EghtesadOnline: Investments in the construction and development of power plants cannot meet the increasing nationwide demand if current consumption patterns persist, the energy minister said Thursday.
Reza Ardakanian, who was in Qom Province to inaugurate four power production and distribution projects, said private companies invested $7.4 million in the projects and 13 other electricity ventures worth $7.1 million, ISNA reported.
He pointed to the launch of 26 large, medium-sized and small power plants by next summer that will produce 5,000 megawatts.
According to the minister, the decline in precipitation last year, which was unprecedented in 48 years, caused some problems in power generation, Financial Tribune reported.
Official data show the country received 166 millimeters of rain in the last water year (Sept. 23, 2017-Sept. 22, 2018) -- a steep decline of 26.6% compared to the year before.
"The biggest challenge to the struggling power sector is injudicious consumption that cannot be sustained," he said.
Years of drought have caused a steep decline in the water stored in hydroelectric dams.
The unusual hot summer last year led to much higher power consumption across the country. As a result, energy produced at 53 hydroelectric power plants in summer fell to 3.65 million megawatt hours, indicating a 36% reduction compared to the corresponding period last year.
While average global electricity consumption rises by less than 3% per annum, Iran's demand for power jumps at an alarming rate of 10%.
A recent study by the Majlis Research Center showed more than 50% of electricity consumption during peak hours is in households.
Energy Ministry data has it that large consumers (20% of households) are responsible for 15% of the total power consumption. With 57,000 megawatts used in the summer, the bigger consumers accounted for 8,000 MW.
Economic experts and independent observers of Iranian consumption patterns over half a century often note that the existing patterns are all but sustainable. Consumption of water, electricity, natural gas, gasoline… is much higher compared to most countries.
On top of unacceptable consumption is waste and disturbing indifference vis-à-vis appeals for judicious consumption that have resulted in chronic water and power shortages in many parts of the country.