Smart Grid for Pakistan!

smart-gridBy Hassan Farooq

The whole world is buzzed by the smart grid concept and with each coming day, we are witnessing countries going for modernizing their outdated power grid infrastructure. But what is really this Smart grid phenomenon and how really is it important for a developing country like Pakistan, which is currently facing the worst energy crises of all times.

Smart grid is modern version of electric power grid infrastructure which uses communication technologies to enhance power generation, delivery and utilization.

For nontechnical fellows, electricity generated at power stations is brought back by network of power lines to cities where it is fed to our homes. Electric Meters installed in our homes, ”Black Dabbas with a rotating disc” record daily usage which is collected by the inefficient network of Wapda people once each month. This is the bottleneck in our electric infrastructure network since Wapda doesn’t have real time picture of load usage in individual homes rather it is able to get it once every thirty days.

Smart Grid apart from revolutionizing other aspects of electric infrastructure copes with this problem by communicating these meters with the main control room (aka Advanced Metering Infrastructure) so that electric utilities can have clear idea how the load generated is being utilized and for hunting down line losses due to “Kunda Culture” where every gentleman who pays his bills regularly has to bear the expenses of electric thieves.

Apart from this, load forecasting is possible for optimizing power generation. Another important aspect of Smart Grid is integration of renewable energy sources into the power grid. Solar Panels installed in homes can generate energy of their own and excess can be sold back to the electric utilities.

These ideas seem to be very captivating especially during this period when Pakistan is facing 12-18 hours load shedding. However upgrading power grid infrastructure is not a matter of seconds. It requires huge investment and careful planning to modernize the power grid which was designed decades ago.

The fundamental objective in laying out power grid infrastructure is to analyze load demand and predict its value for minimum five years. Unfortunately Pakistan is stuck at this point where our demand is exceeding the supply. It is unclear whether it’s due to poor planning or it’s politically jeopardized but the point is that it is the people and industry who are being victimized. If we are able to surpass this barrier then we should not sit contented keeping hands on hands and waiting for progressive countries of the world including our beloved Neighbor (Which by today has started conquering the space) to direct us for smart grid path rather we should look forward to it as soon as possible so that we are able to enjoy benefits of this phenomenal technology which are huge energy savings, less energy bills, fewer blown transformers and efficient load supply scenario.

Writer is a research Student in Malaysia working on Smart Power Grid Infrastructure

  • Good article, do you know that you cannot install solar panels in your houses? it’s illegal because of Wapda or KESC monopolies

    You can’t even have GAS generator legally!

    • This Monopoly is heavily damaging the energy Sector of Pakistan and is ultimate source of electricity blackout!

    • You can install solar panels but you have to have reversible meters to sell electricity back to WAPDA.

  • Great Article Really! Yes, KESC implement charges for those customer who uses Generators in homes and offices and They say its charged for “self production” What rubbish is that!!! I mean if they cant give electricity x24 a day and we use generators to avoid load-shading then
    why should we pay for it???

    • KESC is a failed organization and is now taking all its measures (no matter how unehtical are these) for surviving!

  • Well installing solar panels is not illegal. But gas generators are illegal because of the shortage of gas supply in the country.

  • Very thought provoking ideas written by the author who is a young researcher. Don’t know what our mature Think Tanks are thinking about “Kal Ka Pakistan”. Thanks to HEC for starting and promoting Higher Education culture in Pakistan that is giving birth to such motivated and innovative youth who thinks about “Future Pakistan”.

  • Great one. Keep writing. I didn’t understand it mostly being non technical in that field but it seemed creative and quite an analysed sort of research stuff. Thumbs up!

  • hehe
    Black Dabbas with a rotating disc have long gone. Digital meters ab dharda dhurd units phenktay hain :(

    Government is not serious about “Kunda Culture”, in Punjab villages, Karachi city areas this is common. 4 out of ten homes can be seen enjoying Kunda Culture.

    Jo unke complain karta hay wo WAPDA aur Sayasi andar kay relations ke wajah say uska naam nikalwa ker baad main lartay phirtay hain ya golian tak chalti hain.

    Kunda Culture kay liyay MDI shayad is naam kay meters istemal hotay hain us main poray muhallay ka andaza lagaya jata hay. Chor aur shareef sab ka total ker kay bill pora ker letay hain WAPDA walay jiska bill kum banta ho usko bill zayada bhej kay.

    Main nay WAPDA kay liyay contract per kaam kea, villages kay log rotay hain jab unkay ghar jao survey kernay. Bhordi amma apna ghar main aik toilet ka bulb dekha rahi the kehti ye sirf raat ko kabhi kabhi istemal hota hay. Us amma kay hath main aik month ka bill 6000rs tha aur ankho main ansu thay. jab kay usi amma kay ghar say thorda samnay acha bhala makaan tha, jinkay meter main bijli chori kay liyay hole thay, ghar main teen TV, washing machine, aik AC aik air cooler. unka bill 300rs tha.

    WAPDA walay sath milay howay hain un logon kay, bill ghar nahi pohanchaya jata sirf cities main WAPDA thaath baath rakhti hay, villages main WAPDA office 9 bajay khulta hay 10 bajay chutti. Customers door kay ilaqon say ayay daftar kay bahir 11 bajay bethay ro rahay hotay hain unko andar say keh dia jata hay Baba ge afsar chuti ker gaya hay.

    WAPDA walay bill villages ke masjid main day jatay hain log unpurh aik dosray ka bill pay kertay rehtay hain unhain naam nahi parhna ata, kai ko bill nahi milta.
    Meters ke reading WAPDA walay villages main 3 mahinay baad lenay jatay hain. do mahinay khud say andazan meter reading likhtay rehtay hain.

    in WAPDA walon ke saholtain dekh lo, corruption, nakhray inkay roads per ehtijaj, adara private ho gaya to inke azadi khatam ho jani, AC offices. bachon kay liyay free school buses, vans, cars. Malazmo ke cars, Petrol, housing colonies, free bijli, free special WAPDA hospitals and schools. (aam meter reading malazmin tak kay liyay bhi) Aur adaray ke kardgardgi?

    Main nay chiniot main aisay bills dekhay ghar kisi aur ka bill koi aur pay kar raha. Tower mobilink ka bill usko Warid kay tower ka bheja ja raha. Telenor ko Mobilink ka bill bheja ja raha. Kion kay WAPDA malazmin ko naam he nahi parhna ata english main bill say. Wo sirf aam naam kay spelling andazay say rut ker rakhtay hain.

    • Yes! All of Pakistan is suffering due to lack of commitment and honesty of Wapda people….Something must be done very soon otherwise uncontrollable big energy crisis is coming :(

  • Government is not serious about “Kunda Culture”, in Punjab villages, Karachi city areas this is common. 4 out of ten homes can be seen enjoying Kunda Culture.

    Jo unke complain karta hay wo WAPDA aur Sayasi andar kay relations ke wajah say uska naam nikalwa ker baad main lartay phirtay hain ya golian tak chalti hain.

  • Nice introduction to this phenomenon which really needs further research & implementation in Pakistan !!

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