Pakistan - Encouraging signs despite lack of FIT

PAKISTAN: Pakistan added 50.4MW of wind power capacity, from 28 Vestas 1.8MW turbines installed at the Jhimpir wind farm in Sindh province by Turkish company Zorlu Enerji.

GE's 1.6MW turbine will be used a Harbin's 250MW development
GE's 1.6MW turbine will be used a Harbin's 250MW development

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This almost doubled the country's cumulative wind capacity which now stands at 106MW.

Pakistan's Alternative Energy Development Board says installation work on two further 50MW projects near Karachi is well under way, with commissioning due later this year. Both projects are being co-ordinated by the Asian Development Bank.

In 2013, the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) approved $95 million in financing for the Sapphire 49.5MW wind farm in the south-east of the country. It will use GE 1.5MW turbines and is expected to be operational in 2015. Opic has approved a credit facility for another GE-powered 49.5MW project in Sindh.

China's Three Gorges Corporation is making slow progress with its 49.5MW project near Gharo, also in Sindh. An energy purchase agreement has been signed and installation work is set to start shortly. The biggest project on the horizon is a 250MW development for which Harbin Electric International of China and NBT Wind Power Pakistan II signed an engineer, procure, construct (EPC) contract last October. It will use Chinese-built GE 1.6MW turbines.

The pipeline looks healthy but there are considerable obstacles to be overcome before Pakistan can exploit more fully its excellent wind resources. The country still lacks a feed-in tariff for wind energy so each wind farm has to negotiate with the national electric regulatory authority, delaying development. Other problems include technical corruption, high inflation, very limited local financing, obsolete management systems and a creaking grid that urgently needs upgrading.

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