EghtesadOnline: To help meet rising power demand, electricity imports from neighboring states, including Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia, have approached 700 megawatts per day in the last three weeks.
Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, spokesman of Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir), said the figure shows a 130% growth compared with the same period of last year when less than 300 MW of electricity were imported per day, which trend is expected to continue, ILNA reported.
“On the other hand, power exports to Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan have reduced and reached less than 1,000 MW since the beginning of June,” he added.
To cope with growing domestic demand, which has soared to record-high levels in recent days (62,000 MW), Tavanir has reduced power export from around 2,000 MW to 1,000 MW during peak hours (1-5 p.m.).
"If necessary, we will totally halt exports in the scorching days of summer," he said, adding that meeting domestic requirements is a priority.
Iran's installed electricity capacity is currently around 85,000 MW.
According to the official, although the country's installed capacity has increased in proportion to the annual economic growth, it is still not sufficient to meet the heavy domestic demand.
Rajabi noted that due to the unprecedented low precipitation, last winter’s output from 60 hydroelectric power plants in Iran has declined by at least 130% compared to a year ago.
The production level, which was around 10,000 MW last year, has declined to 4,000 MW.
The shortfall means added pressure on thermal power stations and/or frequent outages. Hydroelectric plants have an annual output of 12,000 GWh when dams are full, but they produce less because dams are usually half empty.
Production from hydroelectric units is designed according to projected water conditions. The rise or fall in output depends directly on water levels in dams.
“In order to not rely on hydroelectric power stations at critical times [summer], power plants with a generation capacity of 10,000 MW should be constructed, for which more than $9 billion should be invested,” Rajabi said.