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Low-cost hydel energy needed

THE government deserves credit for cobbling together the first-ever consolidated National Power Policy 2013 amid energy outages that have affected the pace of socioeconomic development and created enormous difficulties for domestic households.

It is unfortunate that the policy did not receive the kind of editorial and op-ed attention it rightfully deserved given the pros and cons involved.

While the goals outlined in the policy are ambitious, if at all they are achieved, it is important that we not only generate enough energy to keep the engine of economy moving but also produce low-cost, environment-friendly and affordable energy, which is within the paying capacity of domestic and commercial users.

It calls for changing the current energy mix towards low-cost power generation sources such as hydel, wind, coal, biomass and solar. Of all the available sources for low-cost power generation, hydel presents the best option. According to experts, Pakistan has the identified potential of 60,000 MW of hydel power while currently the country has an installed capacity of about 6500 MW, which is just a fraction of the overall potential.

It is hoped that the government and Wapda would double their efforts to increase hydropower generation. Wapda particularly has a job cut out for itself and hopefully it will rise to the occasion.

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