KARACHI - Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh said that province had been host to the only properly designated wind corridor in the country between Gharo and Jhimpir having potential 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 had crossed the mark of one 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 which resolution has been pending with different federal authorities including problems related to determination of tariff, connectivity to national grid, and lack of transmission systems,” Sheikh added.

The 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 which 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 and 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 the 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.

Sheikh added that Sindh had become only province in the country to establish a provincial level power transmission and dispatch company and 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 decentralisation in energy sector.

The minister apprised that recently, the provincial 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.

Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) CEO 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 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.