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Iran Ratifies $7.3b Worth of Foreign Investments in Renewables

 Rafsanjan Solar Power Plant Rafsanjan Solar Power Plant

The government has commissioned the construction of €6.3 billion ($7.3 billion) worth of renewable power plants through foreign investment, government's spokesperson said, as Iran takes steps to diversify its energy mix that is dominated by oil and gas.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of an electricity exhibition in Tehran this week, Mohammad Bagher Nobakht said the new spending will help significantly raise the share of renewables in a country with ample sunlight exposure and huge capacity for wind power.

"The Economic Council [of the government] has approved €6.3 billion in investment for over 8,000 megawatts of renewable power projects," Nobakht was quoted as saying by ILNA.

The promising statement comes on the back of a wave of deals with international companies to build renewable power plants in Iran, including a $2.9-billion preliminary agreement with Norway's Saga Energy and a $600-million contract with London-based Quercus for solar ventures.

Iran meets more than 80% of its electricity demand from thermal power plants that run on fossil fuels while renewables account for a meager 420 megawatts, or less than 1% of its energy mix.

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