$30b Investment Potential in Water, Electricity Sectors

$30b Investment Potential in Water, Electricity Sectors$30b Investment Potential in Water, Electricity Sectors

Iran's water and electricity sectors have the capacity to attract more than $30 billion in foreign and domestic investments, a deputy energy minister said on Saturday.

Houshang Falahatian said 35,000 megawatts of power generation capacity should be added to the country's already installed capacity of 74,000 MW, Fars News Agency reported. "If every 1,000 MW costs an estimated $500 million, we will need some $15 billion in foreign investments only to expand the electricity output of thermal plants," he noted.

Iran plans to increase power production capacity from combined-cycle power plants by 8,000 megawatts in the foreseeable future and about 10% of the country's total power output come from thermal units.

"The ground is prepared to expand power output from renewable power resources, such as wind and solar, by 30,000 MW," Falahatian said, underlining the country's huge potential to develop solar energy by using photovoltaic cells. "This means we will roughly need another $15 billion in funds for tapping the country's potential in renewables."

Iran needs to generate 5,000 MW of renewable energies by 2015 as stipulated in the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2011-16). Currently, clean energy production capacity stands at 260 MW, with 300 million kWh of electricity being produced through renewables. Iran’s electricity industry ranks 14th in the world and first in the Middle East in terms of electricity generation. It is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and exports electricity to Armenia, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan. Azerbaijan and Armenia supply electricity to Iran under a swap agreement. Falahatian also mentioned investment opportunities in the water sector and called for cooperation between Iranian and foreign firms to carry out projects in this key sector.

Iran is the world's third leading country in dam construction, having built more than 600 dams over the past three decades, an average of 20 a year, to irrigate farms and provide electricity.