EghtesadOnline: Data released by Trade Promotion Organization of Iran show that the country has earned $4.1 billion from electricity exports in the last five fiscal years (March 2013-18).
According to TPO's portal, the country exported over 42,926 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to neighbors during the period.
However, the figures have declined since the first year's export of 11,563 kWh to 5,037 kWh in the last fiscal year (ended March 20, 2018).
The country trades electricity with four neighbors on its northwestern and western borders, namely Azerbaijan Republic (including Nakhchivan Autonomous Region), Turkey, Armenia and Iraq, according to Financial Tribune.
Under swap deals, Iran exports electricity to Armenia and Azerbaijan in winter and imports it when domestic demand soars in summer.
The move is in line with policies to increase the country’s power grid sustainability via joint ventures to synchronize its electricity network with those of regional countries.
A joint venture is also underway to construct the third power transmission line from Iran to Armenia.
According to reports, the new power line, to be completed by the end of 2018 at an estimated cost of $107 million, is part of an agreement signed by Iran, Russia, Armenia and Georgia to synchronize their power grids by 2019, paving the way for electricity exchange between the two states.
Iran is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East, which plays the role of central power distributor in the region, with an installed power generating capacity of around 80,000 MW.
The country's electricity industry ranks 14th in the world in terms of output.
--- Techno-Engineering Exports
TPO's report adds that during the five-year period, domestic companies have signed overseas water and power projects worth $5.16 billion.
This constitutes 70% of Iran's total income from technical and engineering activities in foreign markets.
According to Payam Baqeri, a member of Iran Electricity Industry Syndicate, the country's income from exports in the power industry surged to a record $2.5 billion in the fiscal 2016-17, over 98% of which fall under technical and engineering activities overseas.
"This indicates that the country can rely on the sector as a prospective source of income by the end of Iran's 2025 Vision," he added.
Baqeri noted that by studying the vast potential of neighboring countries, the sector envisages increasing the figure to $25-30 billion per annum by the end of the plan.
The country's power industry is already present in over 40 international markets as an exporter of products and technical services under engineering, procurement and construction contracts.
Iranian contractors are currently active in Iraq and Syria as the two biggest potential markets. They also have 58 projects underway in other countries, including Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Oman and India.
Iran is among six countries that possess the technical expertise to construct dams and hydropower plants, as Iranian developers dominate the regional hydropower industry.
Hydropower is the country’s largest renewable resource by generational capacity and Iranian companies have considerable experience in hydropower development. They are also increasingly active on the international stage and implement large-scale projects.