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Hydropower Projects in Pakistan

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Hydropower or water power is power acquired from the energy of running water and falling water, which may be utilized for beneficial purposes. Since prehistoric times, hydropower has been utilized for irrigation and the working of numerous mechanical devices, such as sawmills, watermills, textile mills, dock cranes, paint making, power houses and domestic lifts. Since the 20th century, the term is used almost absolutely in combination with the contemporary expansion of hydro-electric power, which permitted use of reserved energy sources. Another technique used to transfer energy used a trompe, which releases compacted air from falling water. Hydroelectricity is the term which refer to electricity produced by hydropower; the generation of electrical power over the use of the gravitational force of flowing or falling water. It is the most extensively used system of renewable energy, making sixteen percent of global electricity production. In 2011, Pakistan had an aggregate installed power generation capacity of 21,000 MWh. Though, de-rated or dependable capacity lies between 14,000 to 16,000 MW during the year due to various factors, whereas demand for electricity is growing at an average annual rate of eight percent.

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Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Project

According to World Energy Statistics 2011, published by IEA, per capita electricity consumption in Pakistan is one-sixth of the world mean consumption. In contrast to Pakistan’s per capita electricity consumption of 451 kWh, world mean per capita electricity Consumption is 2730 kWh. Forty per cent of Pakistanis are still lacking electricity. According to statistics of International Energy Agency, total electricity demand of the country will be 49078 MW in 2025. WAPDA has just embarked upon a chain of latest hydropower projects, in addition to rehabilitating the functioning power stations and expediting several on-going hydropower projects. During the period 2009-2010, hydropower projects of accumulative capacity of 419 MW are programmed to go on stream. These include Jinnah 96 MW to be situated on Jinnah Barrage as well as Duber Khwar 130 MW, Allai Khwar 121 MW and Khan Khwar 72 MW, all sited in Kohistan area. Moreover, NWFP has contracted Malakand III hydropower project of 81 MW capacity, which is anticipated to attain commercial operation in a short duration. In the year 2001to meet Pakistan’s power requirement, WAPDA and the Ministry of Water and Power formulated a policy called the Hydropower Development Vision-2025. The strategy was developed on an average annual demand rise of 3.7 percent.

In Vision-2025 an immediate plan was established and on June 2006, the contracting date of eight hydel projects having a total production capacity of 716 MW was fixed. These projects were designed and suggested as having no or little storage capacity, for instance Ghazi Barotha hydropower project, in which no large reservoir is to be fabricated. But unfortunately none of these projects could be completed. Lack of strategy for implementation is the root-cause of the failure to provide the desired energy amount. The strategy developed by the ministry fails to consider the project management proficiencies of implementing agencies as well as the ground realties. As Pakistan is an energy-deficient country, the renewable energy sources like hydropower can be used to overcome energy shortage in Pakistan. Hydropower has the potential to provide solutions to the long-standing energy problems being faced by the developing country like Pakistan. The expansion of existing energy resources and exploration of new sources is an important exercise to be considered in order to sustain their development initiatives.

About Author

Salina Shahid is a talented and passionate creative writer with a remarkable academic and extracurricular background. She recently completed her masters in the field of Environmental Sciences from COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad. She was awarded Chancellor’s gold medal on completion of her bachelor’s degree. Being an environmentalist she loves to write about nature, climate change, environmental sustainability as well as various social and environmental issues. Apart from creative writing she is interested in adventure expeditions, hiking, painting and designing. Currently, she was selected in the International Youth Forum on climate change comprising top thirty five talented students from all over Pakistan. In her upcoming articles, she is ambitious to highlight certain environmental conservation problems and their solutions with special reference to Pakistan.