Pakistan needs tapping alternative energy resources

Karachi: Pakistan is facing a critical energy crisis and needs to tap alternative energy resources to improve its power grid. This was stated by the key speakers at a seminar held on the effectiveness of wind energy in curbing energy challenges in Pakistan.

The seminar was organized as part of a high-level delegation visit to Pakistan by global wind leader Vestas, a Danish company, in joint collaboration with the Embassy of Denmark. It was attended by representatives from the Government, financial institutions, business and energy sector. Senior Minister Sindh Nisar Ahmed Khuhro was the chief guest.

Participants agreed that it was extremely important to look forward and towards alternate energy resources such as wind. Although Pakistan has one of the world’s best resources for wind and solar power, so far the country has only exploited an insignificant amount of the potential.

In his welcome address, the Ambassador of Denmark, Jesper Moller Sorensen, highlighted the Danish story of transitioning from a society dependent on imported fossil-fuel to a completely energy independent economy with an increasing amount of renewables in the energy mix.

Addressing the participants, Khuhro stated that the Government was creating an enabling environment for potential investors in developing infrastructure, coal mining, coal and wind power generation in the province. He assured on behalf of the Government provision of requisite infrastructure adding that the Board of Investment is providing one window solutions to streamline investors’ requirements.

Khuhro further added that the current focus of the energy fuel mix was on developing indigenous energy resources, adding that reliance on alternative sources would help save billions of dollars in foreign exchange, currently being spent on import of expensive refined furnace oil (RFO).

Speaking at the session, Danny Nielsen, Chief Operating Officer, Vestas Asia Pacific & China, shared that wind energy has been used for more than 30 years and was today the world’s fastest growing energy resource “We believe wind energy has a lot to offer Pakistan. We are here today because we have a successful global track record of providing energy solutions to more than 73 countries, and we know exactly the challenges for wind frontier markets like Pakistan when embarking on the wind journey.” Nielsen added that “Vestas is committed to be the trusted partner to Pakistan’s local wind industry throughout this exciting journey.”

He said that “Wind is an independent, healthy and long term sustainable energy solution for Pakistan, especially to overcome its energy crisis and for creating job opportunities. Wind energy doesn’t require fuel. It doesn’t create greenhouse gasses nor does it produce toxic or radioactive waste. Also, we’ve seen a favourable cost reduction in wind energy over the past 5 years, so it’s now truly competitive. These are very strong reasons as to why wind and renewable energy is the future answer to the world’s energy problems, especially in a country like Pakistan which is already rich in natural resources such as wind and solar”.

The Government of Pakistan has estimated that the country loses up to 3% of its GDP per annum only due to power shortages.

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