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    Sites identified for wind power systems

    HERAT CITY (PAN): Six sites have been identified so far across the country for the installation of systems to produce wind power, an official said on Monday.

    The sites were identified in Balkh, Herat, Kabul and Parwan provinces as part of a one-year USAID-funded project aimed at collecting information about electricity generation from wind.

    Fazal Fazli, an official of the Afghan Clean Energy Programme (ACEP), said the systems were being installed in coordination with the Ministry of Water and Energy.

    Turbines were installed in Injil and Zanda Jan districts of Herat on Monday. "After a year, when the process of collecting information will be complete, we will know where wind turbines should be installed," he said.

    Wind power systems could make a significant contribution to meeting the nation's energy needs besides helping reduce the burden of electricity imports, said Fazli, who believed the systems could make the country self-sufficient in power generation.

    According to Dilawar Muradi, a planner at the water and energy department in Herat, wind power systems had been beneficial. He said Herat's climatic conditions were suitable for such projects.

    With new industrial units being set up, the demand for electricity had increased, but the country continued to rely on power imports from Iran and Turkmenistan, he added. "Currently, we supply electricity to Herat City on alternate nights."

    Only 30 percent of Afghans have access to electricity, with most of the energy purchased from neighbouring Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Iran.