EghtesadOnline: A new 10-megawatt solar farm came on stream on Wednesday in Kushk Rural District in Khatam County of Yazd Province, managing director of Yazd Regional Electricity Company said.
“As an undertaking of the private sector [Ghadir Energy Investment Company], the project was completed in seven months at an estimated cost of $5 million,” Abolfazl Asadi was also quoted as saying by the Energy Ministry’s news portal.
Spanning 20 hectares, it is designed to generate 20 million kilowatt hours of electricity per annum, he added.
According to the official, if the same amount of power was to be produced by a thermal power plant, it would annually consume at least 5 million cubic meters of natural gas, 5 million liters of water and that would produce 3.5 million kilograms of pollutants, including CO2 and SO2.
Giving a breakdown on the scheme, he noted that the farm includes 27,000 PV panels made by China’s LONGi Solar, an international manufacturer of high-efficiency mono-crystalline solar cells and modules, and 85 inverters manufactured in SMA Solar Technology AG, a German solar energy equipment supplier.
Yazd Solar Potential
Asadi said at present, seven solar power stations in Yazd have a total capacity of 60 MW.
An additional 20 solar projects with a total capacity of 340 MW are in different stages of construction in Yazd. The new units will be completed by 2022 at a cost of $16 million.
Yazd has the highest solar power output in the country. With 3,200 plus sunlight hours in a year, the ancient city is highly suitable for harnessing solar power as it is situated near an oasis where two deserts meet, namely Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut, the latter known as one of the hottest places on earth.
The privately-owned Ghadir Energy Investment Company, established in 1991, has developed solar farms in Qom and Isfahan as well as Mehriz County in Yazd.
Solar radiation in Iran is estimated to be about 1,800 to 2,200 kilowatt-hours per cubic meter annually, which is higher than the global average.
Studies show renewable investments in Iran are profitable. Therefore, the Energy Ministry plans to raise annual renewable energy output to 5,000 MW in four years with the participation of private companies.
Global Status Quo
In the first quarter of 2020, the global use of renewable energy was 1.5% higher than in Q1 of 2019, according to the International Energy Agency's recent report.
The increase was driven by a rise of about 3% in renewable electricity after more than 100 gigawatts of solar PV and about 60 GW of wind power projects were completed in 2019.
The IEA's Global Energy Review 2020 report said the share of renewables in global electricity generation jumped to nearly 28% in Q1 2020 from 26% in Q1 2019.
"Renewables are also resilient to lower electricity demand because they are generally dispatched before other electricity sources due to their low operating costs or regulations that give them priority," the IEA stated.