EghtesadOnline: With installed capacity of 65 gigawatts, Iran ranks ninth in terms of thermal power capacity in the world.
According to a report by the Energy Ministry, the total power capacity in the world is 6,628 GW, of which 4,017 GW comes from thermal plants running on fossil fuels, or 61% of the total.
In Iran, steam-powered plants, gas-powered stations and combined-cycle plants comprise 80.8% of the total nominal electricity production capacity of 81 GW, the Energy Ministry news portal reported.
China, the US, India, Japan, Russia, Germany, South Korea and Saudi Arabia have larger thermal capacity compared to Iran and are ranked first to eighth respectively, Financial Tribune reported.
A total of 123 thermal power plants are operational. Steam, gas and combined-cycle units account for 16 GW, 25 GW and 23 GW of the thermal stations respectively.
Moreover, hydropower plants (14.8%), distributed generation stations (1.8%), Bushehr nuclear plant in south Iran (1.3%), renewables (0.9%) and diesel (0.5%) constitute the rest of the capacity.
In a thermal power station heat energy is converted to electric power.
Energy from a thermal power plant not utilized in power production must leave the plant in the form of heat into the environment. This waste heat can go through a condenser and be disposed with cooling water or in cooling towers.
Renewable Capacity 760 MW
During the past 10 years, Iran generated 3.41 billion kilowatt hours of electricity from green sources, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2.36 million tons.
Greenhouse gases are capable of trapping the earth's emitted radiation, which otherwise escapes back into space. The primary greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.
Expansion of renewables in the past decade has helped the country save 751 million liters of water.
Renewable sources, namely solar and wind, comprise less than 1% of the total electricity production capacity in the country of 80 million people.
There are 115 large-scale renewable plants and 32 more are under construction.
Iran’s renewable capacity has reached 760 megawatts and another 380 MW will be added in near future.
Renewable energy is the least expensive option for improving and boosting access to electricity, curbing air pollution and cutting carbon dioxide emissions.
It also contributes to sustainable socioeconomic growth, boosting global GDP growth by 1%, employing close to 29 million people and generating 15% increase in welfare, mainly through health benefits from reduced air pollution, according to the latest analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
An estimated 11 million people were employed in the renewable energy industry worldwide in 2018.
According to the Energy Ministry report, the renewable energy industry has created employment for over 42,300 people, directly or indirectly, in the country. Non-governmental investment in the growing sector has surpassed $1 billion.
Solar and wind account for 45% and 40% of the domestic renewable power production respectively.
Small-scale hydroelectric plants, waste-to-energy plants and biomass factories constitute 12%, 2% and 1% of the total renewable output respectively.