Chitchian Reiterates Need for Renewables

Chitchian Reiterates Need for RenewablesChitchian Reiterates Need for Renewables

Iran will have to pay hefty fines should the country fail to abide by internationally-mandated regulations on greenhouse gases and carbon emissions, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said.

Although fossil fuels, including coal, oil and natural gas, are still the world’s primary energy source, their utilization is gradually receding, the minister was quoted by Mehr news agency as saying. Exploiting renewable energy sources is “not a choice, but a necessity,” he stressed.

Renewable energy capacity has reached more than 350,000 megawatts (MW) worldwide, whereas the figure is hardly 250 MW in Iran. Regarding policies adapted by the government to encourage renewables, the minister referred to the guaranteed purchase of electricity generated through renewable sources at 4,650 rilas ($0.13) per kilowatt hour (kWh), which is 10 times higher than the price at which the ministry sells electricity to subscribers.

Private firms wanting to cooperate in the key sector will have access to funds made available by the National Development Fund of Iran (NDFI), the minister said.

While the share of renewable in the country’s total energy output now stands at almost 0.5%, it is expected to reach 5 percent within four years.

Iran needs to generate 5,000 MW of renewable energy by 2015 as stipulated in the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2011-16). Laws and incentives to encourage domestic and foreign investment in renewable energy have been passed recently.