China to Build Solar Plants for Tehran

China to Build Solar Plants for Tehran
China to Build Solar Plants for Tehran

New round of negotiations were held between Iran and China on construction of a 300 megawatts (MW) solar power plant, to help reduce air pollution in Tehran.

Concurrent to the opening of a new line of credit (LOC) by China for energy projects, the two sides reached initial agreements whereby design, construction, installation, and operation activities of the new solar plant will be carried out by the Chinese.

“The alarming air pollution in Tehran was a main concern, which gave rise to the need for solar plants,” Mehr news agency quoted Seyed Ali Barband, managing director of Great Tehran Electric Distribution Co. as saying. “Electricity from solar plants does not generate any pollution.”

According to the latest World Health Organization figures, four of the 10 worst-polluted cities in the world are in Iran. The number one slot was awarded to the southern Iranian industrial city of Ahvaz, which has three times the concentration of pollutants as Beijing.

Tehran, though not in the top 10 polluted cities overall, checks in at number 82 (of 1099).

Noting the significant potential for solar energy in Iran, Barband said that construction of photovoltaic power stations in scales as large as Tehran, can entirely diminish the need for fossil fuels for the city.

Absence of sound pollution, a lack of need for water, reducing energy expenses and low maintenance costs are among advantages of photovoltaic power plants. In recent years an increasing number of environmentalists, pointing to the disadvantages of fossil fuels and their use in power generation, have called on the government to gradually shift to cleaner energy and help protect the environment.

Over 6,000 photovoltaic systems were installed across the country this year, a figure which will increase to 10,000 in the near future.

Currently, $47 million has been allocated to develop solar energy by making use of solar cells. Households have been called upon by the government to install solar energy systems for their houses in exchange for 50% of the installation cost as ex gratia loan.

Under President Hassan Rouhani, the government’s budget for solar implementation has risen five-fold this year, to $60 million, up from just $12 million last year.