EghtesadOnline: Fifty-five million dollars was allocated for the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization (Satba) in this Persian calendar year (March 2020-2021) and will be doubled next year to $102 million, a deputy energy minister said.
The increase in funding is to help boost renewable energy and curb use of fossil fuels, Mohammad Satkin, who also is the managing director of Satba, said.
“Environmental pollutants due to fossil fuel use for electricity production are indeed warning us that if we do not rewrite renewable energy development plans soon we will face bigger challenges,” Mehr News Agency quoted him as saying.
Generating electricity from renewable sources including solar and wind is much more eco-friendly than consuming fossil fuels.
More than 80% of the power plants in Iran burn natural gas to generate electricity. In the cold seasons when household gas use jumps power stations get less gas and are forced to burn liquid fuels such as diesel and mazut, which are among heavy polluters.
“If the US sanctions are lifted, there reason to believe that investments in this sector will expand with the presence of foreign companies. This will help us further develop clean energy,” Satkin said.
Iran has been under tough US economic sanctions since Donald Trump, the controversial and delusional US president, pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in 2018. The blockade-like restrictions prevented foreign firms from cooperating with and investing in Iran.
However, president-elect Joe Biden has announced that he will honor the 2015 nuclear agreement ease the paralyzing sanctions when he takes office on Jan. 20.
Regarding the role of private companies in the expansion of renewables, the official said: “Private firms have invested in 100 projects in the sector without government or state assistance. The government’s role is only to guarantee the purchase of generated electricity at a good prices”.
Private companies have so far invested over $1 billion in the green sector. Due to government funding constraints and financial pressures, private firms are playing a bigger role in the expansion of renewable energy.