EghtesadOnline: Two solar power plants in Rey and Damavand counties of Tehran Province were inaugurated Tuesday.
A 12.7 megawatt solar power plant in Shahr-e-Rey City in the south and an 8.4 MW photovoltaic power station in Damavand in the east were launched. The two green energy projects were completed at a cost $10 million, the Energy Ministry news portal Paven reported.
The two renewable plants will generate more than 34 gigawatts of electricity per year. If the same amount of power was to be produced in a thermal power plant, over 12 million cubic meters of gas and 9,000 cubic meters of water would be consumed per annum, according to Financial Tribune.
The solar plants will prevent the emission of 29,000 tons of environmental pollutants (carbon dioxide).
Tehran Province now has eight large solar farms with a capacity of more than 30 MW. There are 68 small-scale and rooftop photovoltaic stations used by industries in the province with a total generation capacity of 1MW.
Iran has achieved self-sufficiency in the construction of solar power plants, a deputy energy minister said.
Factories manufacturing solar panels and other solar energy accessories are operating in the country, Mohammad Sadeqzadeh said Tuesday.
More than 115 large-scale solar power stations and over 3,560 smaller installations in urban and rural areas are producing green energy.
Iran has a diverse climate of vast windy lands and more than 300 sunny days a year, which makes it ideal to tap into wind and solar.
However, more than 80% of its electricity demand is met by thermal power plants that run on fossil fuels. Of the total 82,000 MW capacity, 900 MW comes from renewables.
Most of thermal plants are powered by natural gas that is the cleanest burning fossil fuel so far as it emits the least amount of CO2. However, using renewable energy, including solar and wind, is helping without polluting the air.
According to the Sixth Five Year Economic Development Plan (2017-22), renewable energy should comprise at least 5% of the total power. However, the bitter truth is that this amount now is slightly over 1% indicating that expansion of renewables is far behind schedule.
Private companies have invested $1 billion in the gradually expanding renewable sector, mainly solar and wind. Due to government funding constraints, private firms are expected to play a bigger role in promoting clean energy if the purchasing prices are reasonable.
The government, with the help of the private companies, reportedly plans to raise the current share of renewables to 4,000 MW by 2022.
According to Energy Ministry data, green energy figures show 44% is from solar, 40% wind power, 13% small hydroelectric plants, 2% geothermal and 1% biomass.