EghtesadOnline: Iran’s first photovoltaic cell and panel manufacturing company in Khomein County, Markazi Province, became operational with the help of the private sector, managing director of Mana Energy Pak Company said.
“The plant’s first phase was launched on a 5,000-square-meter land with a capacity to produce 250 megawatts of solar panels per year,” ILNA also quoted Ali Pajouhan as saying on Thursday.
Completed in four years, the factory’s machinery has the maximum annual capacity of manufacturing 150 MW multi-crystalline solar cells, corresponding to roughly 4,500 cells per hour, he added.
According to the official, the plant runs in three shifts 24/7 with a total workforce of 100 engineers and operators.
“The company is willing to follow global trends in the solar sector and for this it is in constant contact with pioneering institutes,” he said.
The company is also setting up a multi-crystalline wafer unit that will enable the plant to produce 1,200 MW multi- and mono-crystalline wafers annually.
According to the official, the development of the second phase of the plan will increase the factory’s capacity to 1,500 MW of solar panels per year.
Energy demand is expected to increase considerably in the coming years, particularly in developing countries as a result of population growth, economic development and rapid urbanization.
This has necessitated a shift away from traditional fossil fuels to alternative renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power.
Renewable energy is the most cost-effective compared to all other traditional sources of power generation, Jafar Mohammadnejad Sigaroudi, spokesman of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization, said.
The cost of producing every kilowatt hour of electricity from fossil fuel is 30 cents, whereas generating the same from green sources costs three times less.
The speed at which renewables have become cost-effective is staggering.
The cost of generating power from non-fossil fuels is bound to decline further in the near future, given technological breakthroughs and increasing investments.
The cost of renewable energy is now falling so fast that it should be a consistently cheaper source of electricity generation than traditional fossil fuels within just a few years, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The organization, which has more than 150 member countries, says the cost of generating power from onshore wind has fallen by around 23% since 2010 while the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity has fallen by 73% in that time.
With further price falls expected for these and other green energy options, IRENA says all renewable energy technologies should be competitive on price with fossil fuels by 2020.
Investment so far in renewables has surpassed $1 billion, the official said.
Creating jobs in remote rural areas, curbing immigration, saving water, reducing power wastage as well as cutting carbon emissions are among the most significant advantages of green energy.
An estimated 1,500 small and 50 industrial renewable power plants have been built across the country over the past three years.
Renewables account for 950 megawatts of total installed power capacity that is currently 84 gigawatts.
An estimated 3-billion-kilowatt hours of electricity have been produced from renewables since March 2009.
Iran has huge potentials for the production of renewable energies, including geothermal, solar and wind power, environmentalists and experts say.
International Energy Agency believes that renewables will play “starring roles”, and solar will take “center-stage”, driven by supportive government policies and declining costs.
“I see solar becoming the new king of the world’s electricity markets,” said Fatih Birol, IEA’s executive director. “Based on today’s policy settings, it is on track to set new records for deployment every year after 2022.”
On the other hand, IEA forecasts that coal demand will not return to pre-coronavirus levels, and that it will account for less than 20% of energy consumption by 2040, for the first time since the Industrial Revolution.
Oil will remain “vulnerable to the major economic uncertainties resulting from the pandemic”, with demand starting to decline after 2030, the agency said.