EghtesadOnline: The number of rural areas linked to the national power grid has increased by 13 fold or 1.200% over the past four decades, the manager in charge of rural electricity expansion at the Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) said.
"The figure was 4,360 in 1979, and has now reached 57,300," Ali Chehel Amirani was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Energy Ministry data show that in the 40 years every weak 25 villages with households ranging between 20 and 50 were connected to the network, Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
"An estimated 21 million people in rural areas, accounting for nearly 36% of the population now have access to power."
Length of the national power distribution network now stretches over 800,000 kilometers, of which 250,000 km is for supplying electricity to underdeveloped regions, including in remote areas.
Amirani went on to say that all rural communities with over 20 households are now connected to the national grid.
Referring to villages with less than 20 households or those located in rugged mountainous areas, he said 230 villages or 4,850 households in those areas have access to renewables, namely solar and wind power.
Close to $120 million has been invested to expand the national power grid in small towns and villages since 2013.
Long Way Ahead Globally
Despite advances in overall global electrification rates ( from 76% in 1990 to 85 % in 2012) and the efforts of governments, universal access to electricity is still far what is desired as 1.1 billion people are still without electricity, while an additional 1 billion people lack access to advanced energy services.
Approximately 87 % of the people without electricity live in the rural areas characterized by remoteness and sparse population density, where the extension of national grids is often technically difficult, costly and economically unfeasible.
To achieve universal energy access in 2030, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that 60% of the rural people without electricity gain energy access by using mini-grids or other off-grid decentralized solutions.