Tavanir Ready to Raise Power Export to Iraq

Tavanir Ready to Raise Power Export to IraqTavanir Ready to Raise Power Export to Iraq

Tehran is prepared to export 3,000 megawatts of electricity to Iraq, if Baghdad expresses interest in Iranian electricity, managing director of Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) said on Thursday.

"We are considering plans to export electric power to Baghdad during the time of low demand," Arash Kordi was quoted as saying by ISNA.

"To do so, Iraq's power grid should have the capacity to receive and distribute extra electricity from Iran."

The official added that the Iranian government has to ensure it meets domestic demand and then embark on supplying extra electric output to Iraq. This comes as the Energy Ministry on Friday said domestic electricity consumption in summer had a 2.7% jump compared to the same period of last year.

Tehran can capitalize on Iraq's critical demand for electric power, as residents in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities suffer long-lasting outages every day.

Iraqi residents in August demonstrated against the government's inability to provide basic services across the country, blaming government corruption for enduring blackouts and poor quality of water.

Iraqis suffered a particularly sweltering summer this year due to shortage of electricity to power cooling equipment.

According to reports, the capital Baghdad on average receives six hours of electricity, while some areas of the city are completely bereft of electricity.

The installed power generation capacity of the impoverished Arab state is around 7,200 MW, but experts say it should rise to 17,000 MW to meet the country's electricity demand.

Iran is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and exports electric power to Armenia, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, and Afghanistan, especially during periods of peak demand. Azerbaijan and Armenia supply electricity to Iran under a swap agreement.

  Shortage of Renewables

Iran's electric output from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar account for less than 2% of the country's total power production capacity, a deputy at Tavanir said on Thursday.

Abdolrasoul Pishahang called for expanding renewables to save billions of liters burned annually for power production and help curb pollution.

"An average of 240 million liters per day of fuel are burned for power production in summer and 150 million liters in winter … This translates into big costs and chronic pollution."

According to published reports, Iran's nominal power generation capacity stands at around 74,000, with 61,000 MW coming from thermal power plants, 12,000 MW from hydroelectric plants and only 1,000 MW from nuclear power.

Pishahang estimated that Iran needs to establish 1.6 million square kilometers of wind farms to raise power output from renewables to 18,000 MW by 2025.

The Persian Gulf country plans to raise total power generation capacity to more than 125,000 MW within 10-year timeframe.

The country's diverse climate allows it to exploit natural energy sources for power production, including from geothermal energy in northwestern Ardabil Province and wind in Sistan-Baluchestan Province in the southeast, the official said.