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Modeling of Electrical Grid Systems to Evaluate Sustainable Electricity Generation in Pakistan

Pakistan has always had a history of severe energy shortfalls, which rose up to an alarming 33% in 2013. This situation was countered by investments in the energy sector through the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which were unfortunately largely based on brown fuels. Although beneficial in the short term, these investments do not bode well for the climate scenario of Pakistan, with various parts of the country already having experienced temperatures rise of 1-3°C. To ensure that the current situation doesn’t exacerbate and is tackled in a timely manner, this research aims to examine how the untapped potential of renewable energy in Pakistan can be better utilized by modelling the entire electrical grid system for multi-portfolio based sustainable electricity generation, in line with the sustainable development goals chalked out by Pakistan with the United Nations (UN). Delving further into the matter, a gap is observed that demands coalescence between sustainability and portfolio-based generation in the context of Pakistan, since the prevalent narrative is of Business As Usual (BAU). The research methodology implemented is a cross sectional case study employing qualitative and quantitative data collection methods and outcomes, in which the entire grid system of Pakistan is studied and sustainability metrics are defined; followed by a comprehensive use of Multi-Criteria Decision Methodology in decision making process. Portfolios defined are a combination of different generation technologies, each simulating a possible avenue of policy, and are then evaluated for a range of sustainability metrics to understand the tradeoffs involved to arrive at a set goal. The process decision framework developed shall enable the Pakistani energy sector in meeting the energy demands by providing the decision-makers with various routes to do so, while informing on the sustainability impact of their decisions.
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