest and most impactful energy crisis. Currently around 140 million people living in Pakistan either don’t have access to electricity, or suffer up to 12 hours of load-shedding. This is the outcome of over three decades of rash and heedless energy policies, generating chronic power shortages, which deprived the pakistani economy of 14bn rupees in the year (…) alone. Over 500,000 households have been impacted with unemployment since businesses have been forced to shut down due to energy shortages. As the people have become increasingly reliant on electricity, the lack of it is having a grave effect on people’s lives, and the government is failing to sense the magnitude of this issue. For it is mainly the poor that experience the effects of these shortages. Especially in the summers with the temperature rising above 40?C, and non-functioning fans. However, there is a window of opportunity, seeing that the government is currently spending close to nothing on their solar energy. Pakistan being a country with over 300 days of sunlight, would directly benefit from additional solar energy. Not only is it a clean solution, but a sustainable one as well. Paragraph 2: 286The current issue that is depriving Pakistan of electricity for up to 10 hours a day is load-shedding. Load shedding is the action that the government takes to avoid excessive load on the generating plant, by creating a black-out. This interrupts the electricity supply, and hundreds of millions of people in Pakistan are left without electricity. According to ‘The Dawn News’,”Electricity consumers across the country had a bad day (May, 2017)… when the gap between the demand and supply kept fluctuating between 5,000 and 7,000 megawatts, resulting in extensive power cuts of seven to 10 hours…”. Additionally, the Ministry of Water and Power stated that the demand had crossed 20,223MW, compared to the peak generation of 15,400MW. This caused a shortfall of around 4,500MW. What a shortfall is, is the amount of electricity the country still requires (lacks of) to supply the demand of the people. A generator can only generate so much power, and the demand rises in the summers, without the generator capacity rising. This leads to excessive shortfalls and millions of people are left without lights, fans or basic utilities that require electricity. There are multiple reasons for these shortfalls, excluding the high demand, consisting of:Long transmission lines causing a loss of electricity (sound energy and heat energy)In the winter, mountanious regions freeze the water, so the hydroelectricity cannot be generated.The accumulated silt in the reservious of dams leads to less electricity generation, and due to a decreased flow of water, the turbines move less.Fossil fuels such as coal are of low quality in Pakistan, meaning they generate less electricity and cost more to mine (due to machinery requirement).Power theft (a common issue in Pakistan)Paragraph 3:As is visible in Figure (…), the power station generates the electricity and the energy travels through a transformer. The transformer then raises the voltage allowing the energy to travel through the national transmission lines effectively. It is then brought through a substation which decreases the output of voltage to accomodate the lesser needs, such as houses, shops and other buildings.Since Pakistan’s independence in 1947, it had been primarily dependent for its electricity requirements on the two state-owned vertically integrated power monopolies: Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Karachi Electricity Supply Company (KESC). These companies are what control the electrical grid. They generate, transmit and distribute the electricity to the consumers. The generators are currently the most vulnerable, as resources to fuel these generators are decreasing. Electricity generators function, when a coil of wire moves in a magnetic field creating electricity. Current sources of energy for these generators are 69% fossil fuell, 29% hydro, and 2% nuclear. There is close to no use of solar energy, which the country can have a virtually infinite supply of. Now that the faults at the generation are spotted, there are quite many faults with the efficiency of the transmission and distribution. The Dawn News states that, “In the last five years, Pakistan has taken a hit of Rs145 billion per annum from system losses in the grid due to inefficient transmission and distribution.”. There are clear implications, that the transmission and distribution of the energy which pakistan has, could be more efficient. Since when a current flows through a wire, some energy is lost as heat, meaning the higher the current, the larger the amount of heat lost. If Pakistan would transmit electricity at a low current, that would reduce some of the losses (however this requires a high voltage, and that is when transformers are necessary). Studies have shown, that on the consumer’s end, much can be done, to save energy. For example, energy efficient fans can reduce the total quantum of load shedding by 39% at the existing consumption. Additionally, energy efficient lighting can load shedding by 47%. In conclusion, there are many visible faults in the generation, transmission and the consumption as well. A solution would be to convert energy sources, preferably a clean and renewable one such as solar energy. Solar panels (1) are simply made up of PV cells (photovoltaic), which convert sunlight into DC (direct current) electricity throughout the day. The Inverter (2) converts the DC electricity generated by the solar panels into AC (alternating current) electricity. The AC electricity is then sent from the inverter to the electrical panel to power the lights and appliances with solar energy. Such a solution would power hundreds of homes in Pakistan. Seeing as Pakistan has over 300 days of sun, and 8-9 hours of sunshine each day, Pakistan truly has ideal conditions for solar energy to be generated. According to studies, Pakistan has 2.9 million megawatts of solar energy potential. The country currently has a few minor solar power plants in regions of Pakistani Kashmir, Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan. However, there are projects being developed currently with the aid of the International Renewable Energy Agency, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, other Chinese companies, and Pakistani private sector energy companies. Pakistan aims to construct the world’s largest solar power ‘park’, namely the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park (QASP) in the Cholistan Desert, in Punjab with a 1 GW capacity. A plant of this magnitude would be enough to effectively power 320,000 homes. This is still a small fraction of the 140 million people without electricity, however it is a ‘step’ in the right direction, providing clean and renewable energy. The solar park will suposedly shrink Pakistan’s carbon footprint, said Najam Ahmed Shah, the CEO of QASP, as it will be displacing about 57500 tonnes of coal burn, and reducing the emissions by approximitely 90,750 tonnes every year. One of the major reasons why the ‘Solar Option’ is more advantageous is the cost. The cost of maintaing and building a thermal or hydro park vigorously outweighs the time and cost for a solar park. Yet another advantage, is that the Cholistan Desert (where it is located) recieves over 13 hours of direct sunlight each day increasing the amount of energy and electricity that can be produced. There will be around 33,000 jobs available for workers, and this park will be a large magnet for investors and companies. Even though this solar park might seem very cogent, one of the major disadvantages is the strain it will have on the water resources. It might be true that these cells do not require much maintenance, they must be kept very clean ( estimated 1 litre of water is used to clean each panel). This is draining the water supply of Pakistan which is already vigorously low. There are no, perfect solutions currently, but as it is now, the investment in Solar Energy is seen as most beneficial to help ameliorate the Pakistani energy crisis. In conclusion, Pakistan is currently facing an immediate and threatening energy crisis. Over 140 million people living in Pakistan face up to 12 hours of load shedding, or have no electricity at all. This can be especially experienced in the scorching summers when temperatuers rise above 40oC, and the fans are inoperative. This pressing issue has become widely political, as decades of energy policies have brought Pakistan to where it is today. There are shortfalls of around 5,000 MW, as the generators capacity can not supply the nations demand. It has also been determined that there are various faults at the generation stations, the transmissions and at the consumers end. Energy efficient fans and light bulbs could be implemented, reducing the amount of load-shedding. However, plans for a vast solar energy park is in plan in collaboration with multiple companies from Japan, Pakistan and China. Pakistan is a prime country for implementing Solar Energy as it has over 300 days of sunlight and is exposed to a daily amount of 13 hours of sunlight in the desert where the plant would be located in. Although the solar plant doesn’t require as much maintenence as the thermal and hydro parks do, it drains the water supply of Pakistan vastly. There is no perfect solution to the energy crisis in Pakistan, but as mentioned, the most efficient and effective solution would be investment in solar energy. Hopefully through this process, millions of businesses can be operational again, and that families will experience less, if not no load shedding.