EghtesadOnline: Electricity produced from 53 hydropower stations in the last fiscal (ended March 20) amounted to 16,000 gigawatt hours, of which 50% was generated in winter, managing director of Iran Water Resources Management Company, a subsidiary of the Energy Ministry, said.
"If the same amount of electricity was added to the national grid using gas-fueled power plants, it would need at least 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas," Mohammad Hajrasouliha was quoted as saying by Paven, the Energy Ministry's news portal.
Hydropower plants have an installed capacity of 12,000 megawatts, but they produce much less largely because water levels in hydroelectric dams have reduced drastically.
“Now hydroelectric power plants can generate 5,000 megawatts more electricity or at least 10,000 MW during the current fiscal that started in March,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Iran recorded 330 millimeters of rainfall since the beginning of current water year (started in September), up 180 millimeters compared to the average precipitation in the past 11 years.
Last water year (September 2017-18) was one of the driest in half a century as 45% rainfall deficit was recorded.
Years of drought and the unprecedented decline in precipitation last year (which was the driest in half a century) resulted in sharp declines in water stored in dams.
Hydropower plants produced barely 3.65 million megawatt hours last summer -- down 36% compared to the corresponding period a year ago.
The unusually hot summer last year led to much higher power consumption and together with hydropower deficits resulted in shortages and load shedding in some urban areas.
Hydroelectric plants play a key role during power outages because they quickly reestablish supply after a blackout and support other plants (mostly thermal).
Hydropower is a renewable energy and its production is cleaner compared to other sources and constitutes 12,000 MW of Iran’s total installed power generation capacity of 81,000MW.