EghtesadOnline: Tehran and top energy officials from the European Union explored ways of expanding energy cooperation on the sidelines of a joint convention in Tehran on Monday.
The two sides discussed cooperation in implementing renewable energy projects and boosting energy efficiency in a meeting attended by Director General for European Union Energy Dominique Ristori and Alireza Daemi, deputy energy minister for planning and economic affairs.
“EU has devised long-term plans to further stabilize electricity supply all over Europe mostly with the help of renewable resources, namely solar and wind,” Ristori was quoted as saying by the Energy Ministry’s news portal.
He added that enhancing energy efficiency and expanding smart power networks are high on the agenda, according to Financial Tribune.
According to the EU official, 56% of EU energy are generated from carbon dioxide-free resources and plans call for expanding such ventures.
“In the past, we mostly concentrated on onshore sources of energy, yet a new attitude has recently been adopted, which is producing energy from offshore resources,” he said without elaboration, adding that developing renewables via attracting international investors is high on the priority list.
Ristori noted that European Union countries are the No. 2 global leaders in the development and application of renewable energy.
“Promoting the use of renewable energy sources is important both for the reduction of EU’s dependence on foreign energy imports and in meeting targets to combat global warming,” he said.
“There is a suitable ground for cooperation between Tehran and EU in energy and climate change issues,” Daemi said, adding that frequent meetings are held between Iran and the United Nations’ representatives to tackle sand and dust storm with which the country has been grappling in the past few years.
Highlighting the country’s installed power capacity standing at 75,000 megawatts, the official noted that the lion’s share of power is produced with the help of fossil fuel-based power plants and the share of renewables in Iran’s energy mix is as low as 1,000 MW, although it has huge potentials to harness renewable energies, including geothermal, solar and wind power.
According to the deputy minister, Iran needs to expand power generating capacity by 5,000 MW annually, or 20,000 MW in four years, to meet rising demand at home and expand its footprint in the regional energy market.
In roughly the same period, installed power generating capacity of renewables, including wind and solar, is envisioned to increase by 5,000 MW.
Daemi noted that 50% of the country’s electricity are generated with the help of private sector and plans call for attracting more foreign and domestic finance to develop renewable ventures.
According to government’s spokesperson, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, Iran has commissioned the construction of €6.3 billion ($7.3 billion) worth of renewable power plants through foreign investment.
“The Economic Council [of the government] has approved €6.3 billion in investment for renewable power projects producing over 8,000 megawatts,” Nobakht added.
Delegations from Iran and the European Union attended a series of meetings in Tehran and Isfahan on Tuesday, marking the beginning of the third round of high-level bilateral talks.
Among the top officials accompanying the EU delegation are the bloc’s special representative for human rights, Stavros Lambrinidis, and services from the European Commission, including Ristori and Director General for Development Cooperation Stefano Manservisi.