EghtesadOnline: The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization (Satba) plans to add 10 gigawatts to the current renewable electricity capacity of Iran in the next four years, the managing director of Satba said.
“A total of 70 companies, including one foreign and 60 domestic ones, have announced their readiness to invest in renewable projects and hopefully, in the next three months, we can start signing contracts with them,” Mahmoud Kamani was also quoted as saying by the Energy Ministry’s news portal Paven.
"Our initial estimate is that about 7,500 MW of solar power plants and about 2,500 MW of wind farms will be built by 2026,” he added.
The official said currently 905 MW of electricity are produced through renewable resources, which account for about 1% of the total power production capacity in the country (85,000 MW).
As per the plans, by the next summer, 500 MW will be added to the renewables capacity, most of which will be from solar farms.
“Previously, Satba signed agreements to buy green power from private electricity producers based on a model that guaranteed electricity purchase for 20 years. However, the model has been changed now,” Kamani said.
Based on the mew model, the main investment and its interest will return to investors within four years, which is equivalent to the purchase of electricity produced in about seven years.
“By paying their money back in four years, the owners of power plants will deliver the generated power to us for 6 to 7 years, and after that, we have no obligation to buy electricity like the previous model, and the owners of the power plants will deliver electricity to the Iranian market for a period of 20 years,” he added.
Private companies have invested $1 billion in the expanding renewable sector, mainly solar and wind, but they should be encouraged to hold a bigger share. The new model will encourage private producers to play a more active role in the renewable sector.
Offering higher prices is also another incentive for the investors. Tariffs for different types of power stations increased earlier this year in May and reached 4.4 cents and 4 cents per kWh for photovoltaic power plants and wind farms respectively.
Iran has a diverse climate with vast windy lands and more than 300 sunny days a year, which make it ideal to tap into wind and solar power.
There are more than 115 large solar farms in the country and around 3,500 small-scale solar installations in cities and villages. Over 2,500 rooftop photovoltaic power stations will be set up by next year, mainly in deprived and rural areas.
According to Energy Ministry data, solar and wind power account for 48% and 36% of the domestic renewable power production respectively.
Small-scale hydroelectric plants, waste-to-energy plants and biomass factories constitute 13%, 2% and 1% of the total renewable output, respectively.
Renewables can help transform unsustainable production and consumption patterns, protect biodiversity, reverse deforestation and combat land degradation.
Renewable energy is the least expensive option for improving access to electricity, reducing air pollution and cutting CO2 emissions.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is among the major challenges facing nations, big and small, to varying degrees.
Greenhouse gases are capable of trapping the earth's emitted radiation, which otherwise escapes back into space. The primary greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone.
Renewable energy also contributes to sustainable socioeconomic growth, boosting global gross domestic product growth by 1%, employing close to 29 million people and generating a 15% increase in welfare, mainly through health benefits from reduced air pollution, based on a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency.