Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said the government remains committed to diversifying the country’s energy mix, and will put special emphasis on renewable sources, which he termed as the “key to energy security”.
The prime minister in a post on Twitter wrote that the federal cabinet has given serious consideration to an energy conservation plan.
“The plan will be approved after taking provinces on board,” he said. “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Its effective implementation will save precious resources & help address energy crisis,” said the prime minister.
The statement comes a day after the government unveiled its energy conservation policy, which envisages closure of shops by 8pm and wedding halls by 10pm in view of the current difficult economic situation.
PM Shehbaz said that the coalition government “is diversifying the energy mix by pivoting to renewables, which are key to energy security”.
“The idea is to gradually but surely increase our dependence on indigenous resources. This will provide relief to the common man and save precious foreign exchange,” Shehbaz added.
Pakistan is currently in the midst of a financial crunch with foreign exchange reserves depleting to a four-year low, while the country struggles to attract multilateral and bilateral funding.
Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif Tuesday said the federal government would persuade provinces to implement energy conservation policy.
The minister said estimates suggest that if 20% workforce worked from home on alternate days there would be a saving of Rs56 billion annually.
He said the plan/policy envisages limiting wedding halls’ timings to 10pm and restaurants’ and shops’ to 8pm; however, an hour and a half increase would be given to restaurants. This would result in a saving Rs62 billion.
The federal minister said the replacement of old fans with new ones would result in the saving of Rs15 billion because old fans consume double the electricity compared to new ones while the country would be saving Rs23 billion through LED bulbs.
He said these savings would be in cash besides energy efficiency that would result in the saving of Rs28 billion on account of idle capacity payments. He said some modifications in gas geysers could also help save Rs92 billion annually.