Energy is an important need of any economy. The sector has a direct impact on GDP growth and per capita income. All economic sectors are directly dependent upon the availability of energy in the form of power or fuel. Primary commercial energy sources in Pakistan include oil, natural gas, coal, hydro and nuclear energy. The overall contribution of oil and to a larger extent, that of gas has remained significant in primary energy supplies of the country.
In Punjab, at present, there is a demand-supply gap of about 4000 MW which is increasing at a rate of 6% per annum. The significant gap between the demand and supply of energy, coupled with rapid population and GPP growth provides an ideal opportunity for private investment in the energy sector.
- Punjab has over 500 million tons of coal deposits along with a readily available technical & skilled manpower.
- Punjab Mines and Minerals Department has identified sites and proposed configuration fo rpower generation from Punjabi coal with fifty MW, hundred MW and two hundred MW and larger power plants with a potential to produce 1,400 MW from coal alone.
- Punjab lies in an area of one of the highest solar insulation in the world. The average daily insulation amounts to 5-7kWh/m2/day and with the sun shining a good 6-8 hours daily, 18-25 MJ/M2 of daily energy is available.
- 5000 Acres of land in Cholistan has been reserved by the Government of Punjab for the establishment of solar power plants. Punjab has an ideal climate for solar power given the hot, sunny climate, and the long daytime hours.
- Wind is another great avenue for meeting Punjab’s energy needs. Kalar Kahar, which is around 10-20km wide and 250km long, has been identified as an excellent wind corridor by national Renewable Energy Laboratory of the US Department of Energy with a wind power density at 50 m of over 800 W/m-sq.
- Punjab has over 306 hydel raw sites under 50 MW with a cumulative generation potential of over 700 MW. Additionally, Punjab has a total low-head hydel potential of 600-1000 MW on canals and barrages.
- There are approximately 57 million large animals (buffalo and cattle) growing at over 8% per annum. With this, the total biogas production potential exceeds 14.3 million m3/day in Punjab alone.
- There’s a huge potential of biomass based power generation on unutilized crop residue of around 34 million tons per annum consisting of rice husk, rice straw, maize stalk and cotton stick, etc.
- 16 Industrial Estates under Punjab Small Industries Corporation have been targeted for establishment of dedicated power plants (10-50 MW) using a mix of coal, biomass and solid waste. These will be dedicated projects with energy buy back guarantee.