Sartaj Aziz stresses integrated energy planning to achieve self-sufficiency


ISLAMABAD: An integrated energy planning regime was important to provide, and update, a roadmap for energy sector for achieving greater energy self-sufficiency. This was stressed by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz.

He said that it could be ensured by pursuing policies and plans that were affordable and sustainable.

He was chairing the first meeting of the steering committee that was held here on Monday. The preliminary session of the steering committee was also attended by US Ambassador David Hale.

The deputy chairman said that the support for the development of integrated energy was one of the components of ongoing Pak-US collaboration in the energy sector.

To streamline the integrated energy planning in Pakistan, the government has constituted a steering committee on integrated energy planning under the chairmanship of planning commission deputy chairman. Ministry of planning, development and reforms secretary, along with secretaries of power, petroleum and natural resources division and economic affairs division are its members.

Sartaj Aziz in his opening remarks of the meeting stated that the country’s current access to electricity and clean fuel (gas) were estimated at 62 per cent and 25 per cent respectively while energy efficiency ratio was not encouraging.

He also stated that the energy efficiency potential in power sector only, however, was estimated at around 3,500MW. To provide 100 per cent energy access to its growing population and meet its economic development targets, a long-term integrated energy planning approach, therefore, was required, he added.

“This warrants an energy-mix plan which considers both the provision of energy supplies and role of efficiency in meeting the demand,” said the deputy chairman.

He further said that Pakistan’s current primary energy supply mix revealed that it was heavily dependent upon imported oil – 43 per cent, followed by depleting local gas production – 36 per cent, and hydel electricity which was 13 per cent.

“The situations aggravated further when we see that 63 per cent of power generation comes from costly thermal based (oil and gas) power generation units compelling government to spend a considerable amount on electricity subsidies which have also given birth to the circular debt issue. This scenario needs to be reversed in a planned way,” he said.

He further revealed that USAID and DOE support for revitalising Pakistan IEP, therefore, was a welcome initiative.  Furthermore, development of integrated energy planning should not be taken just as developing a computer-based model or tools but it should be viewed with a holistic approach, he added.

“I would like to emphasise enhancing project planning capacity of energy sector stakeholders in project designing based on business models, and securing financing on favourable terms from the continuously evolving competitive financial market”, he concluded.