Energy minister says wind power potential being explored

  • Announces to hold talks with fed govt regarding 35 pending projects
  • Badin and Sujawal also loaded with potential to generate wind power as per WB’s report, says minister

KARACHI: Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh on Thursday said that on Sindh is host to a properly designated wind corridor in the country between Gharo and Jhimpir, whose potential is being tapped to generate electricity on the basis of wind power.

He was speaking at the inaugural session of third International Wind Energy Summit 2018 organised by Energy Update in collaboration Sindh Energy Department.

He said that electricity generation on the basis of wind power in Gharo-Jhimpir corridor has crossed the mark of 1 Gigawatt with the commissioning of over 20 wind power plants.

Commissioning of some 35 more wind power projects in the province is yet to be achieved owing to a number of issues whose resolution has been pending with different federal authorities including problems related to the determination of tariff, connectivity to the national grid, and lack of transmission systems, he added.

The provincial energy minister said that he would soon visit Islamabad to hold talks with the relevant federal authorities to resolve pending issues of these 35 wind power projects who’s commissioning had been delayed much to the disadvantage of power consumers in Sindh.

He assured the audience of the moot that Sindh government is fully committed to resolving long pending issues of upcoming wind power projects as for this cause the concerned provincial authorities had decided to raise such energy-related problems at the relevant forums of Council of Common Interests (CCI) and with federal power ministry.

He said that Sindh had reserved over 54,000 acres of its land to launch projects of renewable energy on bases of wind and solar power while recent scientific studies backed by the World Bank had identified new wind corridors in the areas of Badin and Sujawal.

He said that Sindh has become the only province in the country to establish a provincial level power transmission and dispatch company as now the provincial government is working on the plan to establish its own grid company so that pending issues of new wind power projects related to evacuation, transmission, and distribution of electricity could be resolved on a priority with an approach of decentralization in energy sector.

Imtiaz Shaikh said that recently, the Sindh government had initiated Sindh Solar Energy Programme with the financial backing of the World Bank as it would help the concerned provincial authorities to tap solar power abundantly available in the province throughout the country.

He said that Sindh having indigenous Thar coal reserves, abundant natural gas resources, wind, and solar power can lead towards the solution for energy problems of the entire country as every relevant stakeholder in the country should lend full support to fully exploit natural energy resources of the province.

In his speech, he said that Pakistan should set target of generating at least 30 per cent of its electricity on basis of renewable energy in next five to seven years as this is the only way for the country to tackle its power crisis that is expected to exacerbate further with depleting hydrocarbon resources and increasing fuel costs.

On this occasion, Alternative Energy Development Board Chief Executive Officer (AEDB) Amjad Ali Awan stated, “This is the current global trend as everyone concerned in the outside world including international agencies and donors are ready to fully support us more than any other form of energy so there is no other viable option for us other than working to develop and expand our renewable energy sector.”

He said that Pakistan has to increase its reliance on renewable energy for power generation as at present indigenous resources of natural gas accounted for 24 per cent electricity produced in the country as soon an alternative had to be found to replace this source in view of fast depleting gas resources.