Principal/Dean USPCAS-E NUST appeared live in an exclusive one-on-one interview on Capital TV Program, Capital Point on 17 May 2017 to discuss the prevailing energy crises in the country. He cited several measures to alleviate the problems confronted by the energy sector. He suggested that we should (a) bifurcate the grid system into smaller segments to transmit electricity more efficiently, and deploy technology that is cost-efficient, utilizing smart meters and other devices that enable authorities to constantly monitor and manage patterns of energy consumption, (b) promote Solar PV as Solar PV prices have fallen significantly. Installation of solar panels on homes and buildings will cater for the increasing demand in residential and commercial sectors, while this off-grid solar will simultaneously unburden the heavily loaded National Grid, (c) T&D loss reduction may be the most realistic way to reduce circular debt in the energy sector. Poorly performing distribution companies should prepare action plans to reduce their losses, (d) the irresponsible practice of energy theft needs to be curbed. At the same time officials should focus on the core motivation for theft. In the case of poor consumers, it includes an inability to pay for energy. Subsides based on income groups should, therefore, be instituted.
The overall goal is to support the energy sector for an expanding economy. While in the long term, capacity additions are likely to be necessary, in the short term the emphasis must be on the utilization of the existing capacity. Deteriorating maintenance standards of existing plants, inadequate management and organizational structure, declining plant utilization and efficiency has severely curtailed power supplied despite ample installed generation capacity. Dr. Bilal repeatedly emphasized that the Pakistan energy sector is small only about 23000 MW as opposed to 100-300,000 MW in the neighboring countries. We should learn from Turkey and Kazakhstan who have efficiently managed critical energy challenges by prioritizing coordinated planning and full implementation on ground.