ISLAMABAD: Minister of Planing, Development and Reforms, Professor Ahsan Iqbal here on Saturday stressed the need for making integrated efforts to utilize available energy resources of South Asia for sustainable development in the region.
Addressing the concluding session of the 29th Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Pakistan Society for Development Economists (PSDE), the minister said that despite the abundant natural and human resources, the region was suffering.
The three-day event was organized by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) to share international best practices in energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, sustainable energy development, energy and household economics.
The minister said that South Asia has the lowest per capita energy consumption as compared to other countries and it has the highest poverty ratio, poor human life index and nutrient deficiencies.
He asked for harnessing the full energy potential and utilizing the alternative energy resources like solar, wind, coal and other renewable energy sources to provide affordable electricity for sustainable economic development.
Ahsan Iqbal urged the policymakers for devising viable policies to get maximum benefits of alternative energy and capacity building to produce environment friendly power generation.
The minister also called for energy conservation and creating linkages between engineers, economists and environmentalists to overcome the energy challenges besides environment hazards which were also putting negative affects on the economy.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Executive The Energy Institute (TERI), New Delhi, Dr. R.K Pachauri said that ample opportunities existed in energy sector development.
He asked for enhancing dependence on alternative and renewable resources like wind, solar for electrification of rural areas where a majority of villages were deprived of electricity.
He said that about 1.3 billion people have no access to electricity adding that agriculture residual and other alternative resources having huge potential must be used to produce electricity for sustainable development.