ISLAMABAD: Renewable energy technologies would be an essential element in Pakistan’s energy future making major contributions to the diversity and security of energy supply and to economic development, said Water and Power Federal Minister and Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Chairman Raja Pervez Ashraf on Saturday.

He was speaking to the media after a briefing at the AEDB headquarters in connection with the inauguration of the country’s first wind farm planned for later this month. The federal minister reiterated the government’s commitment to ending load-shedding by December 31.

Ashraf said the inauguration of the first wind farm would be a landmark in the renewable energy sector as the government pursues the objective of a clean and competitive energy future for the country.

The wind farm established by the Turkish Firm Zorlu Enerji has a six-megawatt installed capacity in the first phase. Five turbines have been installed, each with a capacity to generate some 149,137 kwh of electricity.

The power generated in the first phase would be supplied to the Jhimpir grid station by the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company for electrifying 7,400 homes. The project will produce sufficient electricity to do away with the production of approximately 10,500 tons of carbon dioxide each year, compared to a conventional fossil fuel power project. The farm would be later expanded in the second phase to generate 50MW of electricity.

AEDB Chief Executive Officer Arif Alaudin said 2009 would be remembered as the year when Pakistan received it first megawatts from wind. He said in addition to the Gharo corridor that has been opened for exploitation, several other corridors are being explored by the AEDB. Renewable energy, Alaudin underscored, must realise its rightful and significant position if we are to ensure that development, energy security and climate resilience are to be attained.

Source: The News