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ISLAMABAD, Oct. 14 — With blackouts sprawling across the country for up to 20 hours a day, investing in renewable energy has become a priority for Pakistan.
Energy experts say that the country has potential for developing its energy sector and more than enough resources to supply power to the entire country.
Sadiq Zaidi, a former energy development advisor at the Asian Development Bank, asserted that “Pakistan will address the crisis and move in the right direction.”
The current energy crisis has had a major impact on many factories and businesses across the country as well as on agriculture, the backbone of Pakistan’s economy.
Weak governance over the years has resulted in an inefficient and illegal power supply. For decades there has been reduced billing and even non-payment in many areas across the country On top of that, the country has made no major investment in its energy sector since 1995. Over the past five years, however, as Pakistan’s GDP has grown 6 percent per year, the demand for electricity has also grown considerably.
Zaidi suggests that Pakistan use its untapped resources to tackle its energy crisis. “There are five dams in Pakistan that can generate 20,000 MW. The country has tremendous energy production potential,” he says.
As an example Zaidi points to India whose development of its renewable energy sector led to an increase in investment in the country’s wind energy.
In order for Pakistan to reach its full potential in energy, Zaidi says, the government must share its vision with provincial leaders and give them ownership in renewable energy projects.