Issues with Centre: 35 wind & solar power projects in the doldrums: minister

Lahore – Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh said that the province, having indigenous Thar coal reserves, abundant natural gas resources, wind and solar power, has capability to provide effective, sustainable and long-term solution for energy problems of the country. He said this, speaking as chief guest at the 3rd International Wind Energy Summit-2018 at a hotel, here on Thursday. The event was organized by Energy Update in collaboration Sindh Energy Department.

Shaikh asked the relevant stakeholders in the country to lend support to fully exploit natural energy resources of the Sindh that had been host to the only properly-designated wind corridor in the country between Gharo and Jhimpir and whose potential was being tapped to generate electricity on basis of wind power.

"Electricity generation on basis of wind power in Gharo-Jhimpir corridor had crossed the mark of 01 gigawatt with commissioning of over 20 wind power plants," he said, adding that 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 minister said he would soon visit Islamabad to hold talks with the relevant federal authorities to resolve pending issues.

Shaikh said Sindh had reserved over 54,000 acres of its land to launch projects of renewable energy on basis 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 government had recently initiated Solar Energy Programme with financial backing of the World Bank as it would help the concerned authorities to tap solar power abundantly available in the province.

Chief Executive Officer of Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Amjad Ali Awan said 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 soaring fuel costs.

He said Pakistan had to increase its reliance on renewable energy for power generation because 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 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 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.

"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 such as Germany and Denmark, which have been generating over 60 per cent of their electricity on basis of alternative resources of power.

In his speech, 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.

"Monitoring Desk"

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