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Generating energy

The government pays a minimum agreed monthly payment to all power producers for the contract period, even if no power is supplied. This means that if the power plant is not operating, the government would still need to pay the energy bill. In 2008 eight thermal power plants and two nuclear power plants were forcefully shut down for maintenance. But the payments to the thermal power companies were at a fixed rate, creating a $100 million energy deficit. Although fuel supplies and payments to the thermal power plants can be increased to produce more energy, the energy produced will be at a very high cost. Therefore the best option would be to install 5000MW coal power plants in locations that are away from the main population.

Pakistan has the potential to generate 55,000MW of electricity through hydel power. But these plants can take 2-6 years for construction, and with dams there is an additional 2-5 years. The good news, though, is that banks and donor organisations love to fund hydro power projects, because this is clean renewable energy.

Engr H Kaleem

Peshawar

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