There is 346,000 MW wind energy potential in Pakistan

Arif Allauddin, Chief Executive Officer of Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) focused his energy sector presentation on the need to provide energy to 60 million Pakistanis, who do not have access to power and 135 million that are slipping down the ladder for their heating and cooking needs.

He said the best alternative to bridge the growing gap between supply and demand in electricity is to invest in alternate energy sources such as wind power and solar power.

He shared with participants that there is 346,000 MW wind energy potential in Pakistan while 2.9 million MW could be produced through tapping solar energy. AEDB acts as one window for assistance to all investors, service providers, importers and manufacturers.

Arif updated the participants that in the wind energy sector and informed that 31 private projects are at various stages of development while a six MW wind farm project of a Turkish company is operational. “The Government of Pakistan has set a target of generating 1500 MW through wind turbines by 2013 while financial close for 300 MW is expected in 2011,” said Arif.

Similarly in the solar energy sector, five projects of 114 MW have been initiated in the private sector and over 8000 homes in 80 villages have been electrified. AEDB Chief said solar energy sector offers best opportunities for investment and informed that accumulated annual growth in sales (2008-2010) for Photovoltaics was 300 per cent and Solar Thermal Water Heaters 200 per cent. He also shared data of potential small hydropower projects that are cost effective and environment friendly. Dr Javed Leghari, Chairman Higher Education Commission gave an overview of the higher education sector.