Pakistan was plunged into darkness last night as the country’s entire electricity network went down due to a fault at a power station in the south of the country.
The country is no stranger to power outages, with areas of the country regularly experiencing blackouts, although this outage was especially severe. A fault at the Guddu power plant in Sindh province at around midnight local time on Saturday seems to have caused the whole country to go offline.
Every city in Pakistan went dark at once, although essential facilities, such as hospitals, continued operation despite the power outage thanks to diesel-fuelled generators.
Pakistan’s power minister, Omar Ayub Khan, seemed to confirm that the issue stemmed from the issue at the power plant, noting on Twitter that, “A countrywide blackout has been caused by a sudden plunge in the frequency in the power transmission system.”
The grid is now largely back online in most major cities, but Khan warned that it could take several more hours for the grid to go completely back to normal.
How Pakistan is fighting against constant outages
While power outages are common in Pakistan, the country is actively working to ensure that it better balances its grid. Thus far the country has promised several new coal-fired power plants to prevent blackouts, although it’s also turning to renewables.
In 2020, the Pakistan Government announced a big push towards renewable energy. It promised that renewables would make up 20% of Pakistan’s power mix by 2025, rising to 30% by 2030.
The country will be leaning on an array of renewables to boost its capacity, with wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, wave and biomass energy all set to be utilised.
After today’s power outage, Pakistan will be hoping that the investment it is making in its national grid will be enough to satisfy its power demands for years to come.