Plans to Boost Renewable Power Generation

Plans to Boost Renewable Power GenerationPlans to Boost Renewable Power Generation

Iran's Renewable Energy Organization (SUNA) is capable of constructing 500-megawatt renewable power plants in the current Iranian year (started March 20, 2016), if state organizations settle their differences and cooperate with SUNA to achieve the target.

“Energy Ministry has played a key role in clearing many hurdles and we hope other disagreements would be resolved as soon as possible,” Seyyed Mohammad Sadeqzadeh, SUNA's director, told ILNA on Tuesday.

Pointing to SUNA's plan to further increase the use of wind turbines in plains and solar panels on rooftops, the official noted that executive organizations are willing to contribute to the project.

Due to the private sector's presence as a financer and availability of the much-needed cutting-edge technology, the implementation of the plan is beyond question.

Asked about the private sector's expectation, Sadeqzadeh said, "They expect the administration to reassure them that their investment will not be at risk. Furthermore, they want a guaranteed substantial profit margin to provide them with a strong incentive to embark on such economic ventures."

Underscoring the private sector's enthusiasm in building renewable power plants, the official said the target of generating 500 MW electricity from renewable power plants will not be achieved unless investors are sure of their high investment return.

Sadeqzadeh stressed that there is no technological impediments to undertake the project and disagreement among executive bodies is the only cause for concern, which may hinder the project.

Energy security is one of the pillars of economic growth, social welfare and national security, which Iran cannot ensure by solely relying on depleting energy resources. The depletion of Iran's rich oil and gas reserves will lead to the loss of a significant source of revenue and power production.

Iran, an underdeveloped market for renewables by international standards, is laying out plans not to trail behind the global trend in this key sector. The government of President Hassan Rouhani has made it a top priority to raise output from renewables such as wind and solar power.

Based on the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2011-16), the private sector is expected to have a share of at least 270 megawatts of power in renewables energy development.

With more than 300 sunny days throughout a year, well above the likes of the UK with 150 days of sunlight per year on average and with far less intensity in radiation, the Persian Gulf country has huge potential to expand solar energy infrastructure.

Nevertheless, experts say overinvestment in fossil power plants that costs the country billions of dollars every year has thwarted the development of renewables.

Iran is relying too much on non-renewable energy sources because of its relatively easy access to enormous oil and gas reserves, while being slow in implementing plans to follow in the footsteps of leading countries in the renewable energy sector.

Development of renewables is fast gaining impetus globally, according to the International Energy Agency, as renewables will represent the largest single source of electricity growth over the next five years by rising over 26% by 2020 from 22% in 2013, a remarkable shift in a very limited period of time.