Pakistan is suffering from smog since last two years, which had overwhelmed the province of Punjab in the course of winter season. Due to this phenomenon, flight operations were suspended and serious health issues were on the rise. Therefore, Pakistan has decided to adopt China’s model of electricity generation to counter the damages.
Now, what exactly is China’s model? China, threatened by smog and wasted capacity, is abandoning plans to build more than 100 coal-fired power plants. This is a known fact that electricity generated from fossil fuels is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gases. These greenhouse gases not only lead to global warming but also pollution from thermal plants cause the haze of smog that has much of Punjab has suffered this winter.
The question that arises here is how Pakistan can get rid of its smog problem without compromising its energy-related ventures. What are the possible options Pakistan can utilize by adopting China Model?
The answers require a greater understanding of Pakistan’s energy requirements and China’s adoption of renewable energy options at massive scales.
China is now the new global leader by expressing its endeavours for falling coal consumption while shifting to nuclear and renewable energy. Therefore, the use of nuclear energy has emerged as a solution to cope with climate change and pollution in China.
One of the most efficient and reliable sources of energy is nuclear power. Nuclear is a clean and environment-friendly source of energy and the world is increasing its reliance on this form of power generation.
Energy resources are imperative for the economic growth of any country. In this sense, the generation of nuclear power is one of the finest ways to upkeep a country’s energy security vis-à-vis the fight against global climate change.
Nuclear energy makes sense when Pakistan has experience in operating nuclear technology, spanning over four decades and it has the qualified manpower and professionals.
In the last one year, Pakistan has connected its fourth and fifth nuclear power plants (Chashma-3 and 4) to the national grid. Meanwhile, construction of two other large nuclear power plants of 1,100 MWe each near Karachi, is proceeding on schedule.
The Chairman, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), Muhammad Naeem, addressed the sixty-first annual general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and indicated his country’s commitment to utilize maximum benefits from the peaceful applications of nuclear energy.
He further elaborated that Pakistan has a vision of achieving up to 8,800 MWe by the year 2030 through nuclear power generation.
After the Fukushima nuclear disaster due to the unprecedented tsunami, the safety of nuclear facilities has turned into a hot debate. Fears shown by some quarters after the nuclear accident in Japan about the safety of nuclear installations in Pakistan do not correspond to the realities on the ground.
Security and safety have been the hallmarks of the nuclear industry in Pakistan. The IAEA and PAEC have comprehensively studied the circumstances that led to the Fukushima failure and the measures taken by Japan to address the crisis and drawn conclusions on how to improve the safety of nuclear power plants in Pakistan.
However, global support is needed as Pakistan is using this viable source to enhance its energy mix and cope with current energy crisis while remaining conscious to the threat of global warming.
Right after the official announcement of Indo-US nuclear deal in July 2005, Islamabad has frequently asked for a similar nuclear deal, one that allows it to exercise the nuclear trade with all members of the Nuclear Suppliers Groups (NSG).
Pakistan has created a firm case for the transfer of civil nuclear technology from Western countries for its energy needs, but Western countries support US nuclear double standards toward the region.
It also validates the fact that the US supports a nuclear India, but objects to a nuclear Pakistan that undermines Islamabad’s efforts to fight against climate change.
All alternatives must be taken into account to contest the mounting energy deficiency and meet future demands with respect to climate change.
Pakistan is a pioneer developing country in using nuclear technology for producing electrical energy. And its sustained safety and security record urges world assistance in nuclear energy production.
Nuclear power is an important part of our domestic energy mix.