EghtesadOnline: A serious hurdle impeding renewable projects is non-allocation of the tax levied on electricity subscribers to wind and photovoltaic initiatives.
Mohammad Sadeqzadeh, the head of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization—a state-owned entity also known as Satba—made the statement on Friday in Iran's 10th International Renewable Energy, Lighting and Energy Saving Exhibition that opened in Tehran on Feb. 21, IRNA reported.
"Although power subscribers, standing close to 34 million, have routinely been charged with renewable energy taxes, the budget is not spent on such schemes," Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Pointing to the formidable challenges caused by not allocating the budget, Sadeqzadeh said, "A large number of investors have sold electricity to the Energy Ministry, yet their dues have not been settled."
According to the official, although renewable initiatives' financiers are satisfied with the ratified prices, not being paid for a long time may cause them to lose their enthusiasm in such potentially lucrative plans.
"The ministry pays 4 cents (1,500 rials) to 13 cents (4,900 rials) in guaranteed purchase of each kilowatt of energy from renewable sources," Sadeqzadeh said, adding that the price difference is because of the source of generated energy.
Referring to the active participation of foreign firms in the exhibition, the official noted that more than 37 companies from Austria, Germany, Italy and Canada have displayed their latest know-how in the exposition.
Asked about Iran's commitment to 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, he noted that Iran has committed itself to raising the share of renewables in its power mix from the current 450 MW to 5,000 MW by 2022 as part of its pledge to the agreement to help hold the average global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius.
Representatives of 195 countries including Iran negotiated a historic agreement in Paris in 2015 to curb global emissions of greenhouse gases and limit the planet’s warming to under 2°C, preferably 1.5°C, by 2100.
Commenting on the advantages of solar and wind energies, Sadeqzadeh added, "For us to meet our pledge, we need to attract investment from private enterprises as well as foreign investors."
Referring to the attraction of $4 billion in foreign investment to develop renewable energy projects in the last four years, the official said, "The government has been successful in winning the private sectors' trust to invest in the fledgling industry, yet there is a long way to go to accomplish the long-term goals."
According to Satba, close to 1.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity have been generated from renewable sources since June 2009.
Giving a breakdown, Satba added that power production from sustainable sources, including wind and solar plants, between Dec. 22, 2017, and Jan. 20 amounted to 48 million kWh.
Satba noted that during Nov. 22-Dec. 21, 2017, the country curbed its greenhouse emissions by 33,000 tons. According to the report, the electricity generated since 2009 has helped the country save as much as 514 million cubic meters of fossil fuels, which are the main cause of air pollution.
According to a cost analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency, wind and photovoltaic projects could deliver electricity for $0.03 per kilowatt-hour by 2019, much lower than the current cost of power from fossil fuels, which ranges from $0.05 to $0.17 per kWh.