Households in Mashhad Install Solar Panels

Households in Mashhad Install Solar Panels
Households in Mashhad Install Solar Panels

In line with the government's recent initiative to promote renewable energy, Mashhad, Khorasan-Razavi Province has installed solar panels for household use.

Household electricity subscribers can now register at power distribution companies in their area, and obtain the relevant details for installation, IRIB reported.

To roll out the plan, the Mashhad Electric Energy Distribution Company (MEEDC) will suggest competent contractors to install the panels, and will pay for half of the expenses, said its executive officer for renewable energy.

The national electricity company is ready to install solar panels for as many as 10,000 applicants, and the contractors must guarantee the products, Massoud Khani a senior official at the Iran Power Generation and Transmission Company (Tavanir), said.

Moreover, the government has guaranteed the purchase of electricity generated from renewables, in a five year contract concluded between the ministry and the private companies, for 4630 rials (17 cents) per kilowatt hour.

However, "lack of certainty over the price after the initial five years, has prevented investments in construction of solar and wind power stations," Houshang Falahatian, deputy energy minister, was quoted by Tasnim news agency as saying Saturday. The government is now considering extending the guaranteed purchase price to 10 years, instead of the current five. "The price for the second five-year period will be determined by March," Falahatian said. Iran’s diverse climate offers the opportunity to exploit renewable energy from the sun, wind and water. More than 90 percent of the regions experience sunshine for over 300 days a year. “The average sunshine in Iran is 5 kilowatt-hour per sq. meter, which is almost double the sunshine in most European countries,” deputy energy minister and head of the Renewable Energy Organization of Iran Yousef Armoudeli said earlier.

The government hopes to produce 5,000 MW from renewables within two years and plans to target rural communities who have been largely cut off from government utilities. Laws and incentives to encourage domestic and foreign investment in renewables have been recently passed.

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