EghtesadOnline: Iran was ranked the world’s 11th largest energy consumer in 2019.
Based on Global Energy Statistical Yearbook 2020 data issued by enerdata.net, the country of 82 million people used a total of 258,000 tons of oil equivalent in one year, ILNA reported.
The figure was 150,000 tons of oil equivalent in Turkey with the same population. Tons of oil equivalent (toe) is a unit of energy used to describe the energy content of all fuels, typically on a very large scale.
China, the US and India with 3.2 million (toe), 2.2 million (toe) and 900,000 (toe) topped the list respectively.
Daily energy consumption of Iranian households equals the energy produced by burning 1 million barrels of oil (per day) that is nearly eight times that of the most energy-efficient countries like Turkey.
ILNA noted there is nothing like energy subsidy in Turkey and that is why people are careful about its use. Moreover, consumers pay consumption tax that increases as consumption rises.
A report by the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture says according to the International Energy Agency, Iran tops the global list when it comes to subsidizing energy. In 2018, Iran’s subsidies for natural gas consumption reached $26 billion, for fossil-fuel electricity $16.58 billion and oil derivatives $26.57 billion.
The news agency noted that daily power output in Iran is around 800 million kilowatt hours, of which 20 million kWh is used in Tehran with 10 million people.
Home use accounts for 75% of the total daily consumption (20 million kWh).
Average daily natural gas consumption in Tehran at 80 million cubic meters is equivalent to output of three phases of the giant South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf. The field’s total output is 650 mcm/d.
According to Hamed Houri Jaffari, an advisor to the Iranian Fuel Conservation Organization, buildings account for a significant share of energy waste (50%) in Iran including households, commercial sectors, private companies and state organizations.
Iran is among the most energy inefficient countries, with energy intensity three times higher than the global average and 2.5 times the Middle East average. Following countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia with energy intensity indices at 0.53% and 0.5% respectively, Iran ranks third with 0.63%.
Energy intensity is a measure of energy efficiency calculated as units of energy per unit of gross domestic product. High energy intensity indicates a high price or cost of converting energy into GDP and vice versa.
"Iran's energy intensity was 0.8% in 2015 or equivalent to 6,000 barrels of oil," Jaffari said, adding that in the same year Japan, South Korea, China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE had intensities of 0.1% (0.733barrels), 0.2% (1.466 barrels), 0.27% (1.97 barrels), 0.4% (2.93 barrels) and 0.12% (0.87 barrels) respectively – markedly different compared to Iran and other states.
Energy consumption and waste is at unacceptable levels, he noted, warning that Iran would turn into a major energy importer in the not too distant future if the high consumption problem is not addressed soon.
Comparing energy consumption in different sectors with other countries, Jaffari recalled that a huge amount of energy is wasted in homes while the “large part of energy in developed countries is consumed by industries.”
According to energy expert on construction affairs Farzad Kiasat, the massive energy consumption is rooted in poorly insulated walls, windows, ageing heating and cooling systems and inefficient light bulbs. A single evaporative cooler in Iran uses 70 liters of water per day.
“Abundance of subsidized energy is a key factor that has exacerbated the prohibitively high consumption and waste.”
Kiasat says the situation cannot improve unless buildings are designed in a way that is compatible with climate and nature, especially in the hot regions in the south and the cold northern parts.