LAHORE: The current wave of load-shedding will end soon, as water flow in canals will come to normal levels in coming days and production of electricity will increase. The government is making all-out efforts to cope with the current situation and eliminate load-shedding.
The energy mix of the country consists of around 34% electricity generation from hydel resources and 66% from oil and gas. Reports show that hydropower production has dropped from 6,500 megawatts to 1,500MW these days.
Every year, canals are closed in winter for de-silting and the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) curtails water releases from major reservoirs of Mangla and Tarbela during December and January, leading to a sharp decline in hydropower production.
On the other hand, gas companies also cut supply in winter to those power producers, which have nine-month gas supply agreements, disrupting electricity production. Thus, the shortfall increases and the Ministry of Water and Power is left with no choice but to opt for power outages.
However, considering the scale of gas and water curtailment, the power supply has been managed very well. The ministry is mindful of providing maximum relief to people by resorting to load-shedding mostly during night and very less power cuts in day time so that routine life of people is not disturbed.
The canals are expected to be opened in the second week of January and production of hydropower will increase and outages will come down.
The ministry is also making alternative plans to cope with the power crisis as it is working to increase the generation capacity of existing power plants.
It is very important that the people should also come forward and help the government in conserving electricity, which could be done by saving power through all possible ways. This way, they will not only be helping the government, but will also reduce their electricity bills.
Measures aimed at saving electricity are not only adopted by our government rather many developed countries like the United States, Australia and the European Union also ask their people to use power efficiently. A number of advertisement campaigns are designed in these countries by relevant departments to educate and create awareness among people.
Pakistan’s government is very keen to resolve this issue and has proposed relaxation in import duties on energy-related equipment. A large quantity of electricity is wasted due to inefficient appliances. Electric wiring and electrical appliances used by households like washing machines, electric heaters and geysers, fans and air conditioners should be energy efficient.
For instance, electric wiring in households should be of best quality, otherwise, a large amount of power could be lost during supply. It will result in an increase in electricity bills and also wastage of power.
People should take these measures and help the government in overcoming the power shortfall. In this way, they will also be helping themselves.
The writer is an employee of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company
Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2012.
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