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LAHORE: Emphasising the need for investing in renewable energy and hydel resources, energy experts believed that utilisation of indigenous resources could be a game changer to overcome energy crisis.

While our energy mix has a 60 percent share of imported fuel, which has proved very damaging for the country over the years, experts believe that if local coal and gas resources were timely developed for energy production, precious forex could be saved.

Today, Pakistan is sitting at the peak of debt to GDP. The key fault line is too much reliance on imported fuel. However, Ammar Habib, an energy expert provides a solution to come out of this situation amid the current global energy crisis.

“The current global energy crisis has disturbed the pricing equilibria for various fuels, whereas energy planners and the government have failed to proactively manage the same. Enhanced volatility in energy prices further strengthens the case for increased reliance on indigenous fuels to avoid an energy and balance of payments crisis. Energy security is essentially national security,” said Ammar.

He added: “Imported costly resources have contributed heavily to the country’s ever-expanding current account deficit, and with the volatility in oil prices and chances of further devaluation of rupee against dollar, this situation is all set to worsen not just in coming weeks, but for months and years, till the time a shift towards indigenous resources doesn’t happen”.

He suggested that “Pakistan should double down on investing in renewable energy and hydel resources, as well particularly in utility-scale renewables, while incentives should be given to further promote off-grid renewable solutions”.

Ammar was of the view that Thar coal can help Pakistan significantly improve its energy mix with import substitution, therefore, the present and future governments should focus on connecting Thar to the rest of Pakistan through the Thar Rail Link project, which is the need of the hour and on which considerable work has already been done.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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