Gov't Plans to Raise Share of Renewables

Gov't Plans to Raise Share of RenewablesGov't Plans to Raise Share of Renewables

Iran plans to reach an ambitious target of 10 percent renewables share in its energy mix by 2021, up from 0.5 percent now, said a top official with the power industry.

"It is projected that 10 percent of the electricity will be generated through solar and wind energy resources by 2021," said Homayoun Haeri, managing director of Iran Power Generation Transmission & Distribution Management Company, Fars news agency reported.

The Rouhani administration has announced its policy to promote renewable energy. It is planning to increase renewables share in power generation to 12,000 megawatts (MW). Currently, clean energy production capacity stands at 260 MW only, with 300 renewables having a 300 million kWh share. Iran's total power capacity nationwide stands at 73,000 MW.

The official said gas fueled power plants have been indigenized and that the private sector owns 50 percent of the installed plants.

"On account of surplus capacity power plants' efficiency has reached 40 percent in winter, indicating that if investment is made in due course, power plants can operate to generate additional capacity," he said.

The energy ministry has plans to enhance efficiency by getting private companies more involved in power projects. The ministry has also announced plans to convert 6,300 MW power plants into combined-cycle ones, which experts say use both gas and steam turbines to produce up to 50 percent more electricity from the same fuel than traditional power plants.

Natural gas is the largest source of fuel for electricity generation in Iran, accounting for almost 70% of total generation. Oil, hydropower, coal, and non-hydro renewables made up the remaining fuel sources used to generate electricity in Iran, with marginal generation from Bushehr nuclear power plant that came online in 2011 but did not start commercial production until 2013.