Wind energy is an economical and environmentally friendly source of energy that should have been harvested a long time ago in Pakistan, seeing the amount of potential present. Wind energy is gaining popularity as investment ensures quick return in a short cycle of three years. The energy generation capacity of the country is projected to increase from 250 to 1,530MW, an ambitious projection to say the least, and that too within a year as 22 windmill projects are in the pipeline. Before we revel in the prospect of affordable electricity for the masses, one must not be overly optimistic, as Pakistanis have learnt the hard way of the true meaning of the words “in the pipeline”.

However, there is hope as Pakistan has a 1,046km coastline in the South (Sindh and Balochistan), even though most of the wind power projects are currently being installed at Gharo-Keti Bander and Hyderabad wind corridor, till the situation in Balochistan stabilizes. The estimated energy potential of the wind corridor is a massive 50,000MW, which begs the question: why hasn’t any government realised this abundant and costless source of energy and harnessed it? Unfortunately, constant trifling with tariffs has put off many investors. The unnecessary and complicated red tape around the process for obtaining wind power generation licenses from Nepra, the national power regulator, puts off many investors who have reason to believe that licenses can only be granted to those with political connections.

Perhaps the biggest impediment remains the National Transmission system, which is inadequate to accommodate even 100MW more until it upgrades its system. Unless grid availability and reliability is ensured to the investors, building more and more wind energy plants will do no good to the energy crisis faced by the country.

The good news is that wind power projects come as part of the CPEC. With Chinese investment, renewable energy is sure to witness fast tracked growth in the present economy. Hopefully, this growth is sustainable, providing long-term solutions and improving the energy situation in the country.