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EghtesadOnline: Power production from renewables has experienced a three-fold rise since President Hassan Rouhani took office in mid-2013, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said on Thursday on the sidelines of a ceremony to inaugurate a 10 megawatt solar power plant in central Isfahan Province.

“The number of private companies generating power from renewable sources—mainly wind and solar—has soared from three to 490 over the last four years," Chitchian was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Reportedly, the share of renewables in Iran’s energy basket is 240 megawatts at present, or just 0.32% from the total installed power generation capacity of 75,000 MW.

Regarding the 10 MW solar power plant in Isfahan, Chitchian said the plant was built in seven months with the help of Greece-based METKA Group, a leading international engineering, procurement and construction contractor, Financial Tribune reported.

He added that a 30 MW solar plant will become operational in Jajarm, North Khorasan Province, in the near future.

Commenting on a pledge by state-owned Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization (SATBA) on guaranteed purchase of electricity from renewable power producers, the minister said  such incentives will encourage domestic and foreign investments in expanding renewable sources of energy.

"Those who embark on renewable power projects using domestic equipment will be allowed to sell their electricity at 30% over the normal tariffs."

According to Chitchian, the rapidly declining cost of solar photovoltaic energy is driving a global shift from dirty to clean energy. Moreover, renewable energy projects are undertaken with marginal risk because they do not need extended transmission lines.

Due to its geography, Iran enjoys enormous potential for production of different kinds of renewable energies, including geothermal, solar and wind power. Pointing to the country's commitment at the Paris Climate Conference to produce at least 7,500 MW from renewable power plants by 2030, he recalled that renewable power projects will create jobs, adding that there are "ample opportunities" for private investors in Iran's nascent renewable industry.

In December 2015, 195 nations, including Iran, signed an agreement at the Paris Climate Conference to shift away from fossil fuels with the goal of limiting a rise in average global temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius.  

Hassan Rouhani Hamid Chitchian Iran power Iran renewable power Iran Renewables Iran Renewable Power Production