Iran Boosting Germany Ties for Renewables

Iran Boosting Germany Ties for Renewables Iran Boosting Germany Ties for Renewables

Iranian officials explored grounds for cooperation in the energy, particularly the renewables sector, in a meeting with a high-ranking delegation from the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony.

The two sides were headed by Homayoun Haeri, managing director of the Iran Power Generation Transmission and Distribution Management Company, and Olaf Lies, minister of economic affairs, labor and transport for Lower Saxony, Mehr News Agency reported.

Haeri referred to Germany as one of the most advanced and industrialized European countries and said it produces 90,000 megawatts of electricity from renewables.

"Iran's total power generation capacity is close to 74,000 MW, including from hydroelectric, wind, solar and fossil fuel plants, while Germany produces 90,000 MW of electricity only from renewables," he said.

Iran sits on some of the world's biggest hydrocarbon resources and provides the lion's share of its electricity from burning fossil fuels, particularly natural gas.

In addition, the government has instructed power plants to use gas instead of more polluting feedstock such as mazut due to the abundance of gas resources in Iran and the rise in extraction from South Pars, the country's biggest gas field in the south.

However, the Energy Ministry is planning a move toward renewable and clean energy sources as part of efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels for power generation.

"We have great capacity to exploit solar and wind powers, but have yet to tap into our huge potential in renewables," Haeri said.

He mentioned Germany's footprint in building power plants and establishing electricity networks across Iran and hoped the two countries can establish solid ties in this key sector.

  Complete Withdrawal

"Berlin is willing to offer Tehran know-how on power generation from renewables," Lies said on the sidelines of the meeting.

A report by the International Energy Agency in 2014 said the electricity sector in Germany was composed of 53% fossil, 17% nuclear and 30% renewable energy. The report added that nuclear power provides about 11% of the world's electricity.

According to IEA, Germany's gross electricity production was 631 tera in 2008 which made it rank seventh among the world's top producers in 2010.

Germany is planning to completely phase out nuclear power by 2022 and produce 80% of its electric demand from renewables by 2050.

In September 2011, German engineering giant Siemens announced a complete withdrawal from the nuclear industry as a response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Iran plans to produce 5,000 MW of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2018. The country's electricity industry ranks 14th in the world and first in the Middle East in terms of electricity generation with an installed power production capacity of 74,000 MW.

Taking stock of the country's massive hydrocarbon resources, Lies called on Iran to expand the number of combined-cycle plants, which use both gas and steam turbines to produce up to 50% more electricity from the same fuel than a traditional simple-cycle plant.

Haeri also underlined Iran as a water-stressed region receiving scarce rainfall for well over a decade and said Iran is willing to take advantage of German expertise to help reduce water and electricity consumption.

According to Lies, high prices are a major factor behind moderate consumption of water and electricity in Germany.

Average rainfall is around 750 millimeters in the world, while Iran's average precipitation has fallen to 205 mm in the past 15 years, down from 250 mm before a long and hard drought cast a shadow over the country.