Pakistan’s Energy Crisis and Energy Saver Bulbs

Posted on April 3, 2010
Filed Under >Deeda-e-Beena, Environment, Science and Technology
Total Views: 33181



Pakistan is facing a huge and growing energy crisis, a daily reminder of which are the multiple instances of load-shedding each day all over Pakistan. The crisis, of course, needs long-term energy generation solutions. But it also needs immediate energy conservation. And one important way of doing this is through Energy Saver Bulbs.

Pakistan is among a few countries taking off aggressively to use these energy saver bulbs. While people have been converting to them in millions during the last couple of years in this age of Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) gadgetry and individual generators, the government has recently decided to import millions – 30 millions by a newspaper report – of these energy saver bulbs for reportedly “FREE” distribution.

This declaration of massive imports and their free distribution, if inappropriately administered, is fraught with potential dangers of corruption and abuse. Irresponsible persons can make fortunes at both ends of these transactions and at the expense of most economically solving the national problems of electricity shortages and environmental degradation.

In fact, it would be appropriate and in the national interest to manufacture these bulbs locally. That would support the existing manufacturing Industry which must be suffering factory closures, economic losses and lost jobs due to the en masse conversion from the incandescent lamps to these Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs, or CFLs.

Their massive use will supposedly combat the electricity shortage problem by using 75-80 % less electricity; lowering the individual bills and could also contribute to improved environment through reduced greenhouse gas emissions. However, few people realize that they need to be disposed properly, failing which they can cause harm because of the mercury contained in them.

According to an estimate China is producing 70% of the world’s supply of these CFLs. There are many brands sold in Pakistan, prominently Phillips and Osaka etc., The packing containers for none of these sold in Pakistan show how to take care and dispose them when unusable. However, those sold in the USA are also made in China but they provide detailed instructions about care and their safe disposal. The local administrations also provide special receptacles at accessible places. The regimes are similar to worn-out batteries and used hypodermic syringes.

Those who are making huge profits from this trade in Pakistan should be made to support and subsidize a safe disposal and recycling program, nationwide. If not as a public service then to avoid potential liability lawsuits from those adversely affected. In a nutshell, we have been advised that the CFL bulbs are good for the environment, the energy crisis, our bank account, and global warming! They also need to be informed about the proper disposal procedures needed for them, failing which they can cause harm.

The Government should regulate and make available an Environmentally Safe and well protected disposal system. The Media, in particular TV and radio have to play their all important part to disseminate it. The importers/suppliers must also fulfill their legal obligations in this. Finally, people must organize their own neighborhood Collection/ Disposal arrangements if Government fails. It will be for their own safety and benefit.

21 Comments on “Pakistan’s Energy Crisis and Energy Saver Bulbs”

  1. Ghazanfar says:
    April 3rd, 2010 9:41 am

    The benefits of these are great
    good if govt encourages them

  2. Sober Man says:
    April 3rd, 2010 9:49 am

    After energy saver bulbs now that hot cake is LED bulbs .
    now even 7W = ( 24w energy saver bulbs) LED bulbs are available .
    LED has very long life even 20 years with very low energy consumption .
    We need to start these LED bulbs manufacturing here along with solar panels and wind turbines .
    Its not a rocket science any more.

  3. MtRtMk says:
    April 3rd, 2010 10:48 am
  4. Haseeb says:
    April 3rd, 2010 3:14 pm

    Let’s not confuse issues please
    COGs are NOT hazardous in any way. Disposing them improperly can cause problems just as disposing regular bulbs improperly can. Yes we should have a proper recycling program but even without that these are so much better than old style bulbs.

    Let’s pls focus on all the good that conservation can do.

  5. Taimur says:
    April 3rd, 2010 4:04 pm

    I don’t think gov should give these free
    this is a no brainer bc people will actually save money by using them

  6. QMY says:
    April 3rd, 2010 10:10 pm

    Excellent article on Pakistan’s Energy Crisis. Government should take serious steps to eliminate this crises.

  7. Jaleel Khan Legahri says:
    April 3rd, 2010 10:21 pm

    Unfortunately the energy crisis is a “crisis of management” who have no forward outlook, no five year planning or perhaps no planning at all.

    Why were there no energy issues when Musharraf was President ??

    The only words you will hear from the Ministers are that “there will be no load shedding from December onwards”.

    Electricity is not a privilege but a basic necessity !!

    If the govt cannot provide these, the people must protest by ANY MEANS NECESSARY to get their rights.

    It is only a little time until the common people of Pakistan turn against their own country. The best way to get the Govt’s attention is to challenge it head on.

  8. Schajee says:
    April 3rd, 2010 10:27 pm

    When I was growing up, my father had attached stickers from Enercon on every switchboard at home that advised us to switch off the lights/fans when not using them. 20 years of watching those stickers hundreds of times a day has had an effect and now I can’t stand wasted energy.

    I think the Govt. should (if it can) mandate the use of such instructions on every socket, probably an imprint to keep it from deteriorating, to ingrain energy conservation in our psyche.

