Following the past years’ bitter experiences, the gradual rise in temperature has created problems for the residents of both urban and rural areas of the country as excessive load shedding is continuing unabated.
Sources in the energy sector disclosed on Saturday that the gap between the generation and demand of electricity is expected to reach up to 7,000 megawatts as a result of which excessive load shedding will start in the country next week. The duration of load shedding in urban areas may exceed 12 hours a day while the urban areas should be ready to face load shedding of more than 14 hours from May.
Distribution companies have sent a report to the Ministry of Water and Power on the expected long hours of load shedding expected during the summer, while the schedule is likely to be announced within a week keeping in view the gap between power generation and demand.
The current demand of electricity in the country is around 17000 MW. The national grid receives around 12,000 MW of electricity from its sources; 7000 MW from Independent Power Projects (IPP) and the WAPDA-owned generation companies and 5,000 MW from hydel sources. A gap of 5,000 MW of electricity already exists in the system.
Sources said that the demand is expected to reach up to 21,000 MW during the month of Ramzan while there is no hope of an increase in generation up to 15,000 MW by all components; hydel can share around 6,000 MW and Gencos and IPPs around 9,000 MW.
Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO), which receives around 3000 MW from national grid, has a demand of more than 5000 MW, which is expected to increase to 6000 MW in this summer.
When asked how LESCO will manage distribution of electricity in urban and rural areas, a source said that the LESCO has been ordered to manage the load in big cities.
The big cities including Lahore will face load shedding of 8 to 10 hours, while villages may face more than 14 hours of power cuts, the sources added. This way, rural areas of the country will face discrimination.
The government had announced that it would be able to add more than 5000 MW of electricity in the system by 2018, which would help reduce the load shedding duration. Sources said that demand of 2,000 MW of electricity increases every year in the country and a significant decrease in load shedding hours cannot be expected even after two years.