Energy is considered to be life line of any economy and most vital instrument of socioeconomic development of a country. Energy is pivotal in running machinery in factories and industrial units, for lighting our cities and powering our vehicles etc.
There has been an enormous increase in the demand of energy as a result of industrial development and population growth, in comparison to enhancement in energy production. Supply of energy is, therefore, far less than the actual demand, resultantly crisis has emerged. An energy crisis can be defined as any great bottleneck (or price rise) in the supply of energy resources to an economy.
Pakistan’s energy infrastructure is not well developed, rather it is considered to be underdeveloped and poorly managed. Currently the country is facing severe energy crisis. Despite of strong economic growth and rising energy demand during past decade, no serious efforts have been made to install new capacity of generation. Moreover, rapid demand growth, transmission losses due to outdated infrastructure, power theft, and seasonal reductions in the availability of hydropower have worsened the situation. Consequently, the demand exceeds supply and hence load-shedding is a common phenomenon through power shutdown.
Causes of Energy Crisis:
Pakistan’s energy crisis traces its roots to following distinct causes:
Growing Energy Demand over the years there is greater need of energy because of increase in population,
• enhancement in lifestyle
• industrial and agricultural growth
• greater transportation needs
- Lack of proactive and integrated planning for production of energy.
- Imbalanced energy mix
- Non-utilization of enormous indigenous energy resources
Consequences of Energy Crisis:
i). Economic Factors: Energy is pivotal for running all other resources and crisis of energy directly influences all other sectors of the economy. The economic progress is hampered by decline in agricultural productivity as well as by halting in operations of industries. One important factor of lower GDP and inflation of commodity prices in recent years is attributed to shortfalls in energy supply.
ii). Agriculture Sector: Agricultural productivity of Pakistan is decreasing due to provision of energy for running tube wells, agricultural machinery and production of fertilizers and pesticides. Thus higher energy means higher agricultural productivity.
iii). Industrial Sector: Nearly all Industrial units are run with the energy and breakage in energy supply is having dire consequences on industrial growth. As a result of decline in energy supply, industrial units are not only being opened, but also the existing industrial units are gradually closing.
iv). Unemployment: By closure of industrial units and less agricultural productivity, new employment opportunities ceased to exist and already employed manpower is shredded by the employers to increase their profit ratios. Thus energy crisis contributes towards unemployment.
v). Social Issues: This factor is primarily related to the domestic usage of energy (cooking, heating and water provision). Load shedding cause unrest and frustration amongst the people and results in agitation against the government.
vi). Poverty: Declination in economic growth, lower agricultural productivity, unemployment and shackling industrial growth result in increasing poverty. Currently, around forty percent of our population is living beyond poverty line and this ratio is increasing day by day. Ample control of energy crisis will surely yield in curbing the menace of poverty.
Energy Crisis in Pakistan has more or less plagued all sectors of Pakistan’s machinery ranging from economy to industry, agriculture to social life, inflation to poverty and it is hampering national progress in a drastic manner. Nonetheless, menace of energy crisis can be overwhelmed by government through making effective policies and its proactive implementation. Simultaneously, it is the responsibility of us, the people of Pakistan, to utilize the available energy astutely and wisely to play our due role for progress of the country.