ISLAMABAD: The United States has agreed to continue to share its expertise to help Pakistan address the energy crisis.
The issue of assistance to Pakistan’s energy sector came up for discussion during a meeting between a delegation of US energy experts, led by Jonathan Elkind, Adviser to the US Mission on Energy, and Water and Power Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif.
They reviewed areas of mutual interest and cooperation in the energy sector, especially in conservation and renewable energy resources. The delegation gave a comprehensive briefing on energy efficiency and development of power grids in Pakistan.
At a press conference a day ago, Elkind had announced the launch of a three-year technical assistance programme designed to support Pakistan’s energy development efforts.
“We have an ambitious target for the Pakistan-US energy partnership and very good reason to be optimistic due to the kind of changes Pakistan has made in the energy sector,” he said.
On Tuesday, the meeting was told that Pakistan had a huge potential in solar, wind and biomass energy resources and the US wanted to share its experiences to help Islamabad to exploit these resources.
Asif said Pakistan was looking forward to US investment in infrastructure and energy sector development. He thanked the delegation for keen interest in energy conservation and pinpointing the acute problems afflicting Pakistan in this regard.
Highlighting the government’s achievements, the minister said improvements had been made in the energy sector in the past three years.
Last year alone, he said, the country saved a record Rs10 billion by reducing line losses, making a 50% reduction in power outages for domestic consumers, ending load-shedding for the industries and cutting tariff. “It all happened due to better management of the energy sector,” he remarked.
US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale, Water and Power Secretary Younus Dagha and senior officials of the ministry were present in the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2016.