  9. Humaira says:
    April 4th, 2010 9:43 am

    I am glad the govt is propagating them. This is a good subsidy because it saves the govt energy and people money and once people see the benefits of these they will themselves take this up more aggressively.

  10. April 4th, 2010 9:47 am

    Some Comments from the ATP Facebook Page:

    - “A great deal of the solution will come from improving the distribution side – both technologically to reduce wastage during distribution and secondly by security initiatives to reduce theft.”
    - “I think it is the best way to save electricity and to reduce the energy crisis as Energy-starved Pakistan plans to distribute 10 million low-consumption light bulbs to reduce the load on national grids. The state-run National Energy Conservation Centre (Enercon) Monday tasked the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) with arranging the delivery of energy-saving bulbs across the country”
    - “major problems for pakistan about electricity: (1) defficient in rain (2) dams produce less electricity in winters (3) india is stopping our water (4) power theft (5) wastage during the electric supply by grid system (6) many power stations are not working due to mismanagement or lack of technical knowledge”
    - “well, there must be an advance in the production of electricity via solar system or wind mills. coal should also be . there are long sunny days in pakistan, solar system can prove to be very suitable here. moonsoon winds on arabian sea can produce a greater watts of electricity via wind mills”
    - “power theft must be stopped, grid system should be changed.”
    - “oil in balochistan region should be exploited and used for this purpose”
    - “i guess if coal in Thar could be used before internationally they might even ban producing electrictiy from coal due to enviromental hazards and such a treasure of black diamonds would be lost, so i wish they go ahead with it,

    and i guess nuclear power plants wont be bad bet either, the nuclear power plant in khi only produces 80 odd megwatts of light am sure the nuclear plants in usa or other countries produce many folds light more then this so i guess the govt should really push and get the civil nuclear deal wid usa like india did, and i guess we all gotta hope ka khoob barashain hoon nd khair k saath hoon ameen :). long live Pakistan”
    - “On a positive note this unbearable load-shedding signifies Pakistan’s economic growth in the last decade. There is also an economic theory that suggests that a nation’s development is measured by it’s annual consumption of hydrocarbons. We fare quite well according to this socio-economic indicator :)”

  11. Aziz says:
    April 5th, 2010 11:17 am

    If the government is give them out for free…that is good but the program needs to be managed properly. Maybe they can choose a few neighborhoods and distribute bulbs for free and then do a feasibility study on their energy consumption.

    Apart from these bulbs, goverment needs to push everything ‘energy saver’. Today you can buy anything from refrigerator and TV to windows and curtains that helps you consume less energy. Public should be educated and the benefits and he high energy consuming products should be slowly taken out of the market.

    I agree with Sober Man that LED is the new thing in. We should also look into those.

  12. Riaz Haq says:
    April 5th, 2010 3:45 pm

    Unless Pakistani government deals with the economics of power generation by boldly tackling the issue of growing circular debt quickly, it will be almost impossible to get the IPPs to fully utilize existing installed capacity, much less attract new investments in the power sector.

    The key players in this “circular debt” trap are the federal and provincial governments as the biggest deadbeats, the power distributors like KESC, the power producers like Pepco and Hubco, and the fuel suppliers like government-owned Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and partially state-owned Pak-Arab Refinery Ltd (PARCO). This debt circle begins with the government as the biggest debtor and ends with a government-owned entity as the biggest creditor. So the obvious question is: If the government is both the biggest debtor and the biggest creditor, then why is it that the government leaders can not solve the problem? Is it the lack of will? or the lack of competence? Is there a personal profit motive of the top leader of the ruling PPP, who is allegedly pushing rental power plants (RPPs) contracts ahead of the speedy resolution of circular debt? Is it a combination of corruption and incompetence? The answer to these questions depends on who you ask.

  13. April 6th, 2010 7:50 am

    Light is not only the needed thing from electricity which can be resolved by energy savers. There are lot of other parameters like industry requirement, small business like internet club and laundry are also affected.

  14. Jamshaid Khan Barki says:
    April 7th, 2010 8:57 am

    Its an attempt of huge corruption like wise rental power. 30 million energy savors would cost Pakistan 3 billion rupees. With such big amount, Pakistan can build 5 to 6 energy savors manufacturing units. One in each province as well one in ALK.

  15. Ddb says:
    April 13th, 2010 2:59 pm

    We all know one thing. For instance, if we own a factory, and shut it down completely. Then, it would be very likely for us to go bankrupt.

    However, only if we run the factory, revenue would be generated.

    These KESC guys say the furnace oil is very expensive. That is a ridiculous excuse for load shedding. Only if they continue to run the machinery will revenue be generated for them as well. By shutting down the machinery for hours in a day instead of saving money would make them collapse.

    Aisa hi chalta raha to KHI mein bhi balwa hojaayegaa…pehle bhi hua hai…

    We are a joke on the globe. ‘A country with nuclear energy, but no electrical energy!’

