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Considering the negligible share of coal in Pakistan’s current energy mix, the Economic Survey has called for increasing its share in the energy mix by up to 30 percent by the year 2030.Given that base load could not be entirely replaced by renewables at this stage and hydropower was seasonal, thermal options remained critical to the country’s energy mix, the survey noted.

The first of the Thar coal power project and associated mine was commissioned in July 2019 as a priority national project and since then, it has generated energy output of 4,155 GwH, resulting in savings of up to $130 million compared to LNG and imported coal sources.

The Economic Survey also noted that considering the historical variability for each energy source in Pakistan’s energy mix, an Integrated Energy Plan has been formulated to assess the demand supply gap and adopt evidence-based long term policy options.

According to the survey, a competition is underway among coal, natural gas and renewable to feed Asia’s fast-growing economies. However, coal is likely to gain greater prominence in the energy mix of most developing countries.

The New Energy Outlook 2019 released by Bloomberg also underscores the planned additions of energy from coal-fired power plants with over 200,000MW in China, more than 51,000MW in India, 11,000MW in Japan, and 27,000MW in rest of the world. Survey mentions that massive energy resource in the shape of coal exists in Pakistan and further exploration in different areas is in progress, but only a fraction of it is being utilised. In coming years, local coal use should be promoted to achieve larger contribution.