Islamabad – Speakers at the webinar urged the government to come up with a national green energy policy reducing reliance on fossil fuel consumption and exploring to develop solar energy financing for every household. It would reduce heavy reliance on hydropower and hydrocarbon use and centralized grid stations.
The Green CPEC Alliance is expected to boost such initiatives with local partnerships once the enabling environment is provided and the one-window system is operationalized. Government shall direct most of the investments towards green energy generation rather than exploration of oil and gas reservoirs. We hardly discovered any new oil and gas reservoirs in the two decades despite investing huge funds. Let’s change the position on energy mix with the significant increase of solar and wind energy.
Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) organized the webinar on the subject “Pakistan’s Energy Crisis: Challenges and Opportunities under Green CPEC Alliance” on Saturday to mark the World Environment Day. Senate Standing Committee on Defense Production Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed chaired the session. Well-known environment and energy expert Qaiser Aijaz was the keynote speaker. Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed, research analyst Farhat Rana, Rabia Sarwar, Ommer Kulsoom, financial expert Iftikhar Ahmed and young environmentalist Salman also spoke on the occasion.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed Pakistan government shall come up immediately with the green financing of the domestic-energy use. State Bank of Pakistan shall have a green energy financing policy for domestic use at a discounted rate. The federal and provincial resources shall be allocated to develop solar and wind energy farms to increase its share to 60 percent of total energy consumption. The hydropower plants are very expensive in terms of cost and time.
He said climate disasters are increasing day by day. Over 150 incidents happened in the last one decade. Need to adopt measures. Water scarcity has increased to the red point. Immediate construction of check-dams and small dams shall be the priority.
Qaiser Aijaz said Pakistan’s main challenges from energy standpoint are the huge population of 220 million, non-availability of adequate indigenous energy resources, depleting oil and gas fields, no major oil and gas discoveries for past two decades, increased energy and oil prices in the international market, COVID pandemic after-shocks, political and economic challenges, and high country risk and security factors.
He said the state-owned oil and gas companies be allowed to work independently, and constitution of a federal body consisting of highly qualified professionals for selection of their top management. We shall provide constitutional cover to the energy policies, framework and approved projects for continuity regardless of any regime expires. Adaptation of integrated approach for addressing energy issues shall be based on up-stream oil and gas exploration and production, midstream petroleum oil refineries, and down-stream oil storages, pipeline transmission and distribution networks are managed under one umbrella. Development and implementation of an integrated approach and methodology to address energy Issues is the dire need. Conducting roundtable conferences involving energy experts, NGOs, energy consulting companies for developing a strategy to deal with the prevalent energy crisis with special reference to smooth and speedy implementation of approved CPEC projects.
Mr Aijaz asked for rationalization of gas tariffs for domestic, commercial and industrial sectors, revitalizing the work on renewable energy sources, formalization of long-term LNG sale and purchase agreements, enhancement of storages and day cover for crude oil and POL products, and accelerating oil and gas exploration activities in Balochistan. More focus shall be on harvesting the green energy and increasing its share in the energy mix.
Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed said its indeed a meaningful initiative to launch Green CPEC Alliance. It will improve the environmental conditions around the projects and initiatives. Also wipe off the doubts casted by the West on the CPEC projects for allegedly being the environment unfriendly. President Xi Jinping has already said two years back no more coal-fired power plants would be installed anywhere at the BRI regime worldwide.