Pakistan suffers from an estimated annual energy shortfall of roughly 5,200 MW. To tackle this pressing problem, Gul Ahmed Energy Group has developed a wind power project in partnership with Proparco. In October 2016, a first facility comprising 20 wind turbines producing 2.5 MW each, and thus a total of 50 MW, was commissioned in the Jhimpir corridor located in southerly Sindh, Pakistan’s second most populous province. Ubaid Amanullah, the Executive Director of Gul Ahmed Energy, argues that wind farms deliver both environmental benefits, in that they entail lower greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller carbon footprint, and economic benefits by reducing the country’s reliance on costly imported fossil fuels.
And while he believes it is too soon to assess the ultimate impact of these new forms of energy on the population, he considers even these modest initial steps to be encouraging. “The first wind farm was commissioned in 2013, and most of the others weren’t built until 2015 or 2016,” he says. “Wind power isn’t a substitute at this stage; it’s merely a secondary energy source. The Sindh wind farm has nameplate capacity of 50 MW, and if you add that to the power generated by other wind farms, you get a total of 600 MW. That still represents only 10% of Pakistan’s current energy needs, but what makes this project significant is that it marks the beginning of a new form of energy production that is essential for Pakistan. The country is starting to realize how important the shift to renewable energy is. This project is a first step in the right direction. Now we need to go further.”
This project is a first step in the right direction. Now we need to go further.