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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.

Growth Trend
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 options.

Texas developed 1,600 MW of wind power capacity in 2001.

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 this opportunity.

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 Operation.

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 disruption.

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 national grid.

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 WAPDA gridline.

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 cost.”

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 industrial revolution.

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)

Management Strategy
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.


 Syed Iqbal Haider
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.
EIC also represents, US and Canadian Manufacturers of Wind Power Generating Equipment, in Canada.;

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