Fossil Fuels Bankrupting Pakistan, Slowing Renewable Energy Development

National Economy

The population of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is approximately 229.32 million people[1]. In 2020, 75.4 % of the people in this South Asian country had access to electricity[2].

In 2021, Pakistan’s economy was ranked 4oth in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export[4] of linens, rice, and fruit.

Environment Policies

In 2016, Pakistan signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to “combat climate change.” Pakistan is one of the few signers of the Paris Climate Agreement not to set specific greenhouse gas reduction targets.

In 2019, the government of Pakistan established the Alternate Renewable Energy Policy which is meant to increase the share of renewable energy in the national power grid from 5% to 20% in 2025 and to 30% in 2030.

In 2021, the state utility, Pakistan Electric Power Company[6] used renewable energy (31.9 %), natural gas (27.7 %), coal (15.1 %), oil (13.2 %), and nuclear energy (12.1 %) to generate electricity in the country. Hydropower is the dominant source of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Pakistan.

Recent renewable energy projects in Pakistan include:

  • 700 MW Hydropower Project – Republic of China engineering firm, China Gezhouba Group Company is continuing work on a hydropower project on the Jhelum River, approximately 25 miles east of the nation’s capital, Islamabad. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2026.
  • 100 MW Solar Project – In May 2022, Zhenfa Pakistan New Energy Company commissioned a solar project at a site approximately 200 miles southwest of Islamabad.
  • 50 MW Solar Project – In May 2022, New Zealand power company, Meridian Energy commissioned a solar project at a site approximately 500 miles southwest of Islamabad.
  • 50 MW Solar Project – In May 2022, Norwegian renewable energy company, HND Energy commissioned a solar project at a site approximately 500 miles southwest of Islamabad.
  • 50 MW Solar Project – In May 2022, Norwegian renewable energy company, Helios Power commissioned a solar project at a site approximately 500 miles southwest of Islamabad.

Conclusions

In 2020, Pakistan spent U.S.$ 8.03 Billion for imported refined petroleum, liquified natural gas, and crude oil. The import of expensive fossil fuel imports negatively impacted Pakistan’s economy.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, resulting in the United States, Canada, and the European Union placing embargos on Russian exports. The price for crude oil and liquified natural gas have both increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

The dramatic increase in oil and liquified natural gas is  bankrupting Pakistan. As a result, the government is unable to fund the development to new renewable energy projects.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics

 

[1] Pakistan Population (2022) –  June 24, 2022,  www.worldometers.info

[2] World Bank, “Access To Electricity (% Population) – Pakistan

[3] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2021 – Worldometer

[4] Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Pakistan

[5] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] Our World In Data, Pakistan: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

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