Pakistan has a lot of potential to utilize alternative energy sources to meet its energy requirements. However the government of Pakistan and potential investors did not seriously examine this sector till the late 1990’s and since then a number of projects have been completed and others are under various phases of completion.
Wind Power: Investing and harnessing wind power for generating electricity is a fairly new concept. Although use of wind to power sail boats, and pump water, grind corn are fairly old technologies. In Pakistan a belt in Sindh close to Hyderabad was identified as the best area for setting up wind farms. A Turkish firm pioneered in setting up a wind farm in this area and was then followed by two other firms that are investing in wind farms in these areas. The area that has been identified, and in which the wind farms are being setup can produce 50,000 MW of electricity.
The Jhimpir Wind Power Plant is a wind farm located at Jhimpir in Thatta District of Sindh province in Pakistan, 120 kilometers North-East of Karachi.The project has been developed by Zorlu Energy Pakistan, a subsidiary of the Turkish firm Zorlu Enerji. The total cost of project is $143 million. Completed in 2002, it has a total capacity of 50 MW.
Fauji Fertilizer Company Energy Limited is building 49.5 MW wind Energy Farm at Jhimpir near Karachi. Contract of supply of mechanical design was awarded to Nordex, a German wind turbine manufacturer, and Descon Engineering Limited. By the end of 2011 49.6 MW has been completed.
Three Gorges First Wind Farm Pakistan has started the operation of 50 MW wind power project on 24 November 2014 at Jhimphir, Sindh. Sapphire Wind Power Company setup a 52.8 MW wind power plant that attained commercial operation in a record time of only 14 months on 22 November 2015. Hydrochina, a Chinese EPC contractor using 33×1.6 MW GE wind turbines constructed the power plant.
Solar Power: Pakistan receives a lot of sunshine and has some areas where there is hardly any rainfall and plenty of sunshine. However, not much progress has been made in utilizing solar energy to produce electricity. It was only recently that a 100MW solar power project was initiated in Bahawalpur in Punjab. The Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park is a photovoltaic power station under construction in Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan, named in honor of Quaid-e-Azam, the founder of Pakistan. Once fully completed by the end of 2016 it will have the capacity to generate 1,000 MW.
The first 100 MW were commissioned in May 2015and were completed by Tebian Electric Apparatus, a subsidiary of Xinjiang SunOasis. The remaining 900 MW capacity will be installed by Zonergy under the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor. Carbon emissions are expected to be 90,750 tons less than if the 1,000 MW of electricity were generated by conventional fossil fuel sources.