Revisiting Pakistan's Energy Crisis and CPEC Power Projects

Prospects, Challenges, and Remedies for Energy, Environmental, and Debt Sustainability


  • Arfan Mahmood University of the Punjab, Lahore.



Pakistan, a country severely affected by energy crisis, is fulfilling its energy demands by a combination of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas), renewables, and nuclear energy. Fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas account for nearly one-third of energy imports are major source of Pakistan’s primary energy mix. Almost 75% of energy production through CPEC power plants is through coal. Environmental and debt sustainability, two vital concerns highlighted by critics about CPEC power plants, are the major focus of this study. Considering the gap between demand and supply and environmental impacts caused by over-emphasis on fossil fuels to generate electricity, this study is structured to explore the impacts of CPEC power plants on environmental and debt sustainability in Pakistan. It further aims at exploring the factors behind new generated capacity through CPEC power projects. Exploring energy security of Pakistan, this paper utilizes 4As framework as a methodology to measure the transformations in Pakistan’s energy security by mapping it onto four aspects: availability, applicability, acceptability, and affordability. Two key aspects of energy security, availability and affordability of energy, are heavily emphasized in this study. Despite substantial flows into the energy infrastructure through CPEC, Pakistan still continues to be energy insecure facing additional challenges in the shape of environmental and debt sustainability. The study recommends gradual but consistent adoption of green energy solutions and enhanced conservation efforts for mitigating energy, environmental, and debt insecurities.

Keywords: Energy security, environmental and debt sustainability, green energy, 4As framework, CPEC power projects etc.


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How to Cite

Mahmood, A. (2023). Revisiting Pakistan’s Energy Crisis and CPEC Power Projects: Prospects, Challenges, and Remedies for Energy, Environmental, and Debt Sustainability. Journal of Professional Research in Social Sciences, 10(2), 1–23.



Articles (English)