Energy is essential to almost every major challenge the world suffers today. Its demand is persistently increasing in Pakistan as the country proceeds to develop its industry, agriculture, real estate, and transportation sector. Presently, Pakistan meets its energy requirement of over 75 per cent from domestic resources. Around 50.4 per cent of its energy needs are met by the indigenous gas, 28.4 per cent by domestic and imported oil, and 12.7 per cent by hydroelectricity (Pakistan Economic Survey). Yet Pakistan is unable to overcome its acute energy crisis. The deficit has exceeded 7,000 megawatts (MW), or about one-third of its total energy demand. It is mainly due to underinvestment in the energy sector by the government.
However, Pakistan is focusing on increasing its long-term strategic energy planning process by working on the green, long-term, and low-cost energy resources by expanding its untapped renewable energy potential in hydro, solar, and wind. Generating energy from renewable resources is a cost-effective process and significantly promotes environmental productivity and sustainability. In this context, tidal energy, a form of hydropower that converts tides into electricity, is a clean and white energy technology available at no fuel and minimal running cost.
Despite its importance, Tidal energy has not yet been operational in Pakistan compared to other renewable energy technologies. In Sindh, two sites, a creek system of Indus delta of 170 km and two to five metres tidal heights at the Korangi Creek, are available to exploit the tidal energy.
Experts estimate that the creek system of the Indus Delta has the potential to generate around 697 to 727MW of power which means 25 per cent of Karachi’s electricity needs can be met by tapping the tidal energy potential. Many countries like France, South Korea, China, and India are producing electricity with the help of tidal waves in their creeks. It was estimated that at least from four creeks of the Indus Delta, 727MWs of electricity could be generated. With the availability of advanced technologies and highly efficient turbines, Pakistan can convert 65 per cent of the tidal energy into electricity (Dawn,2022). A significant benefit of tidal energy is that it requires only on-time investment with little maintenance cost and can produce energy for many years.