EghtesadOnline: The world is going through tectonic change in the energy sector and the renewables revolution is compelling the energy industry to evolve, managing director of the Oil Industries Engineering and Construction Company (OIEC) said.
“Such changes bring development opportunities on condition that we should be willing and able to reduce our reliance on conventional forms of energy like fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas),” Gholamreza Manouchehri was quoted as saying by the Oil Ministry’s news portal.
The Industrial Revolution of the 19th and 20th centuries gave impetus to the coal and oil industries, but in the 21st century (especially the second half) things will change and reliance on fossil fuels and inefficient coal/gas-fired power plants are gradually becoming a thing of the past, he added.
The role of renewable energy in mitigating climate change has been well established. Fossil fuels not only have raised global temperatures but endanger human health and air quality, according to Financial Tribune.
“Despite uncertainty in the short term, the long-term renewable energy market looks promising,” he said, adding that there have been impressive technological advancements underpinning better and expanded use of renewables.
Unsurprisingly, the focus is mainly on wind and solar power because the cost of generating electricity via these sources has decreased by 30% and 70% respectively. Global experts and relevant companies say prices will decline further in the near future.
While solar and wind energy are both viable replacements for traditional and polluting fuel, tit requires adequate storage solutions – which apparently are very exorbitant. Nevertheless, advancements in lithium-ion batteries shoed that costs decreased by more than 70% from 2012 to 2018. Therefore, energy storage facilities in many countries have increased and may become more cost-effective next year.
Need for Infrastructure
Referring to the global oil and gas sector, Manouchehri said investment in fossil fuel projects has declined remarkably and big oil is shifting policy toward the green sector.
The expert added that developing renewable energy infrastructure and collaborating with neighboring countries (Turkey) which have access to modern technology can help Iran develop faster in this sector.
In 2017, Turkey became the member of the geothermal "1 gigawatt Club" and plans to exceed 2 GW by 2023.
The government in Tehran plans to raise the current share of renewables from the current 841 megawatts to 5 GW by 2022. The aspiration appears to be a tall order because in addition to financial constraints, developing renewable plants does not seem to be on the priority list so far.