Nobel Laureate, Richard Smalley, listed some problems which are relevant to the operations of society, and placed energy at the top – even above a society’s predicaments of food, population and poverty. The vicious cycles which surround the energy paradigm in Pakistan can be summarized through three major bottlenecks – firstly, there is a demand-supply gap – that is created when the demand for energy does not match the supply. Secondly, Pakistan imports a huge amount of fossil fuels to cater to this gap, which in turn compromises the external accounts of the country. Thirdly, there are distribution losses at various stages of our energy transmission. Pakistan has faced a huge encumbrance of energy woes due to load shedding, CNG crisis, lack of availability of natural gas for both domestic and industrial consumers, and soaring prices and tariffs. Over the years, some have suggested the privatization of the supply chain, while the government has experimented with varied initiatives, including band aid measures in the form of subsidies, and some drastic measures- such as new thermal power plants. Yet, our efforts directed towards renewable sources of energy are relatively new. It’s a dire question: do we remain existing in an anachronistic way, or steer ahead with the advanced countries, in accordance with the need of time? In this regard, Sustainable Development Goal number seven: ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’ ensures access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. According to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) country report in December 2019, the stock of circular debt in Pakistan grew up to PKR 1,618 billion in FY 2019, which made around 4.2 percent of GDP. The IMF defined circular debt as the cash flow shortfall in the power sector because of the non-payment of obligations by consumers, distribution companies, and the government. In Pakistan, the power play of electricity generation revolves around the Ministry of Energy (Power Division), Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), and Independent Power Producers (IPPs). The modes of generation are hydroelectric, thermal, nuclear and renewable.Fossil fuels are depleting, and we, as a nation, are facing enormous burden in the form of dearth of natural gas – which amplifies in winter – putting the lives of many citizens, and performance of industries, in jeopardyTarget 7.1 deals with ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030. In this regard, according to the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) database, in 2018, the proportion of the population with access to electricity in Pakistan was 71.1 percent. For the same year – China stood at 100 percent and India at 95.2 percent. In a digital era of sweeping and radical innovations, this statistic does not guarantee a good standard of life. In reality, it is inequality at its peak as a major chunk of our population is devoid of electricity – this prevents them from even using electric fans while living in a temperate zone. Another deplorable statistic in this regard comes from a World Bank report published in July 2020 about the infrastructure provision of road transport, electricity, and water and sanitation in Asia and the Pacific. The report states that the electricity quality in Pakistan averages to a figure of 2.9 on a scale of 1-7. The same report highlights the percentage of transmission and distribution (T&D) losses to be 17.1 percent. Majorly, our transmission lines can be termed as ‘faulty,’ thus resulting in huge distribution losses. The National Transmission & Dispatch Company (NTDC), and multiple distribution companies (DISCOs) are involved in the transmission process. Owing to natural disasters and a lack of maintenance, our energy transmission infrastructure leads to huge losses. As a ray of hope, the Pakistan Economic Survey (2019-20) reported that the installed capacity for electricity generation was 35,972 MW from July 2019- April 2020, which signified a growth rate of 7.5 percent from the previous year. On a similar note, in July 2020, the Ministry of Energy, Power Division stated that the country’s demand was 23,527MW against the production of 25,000 MW. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the crux of electricity issues is solved. In furtherance of this issue, there is the dilemma of the escalating prices of electricity. If we consider Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO), then for the first hundred units, the price per unit equals Rs 13.85 per unit for residential areas. This is coupled with considerable amounts of taxes, some of which are the general sales tax (GST), electricity duty, and Neelum Jhelum Surcharge.Another indicator of this target deals with ‘the proportion of population with primary reliance on clean fuels and technology’. In this lieu, the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey of 2018-19 reported that only 47 percent of the households use gas as the main fuel used for cooking, with a stark difference in urban and rural areas. Moreover, generally in Pakistan, only 35 percent of the households have access to clean fuel technology. Even as a developing country – these numbers do not make much sense. According to Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (2017-18), ninety-three percent of cooking takes place inside the house whereas only 6 percent of the households have a separate building for cooking. This can lead to respiratory diseases, and cause harm to especially women, who are typically responsible for cooking in households. Fossil fuels are depleting, and we, as a nation, are facing enormous burden in the form of dearth of natural gas – which amplifies in winter – putting the lives of many citizens, and performance of industries, in jeopardy. This can be seen by the statistics reported by Pakistan Economic Survey 2018-19, stating that Pakistan only produces around 4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd) of indigenous natural gas in face of a demand level of 6 Bcfd; with there being more than 9.6 million consumers across the country. Even with the imports – there is a missing strategic long- term direction here. A glimmering ray of hope here would be to mention that Pakistani households have been delving into solar energy as an option for fuel for both lightning and cooking purposes.Dr. IzzaAftab is the chairperson of the Economics Department at Information Technology University, Lahore. She is also the Director of the SDG Tech Lab and the Program Director of Safer Society for Children. She has a PhD in Economics from The New School University (NY, USA) and is a Fulbrighter. She tweets @izzaaftab. Noor Ul Islam is currently working as a Research Associate at the SDG Tech Lab established in collaboration with Information Technology University, Lahore, UNDP and UNFPA. She is a post-graduate in Economics from Lahore University of Management Sciences. She tweets @Noor_Ul_Islam20.