Wind Power in Pakistan
-Pakistan has a 1,046 Km coastline in the South
-Average wind speed more than 7 m/s above 60 m in Gharo Wind Corridor
-Estimated wind potential of more than 50,000 MW
-Other sites in Balochistan, Punjab and Northern Areas being identified
Wind Potential in Pakistan
Wind Power in Pakistan
Pakistan is fortunate to have something many other countries do not, which are high wind
speeds near major centres. Near Islamabad, the wind speed is anywhere from 6.2 to 7.4 metres
per second (between 13.8 and 16.5 miles per hour). Near Karachi, the range is between 6.2 and
6.9 (between 13.8 and 15.4 miles per hour). Pakistan is also fortunate that in neighboring India,
the company Suzlon manufactures wind turbines, thus decreasing transportation costs. Its
turbines start to turn at a speed of 3 metres per second. Vestas, which is one of the world’s
largest wind turbine manufacturers, has wind turbines that start turning at a speed of 4 metres
per second. In addition to Karachi and Islamabad, there are other areas in Pakistan that receive
a significant amount of wind.
In only the Balochistan and Sindh provinces, sufficient wind exists to power every coastal village
in the country. There also exists a corridor between Gharo and Keti Bandar that alone could
produce between 40,000 and 50,000 megawatts of electricity.
Given this surplus potential, Pakistan has much to offer Asia with regards to wind energy. In
recent years, the government has completed several projects to demonstrate that wind energy
is viable in the country. In Mirpur Sakro, 85 micro turbines have been installed to power 356
homes. In Kund Malir, 40 turbines have been installed, which power 111 homes. The Alternative
Energy Development Board (AEDB) has also acquired 18,000 acres for the installation of more
Recently conducted survey of Wind Power Potential along coastal areas of the country by
Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), indicates that a potential exists for harvesting wind
energy using currently available technologies, especially along Sindh coast.
Gharo, one of the sites in Sindh where the wind data have been recorded and studied by PMD,
has been selected for this feasibility study. The wind measurements at Gharo have been carried
out during 24 months period. The annual mean wind speed is estimated to be 6.86m/s at 50 meter
above ground level. The annual power density of area is 408.6 W/m2, which bring the site into
good category of power potential, which means this area is suitable for large economically viable
Using the measured wind data the annual gross energy production by an 18 MW wind farm
consisting of thirty – 600 kW turbines will be 45 million kWh. Taking into account the wind turbine
availability, net losses and wake effects in the wind farm the net annual energy production is
estimated to 31 million kWh per year corresponding to a capacity factor of 28%.
The total investment will be Rs: 850 million and pay back period will be 7-8 years. The capital cost
of wind power projects ranges Rs 4 to 5 crore per MW. This gives a levelised cost of wind energy
generation in the range of Rs: 2.50 to 3.00 per kWh, taking into consideration the fiscal benefits
extended by the government.
Generally wind farm located in area with good winds and having a typical value of capacity factor
i.e. 25% at least are economically viable. A typical life of wind turbine is 20 to 25 years.
Maintenance is required at 6 months interval.
The total investment for the proposed project is Rs: 850 million and pay back period 7-8 years.
The capital cost of a typical wind power project ranges Rs 4 to5 crore per MW. This gives a
levelised cost of wind energy generation in the range of Rs: 2.5 to 3.00 per kWh, taking into
consideration the fiscal benefits extended by the government. Different economic aspects of the
project are shown in table 4, 5 & 6.
Risks Associated with Investments in Wind
i. The returns from investments in this sector are very dependent on government policies, both
in terms of the incentives given and the taxation structure imposed on businesses. Hence
changes in either are a source of concern to the investors. For example, changes in the tax laws
that make all companies liable to pay a minimum tax on their profits, may negatively affect the
wind program because it reduces the benefit from the tax shelter that investments here could
ii. The main “fuel” controlling generation in any year is the wind speed. This is beyond the
investor’s control: there is always the risk that actual generation in any year could be below the
iii. Grid availability to evacuate the generated power is an essential requirement. Poor grid
availability and reliability are again risks that have to be borne by the investors under the current
Wind Potential Area of Sindh:
Total Area of Sindh suitable for wind farms = 9749 km2
Average Capacity Factor of this area in Sindh = 25%
Wind power potential of 18MW Wind Farm on 1 km2 area when Capacity Factor is 25%
Gross Potential of the area corresponding to 25%Capacity Factor=9749x 4.5=43871 MW
Exploitable Potential ( 25% of the area) ≈ 11000 MW
The Benefits of Wind Energy:
Wind energy is an ideal renewable energy because:
1. it is a pollution-free, infinitely sustainable form of energy
2. it doesn’t require fuel
3. it doesn’t create greenhouse gasses it doesn’t produce toxic or radioactive waste.
Wind energy is quiet and does not present any significant hazard to birds or other wildlife.
When large arrays of wind turbines are installed on farmland, only about 2% of the land area is
required for the wind turbines.
The rest is available for farming, livestock, and other uses.
Landowners often receive payment for the use of their land, which enhances their income and
increases the value of the land.
Ownership of wind turbine generators by individuals and the community allows people to
participate directly in the preservation of our environment.
Each megawatt-hour of electricity that is generated by wind energy helps to reduce 0.8 to 0.9 tons
of greenhouse gas emissions that are produced by coal or diesel fuel generation each year.