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Renewable energy imperative for sustained industrial development: Chawla

Renewable energy imperative for sustained industrial development: Chawla

FAISALABAD: The Cheap environment friendly and renewable energy is imperative for sustained industrial development however; we must take immediate and appropriate measures to increase its production in addition to ensuring its conservation, said  Shabbir Hussain Chawla President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI).

He was addressing the opening session of a 3-days workshop on “Energy conservation and efficiency” specially designed for technical industrial workforce of Faisalabad. This workshop was organized by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in collaboration with FCCI here today.

He termed energy as a prerequisite for industrial growth but lamented that its per capita availability in Pakistan is less then India and Bangladesh. He said that during last decade Pakistan was worst hit by the menace of load shedding and due to this set back, our GDP growth registered is deep decline of 2%.

Continuing, he said that the power generation has increased satisfactorily and industries are now getting electricity in according to their needs. However, the discrepancies in its transmission and distribution system are still haunting industrial and export sectors with occasional scheduled and unscheduled load shedding. He told that it is squeezing employment opportunities in addition to chocking exports. He underlined the importance to generate electricity to meet our future needs and said that conservation of electricity was more important than its generation. “It is much better to save one megawatt of electricity instead of producing two mega watts”, he added.

Commenting on the export, he said that in order to give quantum jump to our exports, we have to cut down cost of doing business and it is possible only if we could be able to generate sufficient and cheap electricity for our future needs. He said that major portion of electricity is generated by oil-based thermal power plants for which we have to import oil. “Increase in its rates has enhanced our current deficit to record level of 15.96 billion dollars”, he said and added that in order to control it, we have to increase component of hydel generation in our total energy mix in addition to switching over to renewable and alternative energy resources. Regarding hydel generation, Mr. Chawla said that FCCI had launched a comprehensive campaign about three months ago during which letters were written to Prime Minister, Chief Ministers and Chief Justice of Pakistan demanding immediate construction of multipurpose dams and water reservoirs.

Similarly heads of all major political parties were also requested to give due importance to the increasing shortage of water and include this issue of national importance in their election manifestos with well spelled out policy for the construction of new water reservoirs. He said that globally increased competition has forced us to generate cheap electricity in addition to taking necessary measures for the conservations of electricity. He said that according to conservative estimates, we could save at least 17% of electricity by taking appropriate measures. He also welcomed the organization of this workshop in FCCI and said that it will not only update the knowledge of its participants but also enhance their professional skills.

Earlier Ali Qureshi national experts UNIDO gave a detailed presentation and told that it has so far trained more than 400 experts in the energy field. He told that Director General of UNIDO is expected to visit Pakistan during this month and sign an agreement to launch new projects in this field. He said that UNIDO has selected 5 sectors in which skilled man power will be trained. Among these sectors, includes textile, foundry, dairy paper & pulp and ceramics. He further said that at present 9 projects involving 30 million dollars are in progress while another fifteen are in the pipeline. He told that UNIDO has established a training center in National University of Science & Technology (NUST) to produced fully trained energy auditors and energy management professionals.

Earlier two separate videos were also screened while Mr. Albert William a trainer from South Africa conducted the first technical session.