Electricity From Wind
Syed Iqbal Haider
Wind energy is the world’s fastest growing
energy source and is one of the few alternative energy forms
with the scale potential to reach grid penetration amounts of
+30% of electrical supply.
Present World Power Production
World-wide installed wind generated electric
power capacity is now well close to 25,000 MW (yes! twentyfive
thousand Mega-Watt) and has seen a sustained growth of over 30
% per year during the last 5 years.
The wind power industry has become a US$6
Billion /year industry. This growth rate is expected to
continue or increase over the next several years with many
countries such as the US and Germany setting aggressive
national targets and favorable fiscal policies.
USA is ranked number 1 in the world in wind
power production. California, Texas, Montana and several other
states are offering credits of upto 50%.
In Texas, for example, wind power production
is highly encouraged through federal tax credits (production
tax credits), a state-wide requirement for electric utilities
to purchase renewable energy (through renewable portfolio
standards, or RPS), access to the state power grid, net
metering credits for homeowners who produce renewable energy,
and consumer choice of power supplier(through privatization of
power production and marketing), including several wind power
Texas developed 1,600 MW of wind power capacity
Progress in Canada
Recognizing the environmental value of wind
generated electricity, in 2002 Federal Budget, Canada has
announced $260 million in production incentives.
The Canadian industry was quick to react and
announce its strategy to be able to produce (or exceed) 10,000
MW of wind generated power by 2010 .
The National Research Council of Canada was
also quick to respond and the Guidelines for the applications
for these incentives should be ready by now!
For example, by providing 5% of Canada's
electricity supply, Wind Power would generate more than 30
million megawatt-hours of electricity production per year,
creating up to 160,000 jobs, up to 25 million tonnes of
greenhouse gas emissions reductions per year, significant
reductions of emissions that severely impact human health, and
up to $20 billion in new capital investment, taxes and
infrastructure predominantly in rural parts of Canada,".
India's Status on Wind Power Production
India carried out a wind
monitoring program at 900
stations throughout the country and has already recognised
In wind power generation, India ranks fifth in
the world. With an installed capacity of over 1267 MW, India's
wind power potential is estimated at 45 000 MW.
Some 26 project sites have been developed in
the high potential states, in India, under the Demonstration
Programme, resulting in a capacity of 57 MW.
Around 15 domestic companies are now involved
in manufacturing wind power turbines and components, either in
joint venture or through licensed production from
international collaborators, achieving an annual turnover of
Rs 1,500 crore.
Opportunity for Pakistan
This high employment and capital intensive
industry represents a large-scale opportunity for Pakistan
For Pakistan where we have among the world’s
best potential for wind and Solar energy resources, similar
production incentives will attract Billions in Rupees and in
Foreign Currencies of investment, generate thousands of jobs
and implant an extra feather in Pakistan's hat for
implementing a "green-power" program.
Wind is our most likely source of
cost-effective renewable electricity in the short term….Given
an appropriate regulatory framework, wind has the potential to
add a new dimension to our energy sector.
Since the inception of Pakistan we have been
seeing Sind urban communities having "Wind Catch Tunnels"
on roofs of their homes. This indicates that Sind had and
perhaps, even now, has persistant wind blowing. This obviously
will be verified by the department of Meteorology for exact
speeds and frequecies.
Indeed, it is wise to make the best use of
local wind resources for generating electricity.
From The winds of MahranValley to the
winds of Kaghan Valley they carry lot of promise of an
industry that can last forever," which is not only
environmentally sound, but also offers regional economic
development opportunities that are indigenous, and perpetual."
We can start with an experimental project, as
early as in 3 months, while launching a more formal
Feasibility program at the same time. I am not aware, how much
wind data is already available and how much of it could be
analysed to provide dependable results?
May be we do have wind data from certain areas
with enough confidence that we may start installing Wind
turbines in that area, right away?
the above mentioned program WRAP, finally
delineates the economically feasible areas for Wind Turbine
Wind is one of the largest Renewable Energy
Source in the country, based on Mean Annual Wind Power Density
(MAWPD), Wind Resource Assessment Programme (WRAP) will
becarried out in order to Re-Assess the wind potential, in
cooperation with the Metreology Department. Wind Monitoring
and Mapping stations will be set up in the country which will
identify potential sites.
Also R&D activities be undertaken through
Universities, research institutions, laboratories, technical
centres, already existing in the country. An early action
along these lines may offer leadership role in the design of
better and cheaper wind turbines, which, in turn, may open up
the world market to Pakistani made wind generators\
Regional Economic Benefits
Wind energy is going to contribute fairly large
percentage of Environmentally Sustainable Power, which is
almost free from major recurring bills. Of course, right
government policies and timely support are a vital first step
for achieving this, which would be an excellent step forward
towards self sufficiency in progress of Pakistan.
Wind-generated energy is more secure than other
sources of supply, such as nuclear or fossil fuel plants. Wind
Energy is indigenous available free of cost and offers
regional economic benefits. It is less vulnerable to
Pakistan's 85% of population is rural, where
small Wind energy Machines should be promoted for private
ownership and operated by each individual farmer/owner.
It is less likely that the production from
these small wind generators would be connected to the main
If, however, a farmer has his land enroute main
WAPDA gridline and is rich enough to buy larger Wind Power
generator, he can make extra money by selling his excessive
production to WAPDA by injecting his extra production into
Several such machines along the gridline will
also improve overall power supply and cut down blackouts
during peak hours in urban use.
Since the Wind power is free of cost there is
no unexpected price changes resulting from changes in fuel
The wind energy market is growing by 32% per
year worldwide, creating thousands of jobs. Wind energy is the
fastest growing source of electrical energy and is one of the
few technologies which can be installed almost immediately to
meet the current electrical energy shortage.
Wind energy today represents a strategic
opportunity for Pakistan to develop a cleaner electricity
infrastructure at a time of increasing demand and a worldwide
emphasis on emissions reduction.
If Pakistan did not participate in this
infrastructure revolution and left in a less competitive
position than our next door neighbours, India, who have
embraced the wind technology, in time, or perhaps, I might
say, before time, who rightfully boasts to be Number 5 in the
world, Pakistan, once again, will loose the race in this new
Electricity shortages and high energy costs
are already driving some of the poor city dwellers steal
electricity from street power lines, (obviously this is no
just reason to steal)
Wind energy provides a clean, reliable source
of electricity within a short time frame. Government should
focus her attention to education, training, quality and
standards, while decentralising the management of Wind Power
by giving ownship to the end user.
In that respect a Wind Turbine can be compared
to a tractor which could be purchased under special government
program on easy installments.
A small farmer may want to own a small tractor
while a large CAF (Cooperative Agri Farm) may want to buy
large tractor or a fleet of tractors and Agricultural
Machinery and Equipment.
The Government offers equal opportunities to
both, yet she controls the price of their end product, when it
comes to marketing of their surplus.
Additionally, the customer gets the
satisfaction, that at the end of final payment he has no
electric bills to pay as well as no fuel to buy to run his
machine. It is free and it is his.
CEO - Enviro
Impact Consultants (EIC), Canada
M.Sc., PG.D. (Wales), MEIC (Canada), MCGS (Canada)
Syed Iqbal Haider is Pakistani Canadian
Engineering Consultant and manages his own consulting company
EIC, in Canada.
He is Member of
Canadian Wind Energy Association.
Mr Haider has been living in Canada for the
last 33 years. He has taken variety of assignments all around
the world, including industry JV, Technology Development,
Reengineering assignment and feasibility studies in Pakistan.
also represents, US and Canadian Manufacturers of Wind Power
Generating Equipment, in Canada.