Previews of Upcoming Research Papers

1. Environmental Impacts of Fossil fuel based Electricity Generation Systems: A Comparative Assessment based on Variations in the Energy Mix.

Although electricity is a clean form of energy, the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity has several environmental impacts. Almost all types of electricity generation plants have an impact on the environment. It is generally presumed that fossil fuel based power generation plants have a relatively greater adverse impact on the environment. However, other cleaner sources of electricity generation; such as nuclear, wind, solar and hydro power generation also have their own set of environmental benefits as well as adversaries.
Comparative evaluation of changing energy mix can assist to evaluate and choose between various energy options. Along with technical and economic assessments, environmental impact assessment for such power generation plants is vital as to formulate sustainable energy policies.
This paper explores the environmental impacts of electricity generation from various primary fossil fuel sources. The scope of this study is to investigate the environmental impacts of electricity generation in the current proportions of energy mix, and project variations resulting from altering these proportions i.e. energy mix.

2. Electricity Subsidy

Over the past three years, government has been reducing the electricity subsidy on the directive of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, still significant amount of resources are allocated to the Tariff Differential Subsidy (TDS). There is a lack of political will and public opposition against eliminating subsidies. In order to provide clarity on this issue and clear misconceptions, this paper intends to analyze the impact of subsidies on the power sector, investigate whether electricity subsidies actually benefit the poor and offer policy recommendations to move towards subsidy elimination.

3. Merit Order Issues

Merit Order is the method of ranking available power plants, based on increasing Cost per Unit of electricity. It is followed with the principle that the lowest cost of electricity units are the first to be purchased followed by the next lowest, until total demand is met. It is included to increase price competitiveness, customer relief and primarily to minimize the cost of production of electricity. The Economic Merit Order in Pakistan has several issues such as only being based on Fuel Component and not including other relevant factors such as T&D Costs, GENCOs which have a lower Merit Order being still in operation and also there is no distinction made based of Plant Efficiency. The paper will discuss these three main issues and analyze the impact they have on the merit order list and other relevant factors.