Winds of Change

It seems that good news is always relegated to the back while whatever is most irritating and sensational will always adorn the front pages. While the electricity rate hike of 2 percent is causing stomach aches across the cities, perhaps we should take comfort knowing that there is an antidote.

According to The News, Pakistan and the US on yesterday have signed an agreement for a new 150 Mega Watts wind power project.

Pakistan and the United States on Sunday signed an agreement for 150 megawatts wind power project to be erected in Gharo and completed in two years at a cost of $375 million.

The agreement was signed by US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke and Secretary Water and Power Javed Iqbal on behalf of their respective governments at a local hotel.

US Ambassador Cameron Munter, Director USAID Andrew Sisson, Chairman Alternative Energy Development Board Arif Alauddin were also present on the occasion. The wind turbines will be installed at three sites of the Gharo corridor, in Thatta, to utilise the winds of the area.

The project would save Pakistan $45 million per year in fuel cost and using new technology of ‘clear’ power will serve about 600,000 homes in the area. Richard Holbrooke in his address on the occasion said it was a best example of private and public partnership between the two countries as the Ministry of Water and Power will represent Pakistan while the USAID and US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and American Power Company (AES) Corporation, a private company, are joining hands to address the important problem being faced by the people of Pakistan.

Any new energy production is obviously good news, but this is actually even better news because not only will it provide greater electricity capacity, it will do so without increasing the problem of pollution and it will be a creator of new jobs and industry at home which will help our economy.

Now, if only we can find a way to transform into electricity the ‘hot air’ of our media commentators. We would be the world’s greatest exporter!

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