Cutting Power Waste a Priority

18 dams will be inaugurated in the current fiscal.18 dams will be inaugurated in the current fiscal.

Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian says his ministry is doing all it can to reduce electricity wastage in the national grid to less than 10% in the present fiscal year that ends in March 2018.

“Power wastage in the national grid was cut to 10.9% from 15.5% in less than two years. Plans call for cutting wastage to less than 10% in the current fiscal," Chitchian was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency on Saturday.

Pointing to the headway in reducing power wastage, he added that there is still a long way to go to reach the optimum wastage rate of 8%.

"The national electricity infrastructure is outdated," Chitchian said, citing the flawed design of power grids and mismanagement in power distribution as other reasons for electricity wastage.

According to Chitchian, completing the smart metering system program, aka FAHAM, at the national level is a priority.

"FAHAM was launched in 2015 and will cover more than 32.3 million electricity subscribers nationwide," he said, adding that the advanced metering system will make manual meter reading a thing of the past. Smart meters have been used in Europe and the US since 2001.

The minister said the country's power production capacity will rise by 3,500 megawatts by the yearend after the launch of new power generation projects. He did not provide details.

Energy experts argue that there is enough potential to increase output by roughly the same amount without constructing new power plants and by recycling the wasted heat in existing thermal plants.

With an installed power production capacity of around 75,000 megawatts, Iran meets almost 80% of its electricity demand from aging thermal plants operating for decades.

The government wants to expand power generation capacity by 5,000 MW every year through 2021.

Chitchian said 18 dams will be inaugurated in the current fiscal along with 20 wastewater treatment plants and five water treatment plants.

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