World Bank recently published its study on Variable Renewable Resource Potential of Pakistan. The study was carried out by a team of expert consultants including Dr. Muhammad Farooq Ahmed, Chairman, Department of Geological Engineering, UET Lahore, over a period of 18 months in collaboration with all the key federal organizations in power system planning, led by the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) as the primary technical counterpart, with the findings reported to the Ministry of Energy (Power Division).
Dr. Farooq played an integral part in the study as GIS expert by using MapRE, A GIS based tool developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to run the multi-criterion analysis, taking account of wind and solar resource potential, physical constraints, environmental and social restrictions, and existing infrastructure, preparing the results in interactive pdf maps, providing inputs in report and presentations for the study at different forums. Mr. Umer Waqas, Lecturer Department of Geological Engineering, greatly assisted him to perform the GIS related tasks for this study.
The objective of the study is to identify opportunity areas for the deployment of Solar and Wind energy across Pakistan. The study identifies viable sites for potential near-term and longer-term development and provides recommendations on strategic transmission system investments needed to meet the government targets for 20 percent of capacity to come from solar and wind by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.
This study confirms that Pakistan has excellent resources for economically viable solar power and wind power generation, both of which are mostly untapped so far. Especially noteworthy is the huge potential in western Balochistan for both solar and wind power, which will require significant grid infrastructure investments to be exploited. Further excellent areas with large solar potential are to be found in Sindh and southern Punjab, and the wind corridors in southern Sindh around Jhimpir and Gharo still have more potential than what has been developed so far.
The Main Report for this study is published separately and includes four Annexes and interactive PDFs that provide further details on the scope of work for the study. Here is the link for the report along with annexures
Presentation on the VRE Locational Study to Mr. Umer Ayub, Federal Minister for Energy and other government officials in Islamabad (2019).