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'Ill-planned' power sector to increase problems

KARACHI: Civil society activists have urged the government to establish a parliamentary commission to investigate “the failures in planning in the power sector” with an aim to make it “technically efficient, financially sustainable and responsive to the imperatives of climate change”.

Addressing a webinar, they criticized the “misplaced” priorities set in the Integrated Generation Capacity Enhancement Plan (IGCEP)-2047. Different NGOs have collaborated under the banner of Alliance for Climate Justice and Clean Energy to make their voice heard.

Despite the coal moratorium announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan in December 2020, they said, the rising share of coal power in national energy mix under the IGCEP-2047 did not make any sense.

The plan is too ambitious in forecasting electricity demand. It is also prioritizing dirty fossil-fuels, particularly coal-based power in the national energy mix.

Muhammad Ali Shah, chairperson of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, said the rising share of indigenous coal would exacerbate the existing social, economic and environmental problems being faced by the people of Thar.

Haneea Isaad, research associate at the Rural Development Policy Institute (RDPI), said to lower the overall basket price of electricity, the authorities concerned should prioritize cost-effective and environment-friendly resources such as solar and wind power plants into the country’s generation mix. Zain Moulvi, legal and policy analyst at the Alternative Law Collective (ALC), said reforms must take an integrated approach to ensure that the future of the power sector was based on economically, environmentally, and socially responsible policy-making.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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