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Pakistan’s pivot to coal to boost energy gets critics fired up

flameboard

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Pakistan believes it may have found a way out of its long-term energy supply crisis, thanks largely to more than $35bn worth of loans provided by China under the $60bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The country has experienced years of rolling blackouts that have left residents in the dark and stifled the country’s manufacturing industries. But now it is investing in an energy technology that is fast going out of fashion in other parts of the region — coal. Under the CPEC, Beijing is planning to spend at least $35bn building new power stations, which will be mainly coal-fired, using resources from coalfields at Thar, about 400km east of Karachi. The plans will mean building 9.5 gigawatts of new coal-fired capacity — a third of the total capacity the country has already built. This is in stark contrast with India, which recently said it would not approve any more new coal power plants — not least because the unit price of solar power has dropped below that of coal. The previous government has defended its energy policies. Shehbaz Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party, which lost power in last week’s election, told the Financial Times before the vote: “We have built 11,000 megawatts of additional capacity in the space of five years, compared with 18,000 over the previous 66 years.” And the strategy looks set to continue under the new prime minister Imran Khan, head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. Again speaking before the election, Mr Khan told the FT he backed using Thar coal to boost the country’s electricity supplies. “Thar coal is in a desert, it’s near the coast, and there are new technologies which now make it possible that you don’t damage the environment,” he said. Defenders of Pakistan’s build-up of coal point out that the fuel currently accounts for a very small fraction of the country’s installed electricity capacity. In India, that figure is around 75 per cent. They also say that with tariffs higher in Pakistan than in neighbouring countries, encouraging cheap electricity supply is essential to help develop exporting manufacturers. The average electricity tariff for industry is around $0.13 per kilowatt-hour, compared with $0.12 in India and $0.09 in Bangladesh. Pakistan exported goods worth 8.2 per cent of its gross domestic product last year, according to the World Bank, compared with 15 per cent by Bangladesh and nearly 19 per cent by India. “Manufacturers in India and Bangladesh get cheaper electricity than those in Pakistan do,” says Ehsan Malik, chief executive of the Pakistan Business Council. “This is particularly problematic for the garment industry, especially since all three countries make clothes at the lower end of the sector, where energy prices account for a higher proportion of costs.” Others, however, warn that while solar prices are falling, Pakistan is building a series of large power stations that will not only pollute the environment but could also saddle the country with high debts and could even become stranded assets in the long run. Fiza Farhan, an independent development consultant and a former director of Buksh Energy, a solar power company, says: “I have banged my head against walls for years trying to get the government to launch solar projects on mega scales. “But it was impossible to get projects into the final stage — every time we would get to the financing stage, the government would revise the tariffs.” Economists warn, meanwhile, that the stress in the electricity sector is likely to become worse in the near term. With the country’s stocks of foreign currency reserves rapidly declining, experts expect the new government to approach the International Monetary Fund for a bailout within months. The terms of that bailout, they warn, could include renegotiating or cancelling some of the projects backed by China and raising electricity tariffs. Mohammed Sohail, chief executive of Topline Securities, a Karachi-based investment advisory company, says: “This government will also have to reduce expenditure in a major way through unpopular measures.”

OP:
It may be hard but Pakistan needs to step away from coal and appeal to international organisations that advocate for leapfrogging the pollution stage of development for developing countries. With global warming, additional regional pollution can have huge impacts on the Indus River, the life line of Pakistan
 

Chakar The Great

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What a shitty article.

We had number of threads on this topic in the past. Bottom line is Pakistan needs energy, generated from local coal is as cheap as it can get. Pakistan aims to produce at least 50 % of its electricity through coal over the next two decades.
 
Jun 15, 2016
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Fvck off. Continue building the plants. We have so much coal that is begging to be used. Use the cleanest possible tech to utilize this enormous wealth. As for world concern, we show them a big middle finger. These cvnts had no environmental concerns when their economy was benefitting from mass coal pollution. Suddenly Pakistan has become a problem for them. Their lectures reek with jealousy and hatred.
 
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LOL guess what the source is?

Pakistan’s pivot to coal to boost energy gets critics fired up

https://www.ft.com/content/5cd07544-7960-11e8-af48-190d103e32a4

Hypocritical fvcks.

We planted a billion trees to tackle that pollution so no worry now critics should run off

We know who the critics are LOL

The same Western nations that have destroyed the climate and environment through excessive materialism and industrialization. LOL the fvcks have the nerve to lecture others about responsibility.
 

Kambojaric

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Neighbors especially India have been polluting the region for decades whilst we artificially held our growth back. The lack of energy is killing Pakistan so ignore any foreign condemnation and keep doing your thing.
 

American Pakistani

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Neighbors especially India have been polluting the region for decades whilst we artificially held our growth back. The lack of energy is killing Pakistan so ignore any foreign condemnation and keep doing your thing.

True, but to compensate, we must be growing forests. Programs such as billion tree tsunami should spread throughout the country.
 

Fawadqasim1

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Watch the video there is an energy import lobby(oil importers) in your country they are very rich and powerful and they have infiltrated every party and institution if pti can break the cartel you will see pakistan exporting energy but alas they have even infiltrated pti so we will break the back of our currency and economy and will import energy in us dollars

This one

Kwabon aur khyalon ki dunya main rehna ho tou pdf se ruju kejya. Reality check
 
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Neighbors especially India have been polluting the region for decades whilst we artificially held our growth back. The lack of energy is killing Pakistan so ignore any foreign condemnation and keep doing your thing.
I have noticed section of media crying about coal equals pollution. It's like coal is a lethal pollutent in Pakistan but everywhere else smells of roses. The world average for electricty generated from coal is 40%. A sample of coal as electricty below gives us a idea -

India - 75%
China 75%
Poland 84%
Australia 61%
Germany 43%
USA 40%
Japan 30%
Uk 30%

https://www.statista.com/statistics...rgy-in-global-generation-by-country-and-type/

Some of these are highly developed countries that are crazy about green energy have very strong public lobbies against pollution. Yet Australia is at 61% and even Germany at 43%. In Pakistan traditionally coal provided less then 3% of electric power. This is conspiciously at variance with global average and instead the country has used expensive oil and gas as energy. Oil is the most expensive and subject to regular price hikes. Oil should never be used for electricity consumption for a country like Pakistan as it has to be imported and instead should be reserved for transportation. Gas also should be reserved for domestic and industrial use as again it is expensive.

Coal is relatively cheap and prices are stable. Further because it is not subject to OPEC or geopolitics the prices remain stable. Green energy for Pakistan is non starter. As I have shown even the green friendly countries that cry about coal being curse use it at about 40% in their energy mix.

What people don't understand is gree energy is fine but you always need a basic source of reliable electricity supply which can be modulated. The green energy comes on top of the base and cannot form the base as it is unreliable across 12 months, 24 hour time cycle. The base energy supply can come from oil, gas, coal or nuclear. Even hydro energy has cycles as low rains can mean reduced production and in Pakistan we have the conflicting need for agriculture also.

Out of the oil, gas, coal or nuclear the only viable option right now is coal. Nuclear energy is another option [Japan has gone down that road] by nuclear plants are expensive and have long gestation times. We needed energy now. Pakistan should at least have 20% as coal in it's mix. Even now with all those new coal plants Pakistan only will have 10% as coal fired electricty. Target should be 40%. Pakistan should not be using expensive furnace oil or gas. One is bleeding the country to death and other should be used for domestic/industrial use or even CNG for transport.


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10%. Compare that to the list above. Then see all the complaints from every corner.


https://tribune.com.pk/story/1693962/2-lobbies-work-turn-energy-mix-favour/
 

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