EghtesadOnline: Iran has taken noticeable steps in recent years to develop its green energy sector and has the potential to emerge as a regional Green energy hub.
Austrian Ambassador to Iran Stefan Scholz made the statement Friday while touring the 11th International Renewable Energy, Lighting & Energy Saving Exhibition in Tehran, Paven, the Energy Ministry news portal reported.
"Iran is a dynamic country in the Middle East," the diplomat said, adding that good measures have been adopted to expand the renewable sector, develop eco-friendly technologies and promote efficiency in the key energy sector, Financial Tribune reported.
Referring to Tehran’s declared policy to diversify its energy basket, Scholz said, "Despite the fact that the country has massive hydrocarbon reserves, it has started to move toward renewables, which can help it become a green energy hub in the future.”
Appreciating Iran's demonstrated effort to boost green energy and relevant industries, he said Vienna would try help it improve technical standards.
"Green energy can help the two sides build cooperation," Scholz said adding that Austria is planning to build a green energy center in Iran. He did not provide details.
Scholz toured Hamedan Province in December, during which he said, "We consider ourselves as a partner of Iran and will help promote the private sector economy in this country."
According to Mohammad Sadeqzadeh, head of the Renewable Energy Organization of Iran (Satba), private investment in the renewable sector is projected to reach $4 billion by 2020.
"Satba issues three to four permits daily for new renewable power plants," he said.
As per government contracts with private investors, the Energy Ministry guarantees the purchase of electricity from renewable sources for 20 years.
“The Energy Ministry’s policy is to hand over all stages of renewable power production to private companies,” he said, adding that an annual average of $24 million has been allocated by the ministry in the past three years to pay renewable power bills.
Private companies have invested $2.38 billion in the renewable power industry over the past few years, he said.
Iran has huge potential to harness renewable energy, including solar and wind power. Wind, solar, hydropower, waste heat recovery and biomass plants account for 45%, 35%, 16%, 2% and 2% of the total renewable output respectively.
A total of 85 industrial plants and 2,000 small-scale units are active in the expanding renewable sector and several others are in different stages of construction.