Need for New, Optimal Power Infrastructure
Need for New, Optimal Power Infrastructure

Need for New, Optimal Power Infrastructure

Need for New, Optimal Power Infrastructure

About 20% of Iran’s electricity is generated via derelict power plants built more than a quarter century ago.
According to ISNA, one-fifth of the ageing thermal power stations are between 25 and 40 years old. Based on international standards the average useful life of such plants is 25 years,
Iran's thermal power plant capacity stands at 61,633 megawatts, of which 12,026 MW (12 gigawatts) are produced in ramshackle plants which are nearing retirement age.
According to the report, 2,432 MW come from 26-30 year-old facilities, 2,553 MW from 31 to 35 year-old plants and 2,186 MW from power stations over 36 years old.
"Even if such units are regularly overhauled or reconditioned, they won't e operate efficiently, and that's why plans call for gradually decommission these plants," according to the managing director of Iran's Thermal Power Plants Holding Company (TPPHC), Mohsen Tarztalab.
"Retiring the Zarand Power Plant in Kerman Province along with the Rey plant near south Tehran is on agenda," he noted.
Based the Energy Ministry data released in 2014, 85% of the plants are thermal, of which 36.3% are gas-fueled with an efficiency of 31.2% , and 21.4% run on steam with an efficiency of 35.7%  and 25% are combined-cycle plants with an efficiency of 46.1% that use both gas and steam turbines.
Experts say that converting steam-electric power stations as well as gas-fueled units to combined-cycle plants should be given higher priority in plans to rehabilitate power infrastructure.
Moreover, 95% of Iran's electricity was produced with the help of thermal plants in the first six months of 2016, data show. Thermal plants use fossil fuels such as natural gas and liquid fuels as feedstock.
According to TPPHC, the company generated 187,112 gigawatt-hours of electricity via thermal power plants in 2016 as natural gas made up more than 96% of the feedstock.
Average thermal plant efficiency in Iran is 37% that is 13% lower than European Union standards.
According to a report by the Majlis Research Center, 1% increase in the country's thermal power plant efficiency will save enough money to construct a 600 MW power plant.
Based on the same report, the Energy Ministry has boosted efficiency in thermal power plants  by 1% over the past four years, which resulted in saving 6.1 billion cubic meters of natural gas as feedstock in fiscal 2016-17 alone.
The bottom line is that enhancing efficiency of power plants will not only have a profound effect on electricity generation but also save invaluable natural resources.


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