QUETTA: Balochistan has the potential to produce “virtually unlimited electricity”, meeting not only domestic requirements but also enough to export.
“Nokkundi in the Chagai district is one of the world’s most ideal wind corridors where wind speed is almost constantly 12.5 per cent higher than the average required for energy generation,” said Nasir Baloch, the engineering manager of the Alternative Energy Development Board’s Rural Electrification Project for Southern Balochistan. With the help of a map compiled by the US Department of Energy which showed annual average wind speed in various areas of the country, he said right from Dalbandin to Taftan, a town on the border of Iran, the 300-kilometre-long area with wide open spaces was ready for installing wind turbines.
“There is no technical problem, but there is a need for investment…for initial survey to determine the exact amount of energy involved.” He said that once wind generators were installed, they would pay for themselves and even earn a hefty profit, making power shortages go away forever. He, however, said that no one appeared to be interested in utilising natural resources. “We can produce unlimited electricity. Initially, at least 5,000 megawatts of power can be generated,” he said.
Balochistan’s total electricity need is a mere 1,200 megawatts. Responding to a question about the wind energy potential of the province’s coastal areas, he said the area had enormous potential but the wind speed was not constant.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 12th, 2010.