EghtesadOnline: The government has developed several renewable power projects as well as 12 initiatives to produce electricity from fuel cells as part of efforts to raise the trifling share of renewables in the energy mix.
Sirous Vatankhah-Moghadam, deputy for renewable energy at the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology, made the statement in an interview with ISNA on Wednesday.
"The government has supported 47 renewable projects, including solar and wind. We are also developing 12 fuel cell laboratories," he said without providing details.
A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction of positively charged hydrogen ions with oxygen or another oxidizing agent. Fuel cells can produce electricity continuously for as long as these inputs are supplied, Financial Tribune reported.
Stationary fuel cells are used for commercial, industrial and residential (primary and backup) power generation. Fuel cells are very useful as power sources in remote locations, such as large parks, communication centers, rural aeas and military sites.
According to Vatankhah-Moghadam, local engineers have developed two types of fuel cells, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) that produces electricity directly from oxidizing a fuel, and Polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC).
Fuel cells offer high efficiency, long-term stability, low emissions and relatively low cost.
The official also noted that Iran's clean energy push is in line with a global pact to reduce harmful emissions and shift toward green energies.
In December 2015, 195 nations, including Iran, signed an agreement at the Paris Climate Conference to move away from fossil fuels with a goal of limiting a rise in average global temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
Iran promised at the Paris Climate Conference that it will curtail greenhouse gas emissions by increasing power production from renewable sources to 7,500 MW by the end of next decade.
Most power generation infrastructure in oil and gas-rich Iran are designed to burn fossil fuels. More than 80% of the country's electric output comes from thermal power plants. Data show that barely 240 megawatts, or just around 0.3% of Iran's total electricity supplies come from renewable sources.