Iran, Spain Sign Renewable Energy Agreement

Iran, Spain Sign Renewable Energy AgreementIran, Spain Sign Renewable Energy Agreement

Iran Power & Water Equipment and Services Export Company (Sunir) has signed an agreement for technical and engineering cooperation with Bester, a Spanish company based in Seville, for the design and manufacture of solar energy equipment.

Sunir Managing Director Bahman Salehi and Chief Executive Director of Bester Company Antonio Sanchez signed the agreement on Monday, IRNA reported.

The two companies will cooperate for 18 months as per the contract, based on which Bester will offer consultancy and make investment in renewable energy projects. It will also provide its Iranian counterpart with the latest technology in renewable energy production.

"There are high potentials for Spanish companies to carry out businesses and collaborate in joint investment projects in Iran," Sanchez said. Salehi said Iran's strategic location allows it to become the region's energy hub and to connect neighboring countries' electricity networks. He hoped that Sunir and the Spanish company can build power plants to meet domestic demand and also export electricity from Iran to neighboring countries.

"Upon the implementation of the joint project, €250 million in hard currency will enter the country," Salehi added.

Iran’s electricity industry ranks 14th in the world and first in the Middle East in terms of electricity generation with an installed power generation capacity of 72,000 megawatts.

The country is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and is currently exporting electricity to Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Pakistan.

Natural gas is the most abundant source of fuel for electricity generation in Iran, accounting for almost 70% of total generation. Oil, hydropower, coal and non-hydro renewables constitute the remaining fuel sources used to generate electricity in Iran, with marginal generation from Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant that went on stream in 2011 but did not start commercial production until 2013.

  Worldwide Projects

The two sides agreed to launch regional and international projects as part of efforts to preserve the environment through renewable energy projects. Sanchez said Bester's current strategy is to participate in the Middle Eastern market.

 The company has so far carried out projects in 23 countries. Bester's ongoing projects are estimated at €770 million.

"Sunir and Bester can cooperate in international ventures, for example in power plant projects, the Iranian company can provide the electricity transmission lines and distribution networks, and on this subject we suggest Sunir to implement projects in Mexico or Chile," he added.

Iran has also proposed that the Spanish company participate in solar projects in Iran and a wind power plant project in Afghanistan.

Iran needs to generate 5,000 MW of renewable energies by 2015 as stipulated in the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2011-16). While the share of renewable resources in the country’s total energy production currently stands at 0.5%, the number is expected to reach 5% in the next four years.

More than 90% of the regions in Iran experience sunshine for over 300 days a year. The average sunshine in Iran is 5 kilowatt-hours per square meter, which is almost double the sunshine in most European countries, according to Iranian energy officials.