EghtesadOnline: The Majlis Joint Commission, a parliamentary body responsible for reviewing the budget bill, on Saturday approved the $500 million government-proposed funding for expanding rooftop photovoltaic systems in the next fiscal (March 2019-20).
According to ISNA, the Central Bank of Iran is obliged to lend 100,000 households in rural areas $5,000 a piece for five years through designated agent banks.
ISNA said the borrowers should repay the debt in installments within five years. The interest rate would be 4%.
The Energy Ministry is in charge of installing the panels and must also guarantee the purchase of electricity from solar plants for 20 years, according to Financial Tribune.
According to Jafar Mohammad-Nejad, a spokesman for state-owned Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization (Satba), the small-scale green energy plans in deprived areas can help contribute to the income of rural households and pave the way for the development of bigger renewable schemes.
"Rooftop PV systems can also help the national grid to avoid blackouts during peak hours in summer," he said.
Underscoring the untapped potential to produce green energy in the country, he asserted that the Majlis and the Rohani administration have adopted a fresh approach towards renewables and Satba is doing all it can to encourage foreign and domestic investment in the green sector.
Each photovoltaic panel with one kilowatt capacity can generate 200 kW of power in 30 days. Satba buys one kilowatt of electricity for 8 cents, meaning households selling one kilowatt can earn $16 per month.
Most rooftop installations have 5kW panels that produce 1000 kW a month. 5-kW panels make a minimum of $75 per month.
Installing a 1kW panel costs $1,000, thus households need $5,000 for panels for five kilowatt capacity.
With more than 300 sunny days a year, Iran has huge potential to expand solar farms and attract investments.
The country is overly dependent on thermal power and renewables account for only 750 megawatts of the total annual output that now is in the range of 82,000 MW.
Development of renewables is expanding globally, according to the International Energy Agency. Renewables will present the largest single source of electricity production growth over the next five years by rising over 26% by 2022 from 22% in 2017-- a remarkable shift in a limited period.
The IEA estimates that by 2022, the amount of global electricity generation coming from renewables will be higher than today’s combined electricity demand of China, India and Brazil.
Scientists go as far as to claim that the potential and the technology is there to reach close to 100% reliance on renewable energy by 2050 if major policy changes are made worldwide.
Iran, an underdeveloped market for renewables by international standards, has plans not to fall far behind the global trend in the key sector.