Sunday, 1 July 2007

Pakistan's Energy Crisis

The last couple of years have seen a major energy crisis in Pakistan, with Karachi in particular suffering from massive load-shedding. This summer, most of the city has been seeing 6-9 hours of load-shedding per day. Recently this state of affairs has even led to street protests.

This has been the result of a huge increase of demand and a static supply since 2004. Consumer electric goods, particularly air conditioners and fridges and freezers have dropped in price by up to 60% with the influx of cheap Chinese brands into the market. Multiple A/Cs are now common in middle class households. However, there has been no increase in the production of electricity. Karachi has further suffered from a decrepit infrastructure that has had to cope with the continuing building boom and expansion of the city and malignant neglect from a series of quarters. In an insightful Dawn article, Irfan Hussain examines how a series of policy and planning failures has led to this crisis.


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