At Gharo-Jhimpir district Thatta, which is less than 100 miles from Karachi, a 50-MW project has been approved by the Sindh government. A Czech Republic company named Wikov Wind will supply the technology for the wind farm. It is a manufacturer and designer of wind turbines. A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the local government and the Czech company to go ahead with the wind farm development.
The agreement was signed by DG Sindh Board of Investment Muhammad Riazuddin and Wikov Wind’s Martin Wichterle, with witnesses such as Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Minister for Finance. Sindh was noted at the official ceremony to have huge wind power potential, and therefore also a good chance of attracting foreign investment. Construction on this particular 50-MW project will likely begin in January of 2013, but the total wind power potential for the region could be one thousands times larger.
Currently, Pakistan pays about $11-12 billion each year for oil imports, according to one source. It would be difficult for any country to grow economically when it is paying so much for foreign sources of energy. The wind power potential of Pakistan has been estimated at over 140,000 MW, so if the country continues on the path of developing its own renewable energy resources, there is a good chance for greater energy independence, and in turn an improvement in the national economy.
This summer, energy blackouts have resulted in urban dwellers having no access to electricity for 16 hours at a time. For rural residents, electricity has been unavailable up to 22 hours a day, for some periods.
Additionally, an energy blackout for people without mobile devices is effectively an information blackout, because there is no phone, Internet, or television access.
Pakistan will need much more energy going forward — it has a population of over 176,000,000, and that might reach 300,000,000 by 2050.
Image Credit: Asjad Jamshed, Wiki Commons
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