Wind power

THE President has approved the reservation of 29,000 acres of Sindh coastal land for wind energy projects. It is expected that wind energy will provide 50,000 MW of electricity, of which 15,000 MW are to become available in the next three years through the involvement of 23 national and foreign firms. This was revealed by Federal Information Minister Qamaruz Zaman Kaira during his press briefing at Bilawal House after the President’s meeting on the subject. The news is good, but there are some caveats which need to be expressed. First, the project is not something for which the present government should really claim credit, for this wind power potential was earlier identified, second; it is a peculiar coincidence that the subject has been raised at a time when the province is heading for local body polls. The province, along with the rest of the country, has been experiencing considerable loadshedding, so much so that even the offer of relief, and that too in the future, will serve as an improper election inducement.As the power crisis wears on, crippling both the ordinary household or commercial consumer, and industry, alike, the prospect of wind energy providing relief has for some years been actively explored. The exploitation of the Sindh Coast for this means that the Makran Coast of Balochistan is also useful, and apart from developing the Sindh Coast, the Makran Coast must be explored. As such electric power cannot be used for transport which is one of the most crucial uses of energy today, so research must be conducted on how to convert electricity off the grid into energy for transport. It must be remembered that wind is a renewable resource, while oil, now the mainstay of all forms of transport, is not, and will ultimately run out.The prospect of wind energy becoming available must also not in any way detract from the prospect of building the Kalabagh Dam. Wind projects might produce replacement power, but the irrigation advantages of large reservoirs like Kalabagh, regretfully missing during the recent floods, cannot be substituted – Nation