Gov't Planning Solar Energy Center

Gov't Planning Solar Energy Center  Gov't Planning Solar Energy Center

The energy ministry's education, research, and science separtment has decided to establish a center with the objective to develop, transfer, indigenize, and commercialize solar energy technologies, IRNA quoted head of the department as saying.

The center is to be established under the supervision of energy ministry with the aim of organizing and centralizing related activities, and to take necessary steps to achieve self-sufficiency in solar energy equipment, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and stabilize the domestic power sector.

It is expected to enhance power efficiency and advance energy technologies, with the help of scientists, knowledge-based companies, and research departments of relevant industrial organizations, Hossein Bonakdari said.

With more than 300 sunny days throughout the year, Iran is among the most suitable regions in the world for solar energy generation. A group of experts have conducted extensive research on solar energy potentials in the country, presenting the outcome as a "comprehensive plan for development of solar energy technologies" during the eleventh summit of the Education, Research, and Science Department.

Assessments carried out across Iran by the German Institute of Solar Research (DLR) over 2,000 square kilometers also brought to light a 60,000 MW capacity for solar thermal power plant installation.

Solar is among the most sustainable sources of energy globally, Bonakdari said, adding that currently solar technologies, namely photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermo energy (STE), account for more than 220,000 megawatts of global electricity generation.

Eliminating sound pollution and the need for water, reducing energy expenses and low maintenance costs are among advantages of photovoltaic power plants. In recent years, an increasing number of environmentalists, pointing to the disadvantages of fossil fuels and their use in power generation, have been calling on the government to gradually shift to cleaner energy in a bid to help protect the environment.

So far, $47 million has been allocated by the government to develop solar energy by making use of solar cells. Households have been called upon by the energy ministry to install solar energy systems for their houses in exchange for 50% of the installation cost as ex gratia loans.

The share of renewables in Iran’s total energy production currently stands at almost 0.5% but  is expected to reach 5 percent in the next four years.