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EghtesadOnline: Electricity export from Iran s to neighboring countries shot up by 27.6% last year (March 2019-2020) compared to the year before, reaching more than 8 billion kilowatt hours – almost six times the power imported in the same year.

According to Iranian Electrical Power Equipment Manufacturing and Provision Company (SATKAB), last year power was exported to Armenia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, IRNA reported.

The total energy export was 8.029 billion kilowatt hours -- up 1.736 billion kWh compared to the previous year.

The biggest importer was Iraq with 6.652 billion kWh. It was followed by Afghanistan (775 million kWh), Pakistan (516 million kWh), Armenia (53 million kWh) and Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (33 million kWh).

Total energy import into Iran last year was about 1.329 billion kWh, of which 1.294 billion kWh came from Armenia and 35 million kWh from Nakhchivan.

The upward trend has continued this year. From the beginning of the new calendar year (March 20) until May 5, 436 million kWh was exported, indicating a 19% rise compared to the same period last year.

Iran is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East. Its electricity industry (with an installed capacity of 84 gigawatts) is 14th in the world in terms of output and 19th in consumption.

Data from the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran show the government earned $4 billion from electricity export between 2013 and 2018. Iran exported over 42,926 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity during the period.



Hoping Against Outages

Electricity output growth is projected to rise by 1.5% this summer. Should that happen, there will be no power outage in the country, managing director of Iran's Thermal Power Plants Holding Company said.

Regarding impact of the coronavirus on power plants, Mohsen Tarztalab said: "It has partially slowed down the repair process of the thermal power stations. But with [hard work and concerted} efforts of workers the usual maintenance programs will be completed by mid-June," ILNA quoted him as saying.

Thermal plants account for 80% of total power generation in Iran. Network load reached 57,000 megawatts during peak hours in the last fiscal year (ended in March) and is expected to reach 60 gigawatts in summer. 

Between 2007 and 2017, annual power growth rate averaged at 5.3%, but halved in 2018 and dropped to less than 2% in 2019.

Incentives offered by the Energy Ministry helped cut power consumption, mainly in the key industrial and farming sectors.

Based on a contract with farmers and industry owners, they were asked to turn off their water pumps and machinery during peak hours. In response the ministry gave discounts on their electricity bills.

Replacing old and defective equipment, power lines, utility posts, high-voltage cables and meters as well as penalizing illegal use (theft) of electricity were among other measures to reduce electricity loss.


Iran import exports Electricity