EghtesadOnline: A project has been launched to supply power to 25,000 nomad families via portable solar power generators, director of rural electrification affairs at Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) said.
“The plan will be completed in two years and nomads will have access to electricity during their regular journeys,” Ali Chehel Amirani was quoted as saying by the Energy Ministry news portal Paven.
Over 4,850 nomadic households in remote areas now have access to renewable energy, namely solar and wind power.
Expanding renewable energy to nomads via affordable light photovoltaic panels is on the Energy Ministry agenda, according to Financial Tribune.
Solar panels generate enough power to help families meet their needs like charging emergency lights and cell phones and use the TV in the deserts and plains.
Nomads generally are on the move in search of pasture and water for cattle, set up tents and nurture livestock.
Technology has created the conditions to help nomads and tribal communities with facilities to ease their daily, often difficult, tasks without interfering in their way of life.
However, rapid expansion of urban areas has negatively impacted nomadic populations that mostly straddle regions in South Khorasan, Fars, Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari and Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad provinces.
Data show that nomads made up almost one-fourth of Iran's population a century ago. Today there numbers are below 2% of the total population of 80 million.
“Over $300 million has been invested to expand power grids to small towns and villages since 2013,” Chehel Amirani said.
The money was used to install electricity towers, build substations and extend high voltage power transmission lines and aerial cables.
More than 2,700 small rural communities have been linked to the national power grid since 2013. The Tavanir official said 57,300 villages and small towns in which 4.5 million households live are now connected to the grid.
An estimated 21 million people live in rural areas in Iran and 100,000 do not have access to electricity.
Length of the national power distribution network stretches over 800,000 kilometers, of which “250,000 km is for supplying electricity to underdeveloped rural communities," the official noted, adding that 400 villages will be linked to the national grid by next March.
Currently, 99.7% of rural population has access to stable power. All rural communities with over 20 households (31,000 households) are connected to the national power network. Plans are underway to connect small rural areas with more than 10 households each to the grid.
Iran’s installed power capacity has surpassed 81,000 megawatts. Around 67,000 MW comes from thermal plants, 12,000 MW from hydroelectric plants and 1,000 MW is the output of the sole nuclear power plant in Bushehr.
Renewables generate 850 MW and the government is planning to raise clean energy output to 5,000 MW by 2022.