  16. Energy Technologist says:
    May 1st, 2010 8:43 am

    There have been alot of talk. From hydro to wind to wave. The problem with pakistan is that, none of these options are going to work. Pakistan is a small country compared to its population. hydro dams aside from being expensive in an effectively bankrupt country, drown large amounts of precious land, so Pakistan can not meet all of its energy needs by hydro generation. wind, solar and wave technologies are not proven and are expensive toys which hardly contribute a few percentage of power demands in the most rich and technologically superior countries so Pakistan should not gamble on these toys and spend its precious money on them. Coal power plants are a very attractive option, since pakistan has coal reserves to provide its energy needs for several dozen years, but they are dirty and generally any kind of power plants are not cheap. A 1,000 MW plant costs upwards of a billion euroes, and that is only the price of the plant and does not include a billion dollar more needed to develop a large enough mine to feed coal for the plant. Nuclear plants cost several times more and can cost upto 10 billion dollars for a 1,200 MWh. Pakistan does not have the technology to make nuclear power plant and currently no other country also wants to sell nuclear plants to Pakistan due to terrorism problem. Pakistan as of now is short by 6,000 MW and as the population grows and people’s expectations shoot up and half of Pakistan that is right now not connected to electric grid, become connected, You can imagine how many plants Pakistan has to make. Also it takes anywhere between 4 years for a small coal plant to 12 years for a large dam or nuclear plant to be built.

    Right now facilities like airconditioners and computers are used by less than 10% of pakistan and most of the economy is based on ancient agricultural techniques. If pakistan is ever to become modern and industrialized then it needs, at least 1 Kilowatt hour capacity for every person. With a current estimated population of 180 million that comes to 180 thousand Megawatt hour capacity. Pakistan has now just 20 thousand. With growing population Pakistan would need more than 360 thousand MWh of energy by 2050, when Pakistan’s population hits 360 million.

    So what is the solution. Pakistan does not have money and technology to develop its own plants. Independent power producers and private generating units are also not a long term option as they are thieves selling the same electricity in Pakistan for up to 55 US cents per kilowatt hour as compared to 12 cents in Canada and United States, under the pretext of investment in a risky terrorist infested country. Only one option remains, which is fortunately for Pakistan is both very cheap and reliable as well as least time consuming. The option has only one glitch, and that is, it will accompany the wrath of USA. That option is Iran. Iran can provide Pakistan with almost unlimited amount of natural gas which is much cheaper than the prevailing LNG prices in the world. Also Iran has a very developed electricity generation system and has offered Pakistan to meet the entire Pakistani shortage of electricity by offering the subsidized rate of 11 cents per kilowatt hour. Iran has even offered to build the entire transmission lines to Pakistan entirely with its own money and expertise on a record time of 14 months. If Pakistan just says ok. there will be no load shedding by the next summer. It is a very brilliant option both economically as well as security wise. Economically Pakistan will get as much power as it needs comparatively cheaply, and can spend its little money on developing industries and other needed infra structure instead of building power plants. And since Pakistan is going to be dealing with a government that is the brotherly government of Iran, Pakistan will no more need to play a slave to IPP’s. These kind of arrangements are immensely successful and promote peace and prosperity, for example almost all of the countries in continental Europe buy their power from France and Germany. But alas our leaders are too afraid of US. They have not learnt anything from Turkey which is in a similar situation to Pakistan being an American client. But Turkey despite being a client has defined its red lines with USA regarding its national security. So Turkey buys both gas and electricity from Iran, and Americans understand that Turkish people will not listen to them in these regards unless USA could satisfy their energy needs instead of Iran. But since USA can not even satisfy its own energy needs and has to import energy itself then Turks buy cheap energy from Iran. Pakistan could do the same if it had the guts to tell Americans that either they should meet the national energy needs by the next summer or that Iranians will be invited to take care of our problem. It is a choice Pakistan has to make today and not tomorrow. Iran is pakistan’s only option. And pakistan is lucky that its only option is in the lap of a brotherly country which is not only trustworhty but also eagerly willing to help out. Pakistan should not die of energy starvation while its brother is willing to feed it.

  17. June 25th, 2010 1:27 pm

    I wish we get rid of this issue as soon as possible.

  18. June 26th, 2010 3:47 pm

    Electricity is not a big problem of Pakistan but the main issue is our traditional politics behavior. We have enough potential and enough resources to solve easily the basic problems like this. We have to modify our politics rules otherwise we never be succeed.

  19. August 29th, 2010 2:07 am

    Best way to Save Pakistan. Read this informative Blog.

  20. abdul aziz says:
    November 9th, 2011 7:38 pm

    one must be very cautious while purchasing electric saver lamps/bulbs because Pakistan facing bad electric crises and people are trying to get rid of this problem and purchase electric savers ..I suspect taking undue advantages of public problem locally manufactured savers lamps are spread in market and available for sale..companies must look into this matter..

  21. November 17th, 2011 9:16 am

    I hope… we can get out of this very helpless situation! Our politicians need to become vigilant and grab all opportunities to enhance our production of energy and utilize the resources available!

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