Iran, Italy in Green Energy, Power Plant Talks

Iran, Italy in Green Energy, Power Plant TalksIran, Italy in Green Energy, Power Plant Talks

In line with policies to curb air pollution, improve efficiency of power plants and reduce dependence on hydrocarbon resources, plans are underway to convert gas-powered power plants into combined-cycle plants to generate up to 7,000 megawatts of electricity.

Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian made the statement on the sidelines of a meeting with Italy's Minister of Environment and Land and Sea Protection, Gian Luca Galletti, in Tehran last week, IRNA reported.

The two sides discussed environmental issues, renewable energy and cooperation in building power plants.

"About 10% of our total electricity output comes from hydroelectric power stations and plans call for extracting more electricity from clean energy sources," Chitchian said, noting that producing 7,500 MW from solar, wind, geothermal and biomass power plants is on the ministry's agenda.

Pointing to the interest of Italian companies in Iran's fast growing energy sector, the official added that the Italian company Ansaldo STS has provided Iran with equipment for gas-powered electricity plants.

Chitchian said his ministry welcomes foreign proposals to develop combined-cycle plants.

A combined-cycle plant uses both gas and steam turbines to produce up to 50% more electricity from the same fuel than a traditional simple-cycle plant.

Commenting on the country's first geothermal power plant in Meshgin Shahr, Ardebil Province near the Azerbaijan border in the northwest, he noted that the plant's turbine and generator were imported from Italy.

The main stumbling block to expanding two-way cooperation, he said, is that Italian banks have "not yet opened credit lines for Iran."

--- Climate Change

Galletti singled out climate change as the "common enemy" of all countries and underlined environmental protection as the joint objective of Iran and Italy. He said Italy is morally committed to transferring know-how to other nations in the fields of pollution, wastewater treatment, green energy and recycling waste for power production.

Highlighting the historic agreement in Paris last December to curb global emissions of greenhouse gases and limit the Earth's warming to under 2°C, preferably 1.5°C, by 2100, the Italian official noted that meeting obligations under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change calls for development of close collaboration among countries.

Referring to the active participation of Italian firms in the 9th International Renewable Energy, Lighting and Energy Saving Exhibition in Tehran (Feb. 24-27), Galletti asserted that Italian firms  are looking for a role in Iran's untapped but lucrative renewables market.

On clearing hurdles to open credit lines for Iran, he said without elaboration that the Ministry of Economy in the two states are doing their best to remove the legal obstacles.

Italy hast the second biggest geothermal complex in the world with a total capacity of 760 MW.

According to latest reports, Iran accounts for 1.3% of global emissions, which is high compared to other countries because despite Tehran’s increasing emissions over the past few years, the economy has not developed as would have been expected. According to Iran’s Meteorological Organization, greenhouse gas emissions in the country have increased by 3% in the past decade.

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