Gov't Urged to Help Pay for Home Solar Panels

Gov't Urged to Help Pay  for Home Solar Panels
Gov't Urged to Help Pay  for Home Solar Panels

The deputy energy minister and the head of the Renewable Energy Organization of Iran urged the government to fund half of the costs for the installation of solar panels in residential units, IRNA reported.

"The purchase and installation of solar panels to generate renewable energy is relatively costly and that is why households are averse to the technology," said Yousef Armoudeli Tuesday.

The installation of a solar panel with the capacity to produce 10 kilowatts of energy costs around $3800 and "the government should pay for $1900, or 50 percent of expenses," he said.

The plan is to be finalized and become operational in the near future.

Iran's diverse climate offers the opportunity to exploit renewable energy from the sun, wind and water.

"More than 90 percent of the regions in the country experience sunshine for over 300 days a year," he said, "The average sunshine in Iran is 5 kilowatt-hour per sq. meter, which is almost double the sunshine in most European countries."

Armoudeli added, "We have the capacity to install wind turbines with an aggregate power of more than 40,000 megawatts. Moreover, we are advanced in terms of geothermal energy, biomass, small and big hydroelectric power plants and sea currents in the country."    

One thing holding the development of renewables is the consumption of inexpensive and abundant fossil fuel, he said, asserting that energy consumption in Iran increases by 7-8 percent annually.

The capacity of the country’s renewable energy plants amounts to 300 megawatt. Moreover, wind turbines with a capacity of 2.5 megawatt have been designed and manufactured domestically and 3 Iranian companies produce solar panels.

Several solar plants with a capacity of 10 megawatt were installed around the country in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended March 2014), according to Armoudeli.

While the share of renewable resources in the country’s total energy production currently stands at almost 0.5%, the number is expected to reach 5 percent in the next four years. Under President Hassan Rouhani, the government’s budget for solar implementation has risen fivefold this year, to $60 million, up from just $12 million last year. That’s still a tiny amount by the standards of international leaders like China, or even the US, but the growth rate is eye-catching.

The government hopes to produce 5,000 megawatts from renewable resources within two year, which especially targets rural communities largely cut off from government services across the country.

Iran recently passed laws and incentives to encourage domestic and foreign investment in renewable energy projects in the country.

Iran’s electricity industry ranks 14th in the world and first in the Middle East in terms of electricity generation by having an installed power generation capacity of 67,806 megawatt.

By the end of the current Iranian year (March 2015) a total of 500 megawatts of electricity will be generated by wind farms and solar plants will be transmitted into the country’s national grid.