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Hydroelectric Power Leading the Way in Pakistan

A hydroelectric dam.

Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) said it supplied 31.804 billion units of hydroelectric power to the national grid in 2013-2014. This is compared to 29.560 billion units for the previous years—a decrease of 1.524 billion units.

“This additional contribution of low-cost electricity helped the national exchequer save about Rs24.38 billion, which otherwise would have been spent on generating an equal volume of electricity from costly imported oil,” a Wapda spokesperson said.

Hydroelectric is also the cheapest form of energy the country has. This year, generation of hydroelectric power cost roughly Rs1.50 per unit, whereas the average unit cost for imported furnace oil was Rs16.

The country’s largest hydroelectric power station, Tarbela, produced 15.138 billion units in 2013-2014, which is an increase from 2012-2013’s 14.755 billion units.

Mangla, which is the 9th largest damn in the world, recently completed its capacity-increasing project, and generated 5.725 billion units in the same year period, compared to 4.576 for the previous period.

Wapda accounts for at least a third of the country’s hydroelectric power at about 7,000 megawatts generated. According to them, it’s the cheapest, cleanest, and most environmentally-friendly way of generating electricity. The method is becoming increasingly popular in the country.

This week, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced that ground officially broke on the 4,320MW Dasu hydropower plant.

The plant is on the Indus River and will be located about 240km upstream from Tarbela.

The Indus River is an untapped resource of hydroelectric potential, with estimates placing it as having a potential to generate up to 40,000MW. 

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