$38m Needed for Power Research

$38m Needed for Power Research$38m Needed for Power Research

The power industry's research sector will need over $38 million in investment in the sixth five-year economic development plan (2016-21) to bring about a turnaround in the key sector, the deputy head of Niroo Research Institute said.

Seyyed Mohsen Marjan-Mehr also told IRNA that based on plans, Power Energy Research and Technology Fund, which is affiliated to NRI, will hold more than $137 million in credit in a five-year period.

"The amount can make a big change in science-oriented firms," he said.

Arash Kordi, managing director of Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company, last week revealed Iran's decision to double its electricity exports from the current 10 billion kilowatt-hours to 20-25 billion kWh per year over a five-year plan.

The Persian Gulf country earns around $600 million in annual revenues from electricity exports.

"Currently, the fund holds $2.7 million in credit, 60% of which belong to the private sector and the rest is provided by the government," Marjan-Mehr said, adding that the fund cooperates with any governmental fund having a research essence.

He noted that NRI orchestrates the R&D projects in the power sector, which are largely carried out by small knowledge-based companies made up of a young and ambitious workforce.

Marjan-Mehr hoped the institute, with the private sector's contribution, will be able to commercialize its research output.

The NRI has so far received 35%, or slightly more than one-third of the $5.5 million allocated budget for research and development.

Nominal power generation capacity stands at around 74,000 MW nationwide, with 61,000 MW coming from thermal power plants, 12,000 MW from hydroelectric plants and only 1,000 MW from nuclear power.

Plans call for raising power production capacity by 50,000 megawatts in 10 years, boosting the country's total installed power capacity to more than 120,000 MW.

Iran has recently called on foreign companies to bring in state-of-the-art technology so that the energy industry can develop in various areas.

Earlier this month, a 31-strong delegation of Swedish businessmen and officials met with high-ranking Iranian officials in Tehran, exploring grounds for cooperation in energy and power sectors in the post-sanctions period. To expand the infrastructure for renewables, in particular, Iran has turned to European powerhouse Germany that produces 90,000 MW from renewables, more than Iran's total power generation capacity.