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EghtesadOnline: Upgrading, repair and maintenance of thermal power plants added 620 megawatts to the total output since the beginning of the current fiscal (ends in March), an official at the Thermal Power Plant Holding Company said Sunday.

“With a small investment in maintenance programs, another 1,500 MW will be added to the domestic generation capacity,” Abdolrasoul Pishahang was quoted as saying by the Energy Today website.

National production capacity is over 82,000 MW, a large part of which comes from thermal power plants that were built two decades ago, Financial Tribune reported.

One of the problems with ageing power plants is that their efficiency declines with age and repairs are needed.

Most of the equipment used in thermal power plants has been indigenized. Local companies manufacture about 1,000 components used in power stations and their quality is approved by the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran.

Maintenance and service on the 84 thermal power plants nationwide started last September and should end in June before the onset of summer.

Overhaul and repairs are done at a much lower cost compared to the construction of new power plants, power officials say.


Maintenance and service on the 84 thermal power plants nationwide started last September and should end in June before the onset of summer



Iran's power industry is 14th in the world in terms of output. However, a large part (80%) of the electricity is produced by plants using fossil fuels. This is causing concern among climate activists and environmentalists who have been regularly calling for effective measures by the government to move toward renewables.

The nation is taking effective measures to boost green energy.

The number of private firms producing electricity from renewable sources — mainly wind and solar — has increased in recent years.

Private companies have invested $1 billion in the gradually expanding renewable sector, mainly solar and wind. Due to government funding constraints, private firms have been urged to play a bigger role in promoting clean energy.

There are more than 115 large solar farms in Iran, and around 3,500 smaller installations in cities and villages. Over 2,500 rooftop photovoltaic power units will be set up by next year, mainly in deprived and rural areas.

Hydropower plants (15%), distributed generation stations (2%), Bushehr nuclear plant (1.5%), renewables (1%) and diesel (0.5%) constitute the rest of the electricity output.

Another measure that has helped increase the efficiency of thermal power plants is converting them to combined-cycle stations. 

This system uses gas and steam turbines to produce up to 50% more electricity from the same fuel than a traditional simple cycle plant. The waste heat from the gas turbines is sent to nearby steam turbines that again generate electricity.



Raising Efficiency 

Reducing waste in the production, transfer and distribution networks, in addition to enhancing the efficiency of power plants, is a declared goal of the government.

Power consumption in Iran is among the highest in the world, but the momentum of growth has slowed in the past two years.

As demand keeps rising, the government with help from private companies is constructing new power station.

According to official reports, 20 power stations are under construction in 13 provinces with initial investment of $1.75 billion.

Power plants are under construction in different regions. Over 3,000 MW will be added to total output by the end of the current fiscal in March and power generation capacity is expected to reach 88,000 MW by the end of summer.

As the world’s population swells, the need for power is increasing rapidly. According to the International Energy Agency, global energy demand will grow by 30% between now and 2040, with electricity consumption accounting for 40% of the total increase.


Iran thermal power plants Repair Maintenance power output