Incrising Need for Renewables

Incrising Need for Renewables Incrising Need for Renewables

Developed countries have long been convinced that heavy reliance on fossil fuels is not in their interest and therefore, have increasingly deployed renewable energies in general, and solar energy in particular, to produce electricity and meet their energy needs.

According to, Germany, Italy, Japan the US, and China top the list of countries that have successfully exploited solar energy to produce electricity. Germany, for instance, has implemented some of the world's most innovative renewable energy projects during the past few years.

In fact, unlike Iran, many European countries use electric power to meet their domestic energy demand; some, like Germany through solar power plants, and others like France from nuclear energy.

  Untapped Potential

Iran enjoys about 280-300 clear sunny days a year, and with an average of 2,200 kilowatt-hours of solar radiation per square meter, it has a great potential to tap solar energy as a highly reliable source of power generation.

As khabaronline explains, presently, Iran generates 300 million kWh of electricity from renewable energy, which saves 100 million cubic meters of gas annually. The deployment of solar energy, however, is less than 0.1 percent despite the potential that exists across Iran's deserts to set up solar power plants and help inject life into those arid lands.

The report puts the current capacity of new energies in the country at 400 MW and the outlook for the future at 800 MW, quoting Homayoun Haeri, managing director of Iran Power Generation Transmission & Distribution Management Company (Tavanir).

Some foreign companies from South Korea, Germany and Japan have expressed interest in investing in renewable energy sector of Iran, Haeri said, adding that a contract has been signed to set up a 50 MW solar power plant in central Iran.

In addition, the findings of recent studies suggest that Iran has the potential to generate 40,000 MW of electricity through wind power plants.

  Future Plans

In the current Iranian year (ends March 20), 30 billion rials (slightly more than $1 million at official exchange rate) was approved to be allocated to renewable energy projects, especially solar energy, according to Yousef Armoudli, secretary of Renewable Energy Development Headquarters, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a technical workshop in Birjand, South Khorasan Province.

By the end of the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2011-2016), the share of renewable energy in the energy basket should reach 5,000 MW, the official said. The figure for last year was over 20 billion rials, which was fully covered by the government, while only 50 percent of the allocated funds for this year was met by the public sector, he added.

The wide deployment of solar photovoltaics that are planned to be manufactured in selected provinces can help form a small industry with new job opportunities. The setup of every MW of renewable energy power plant can help create 15 job opportunities, Armoudli noted.