Sindh Government reserves 54,000 acres land for renewable energy projects: Imtiaz Shaikh

Karachi, October 11, 2018 (PPI-OT): Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh has said that Sindh province had been host to the only properly designated wind corridor in the country between Gharo and Jhimpir whose potential was 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 organized by Energy Update in collaboration Sindh Energy Department. HE said that electricity generation on the basis of wind power in Gharo-Jhimpir corridor had crossed the mark of 01 Gigawatt with 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 determination of tariff, connectivity to national grid, and lack of transmission systems. 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 whose commissioning had been delayed much to the disadvantage of power consumers in Sindh.

He assured audience of the moot that Sindh government was fully committed to resolve 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 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 had become only province in the country to establish a provincial level power transmission and dispatch company as now the provincial government was 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. Mr. Imtiaz Shaikh said that recently Sindh government had initiated Sindh Solar Energy Programme with 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; provided effective, sustainable, and long-term 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, 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.

Chief Executive Officer of Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Amjad Ali Awan stated this here on Thursday while addressing as the keynote speaker at the inaugural session of Third International Wind Energy Summit-2018 organized by Energy Update in collaboration Sindh Energy Department. “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,” said Mr. Awan on the occasion.

He said that Pakistan had 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. He said that Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas was being imported to replace reliance on indigenous gas reserves as up to 63 per cent of RLNG being brought into the energy system of the country was being used for power generation.

The AEDB chief said that power generation on basis of RLNG was not a feasible option from the point of view of consumers as electricity so produced had phenomenally higher tariff up to Rs 9.02/kilowatt hour. He said that alternative resources of energy was the most viable option on basis of which electricity was being generated all over the world with lowest tariff for the maximum economic benefit of consumers. “Whereas import of oil here only accounts for 81 per cent of our fiscal deficit,” said Mr. Awan.

“At present 57 countries of the world have been aiming for 100 per cent power generation on basis of renewable energy in near future as there are countries like Germany and Denmark, which have been generating over 60 per cent of their electricity on basis of alternative resources of power. Pakistan should feature among the list of such promising countries as it has abundance of natural resources to set such a viable target,” he said.

He said that there was no other way for Pakistan other than to move forward in the arena of renewable energy with consistent, long-term, and concrete policies that define clear and high targets to be achieved by the prospective investors from within and outside the country that should be encouraged to maximally invest in the Pakistani alternative energy market. Ambassador of Denmark Rolf Michael Hay Pereira Holmboe said that Denmark had been working on a plan to generate 100 per cent power generation on basis of renewable energy in a coming few years.

He said that a Danish company Vestas had been producing maximum number of wind turbines in the world having optimal energy production efficiency as the Danish technology in wind power sector was being used worldwide. He said that Denmark, both its government and companies, were fully committed to support expansion and growth of wind energy sector of Pakistan as for this cause it would lend both full technical and financial support.

Sultan Farooq Khan, a senior energy expert, said that all the relevant stakeholders in the country including National Electric Power Regulatory Authority should move forward with the aim to phenomenally expand the scope and output of renewable energy sector of Pakistan. He lamented that country’s only wind corridor in between Gharo and Jhimpir was virtually situated at the doorstep of Karachi but the city’s privatized power utility K-Electric had on plan in hand to utilize renewable energy resources for power generation for the benefit of power consumers in Karachi and in rest of Sindh.

Naeem Qureshi, chairman organizing committee of the moot, earlier in his welcome speech shed light on the aims and objectives of organizing the International Wind Energy Summit. Mehfooz Qazi, Director Alternative Energy of Sindh Energy Department, also spoke and shed lights on plans of provincial department to promote use of renewable resources in the country.

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