Andhair Nagri: Are We Serious About Energy Conservation?

Posted on April 23, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Economy & Development, Society
Total Views: 25500

Adil Najam

Are we really serious about energy conservation? And, by ‘we’ I mean all of us, not just the government.

The government is making a high profile move on the subject by announcing new policies for energy conservation, better policing of energy abuse, and of new power generation. We have written about energy often (here, here, here, here, here) and our post on solar energy continues to get much attention.

As someone who works in this area, I know that (a) this is the single most important economic leverage available to economic decision makers in Pakistan, and (b) while not easy, this – unlike other pressing issues, like water, for example – is an area where something could actually be done; because technically and even fiscally there is a real set of useful things that are actually doable.

And, yet, I find my self sadly cynical that things will change. Not just because I am still not convinced that this is a priority for the government and decision-makers but also because I know that our media is too interested in the ‘sexy’ stuff of politics to care much about this, and frankly given all we see in our own energy usage (rich or poor) I am not sure if even we consumers are willing to do anything more than crib (specially, since much that needs to be done for conservation needs to be done by us). Sadly, we pay attention only when things go so very bad that people revert to energy violence.

I feel bad about being so cynical. And I sincerely hope that I am wrong.

P.S. On a related note, here is an op-ed I just published on Pakistani environmentalist Dr. Tariq Banuri’s run to be the next United Nations climate change chief.

33 responses to “Andhair Nagri: Are We Serious About Energy Conservation?”

  1. Aamer Aziz says:

    The blame game goes on .. the govt says it was mismanagement of the past .. the people say it is the govt .. and the people themselves do not “conserve”.
    40% of electricity generated is lost to corruption, theft, line losses and old inefficient systems. if we can generate all the installed capacity and reduce the losses to “acceptable” 5-7% we would be self sufficient in electricity for years to come WITHOUT any need to generate more electricity for years to come. The 2 days energy conservation conference and big fanfare announcements of impractical and idiotic suggestions (closing shops, two days off, pay light saving) is just the icing on the cake .. the new “energy measures” dont even mention modernizing the existing system, revive energy production units which are lying closed due to circular debt and, most importantly, to curb electricity theft.
    The first thing govt should do is to make strict laws for energy thieves which should be deterrence. Then enforce without exception a nation wide effort to bring all electricity users to legal connections. Instead of spending a million rupee on making falshy TV commercials, give that money to a task force to go into the cities and check electricity meters and get rid of electricity theft. Then only can energy conversation ideas be implemented. Who would even want to conserve electricity if they are getting it for free?
    Then come the big projects of energy generation – be it dams or thar coal project or nuclear power etc. Add to it alternate sources like wind, solar, wave and geothermal.
    One absolutely fails to understand that why there should be an energy crisis for 170 million people in the 21st century.

  2. Adnan Siddiqi says:

    True_Friend: You are so bholay. China and Iran offered cheap electricity to Pakistan but so called secular and radical democratic government did not find any backdoor for corruption hence they rejecteted it.

    This guy,Adnan Sabzwari has proposed a formula of generating electricity via reverse polarity but govt will not listen him because this would be the cheapest solution hence no chance of corruption. n-sabzwari

  3. Are we really serious about energy conservation? And, by ‘we’ I mean all of us, not just the government

    No. And I learnt it further while having a conversation with a local shop keeper who was using 5-6 tube lights for no valid reason. The shopkeeper plainly refused to close his shop according to newly prescribed timings.He even refused to turn extra lights off. When I told him that its not only govt’s responsibility to tackle with crisis but awam also needs to step forward, he simply replied,”Hum Paisay tu detey hain”. while that poor guy don’t understand that Money just can’t do every thing.

    I think as a nation we don’t realize that our luxury can hurt someone else. Thanks to capitalism we are more inclined towards money than human values.

  4. Watan Aziz says:

    Daulat hai apne mulk ki bayhudd-o-bayhisaab
    Hon’ge ham aap mulk ki daulat se faiz’yaab

    -Jagan Nath Azad

    Does this make sense to anyone?

  5. ali b says:

    the government has conceived more projects at the the energy summit but in the absence of proper mechanism to translate these into concrete action, all of these plans will remain on paper and the government will be in a reactionary phase instead of being proactive, the summit also asks consumers for more sacrifices and has also been called anti trade by many.Only time will tell whether we will see light at the end of the tunnel or more darkness ahead.

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