IFCO Warns Against Iran's High Energy Use

IFCO Warns Against Iran's High Energy UseIFCO Warns Against Iran's High Energy Use

Energy imports could sharply increase by 2025 if the current trend of consumption continues, managing director of the Iranian Fuel Conservation Company (IFCO) said Sunday.

Nosratollah Seifi said energy consumption must be curtailed in the Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2016-2021) to avoid further import of energy.

"By executing Note 2(G) of the budget law, we can save $20 billion in costs in the energy sector," he was quoted as saying by IRNA.

The note establishes the investment framework for the oil ministry, allowing it to invest up to $100 billion in oil and gas projects. To reduce energy consumption, 12 major plans worth $30 billion have been presented to the Economic Council of the government.

According to Seifi, Indonesia and Mexico were once major oil exporters, but turned into  importers "due to weak energy management strategies and rising consumption."

A plan approved by the council calls for optimization of 600,000 power facilities in the country, which would reduce gas consumption by an estimated 13 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d).

There are plans to invest $6 billion to develop gas supply to Sistan and Baluchestan Province. The province has a population of 2.7 million across nineteen counties, of which, only the residents of Iranshahr County have access to piped gas. According to plans, five power plants and 280,000 people will be linked to the national gas network.

Replacement of 17,000 diesel-powered city buses with gas-fueled buses is another plan under consideration by the Economic Council. The plan anticipates 4.3 billion liter reduction in diesel consumption.

  Electric Motorbikes

There are ambitious plans for promotion of electric motorcycles in Tehran, such as offering subsidies to buyers, building charging stations and reducing import tariffs to zero.

The official underlined high prices as an obstacle to promoting electric motorcycles. Motorcycles with lead-acid batteries cost approximately $600 in Iran, and models with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are sold at around $1,200 in the world. Despite that, he said such vehicles are on sale at the much inflated price of $3,500- 6,500 in Iran.

To reduce pollution and energy consumption, there has been a growing trend in the world towards using energy-efficient vehicles and replacing fossil fuels by renewables such as wind and solar. To that end, electric and electric hybrid vehicles have seen considerable progress in recent years.

However, electricity-fueled vehicles have not been as popular as would be expected by and large due to several constraints. One key reason being that battery development has not kept pace with expectation, keeping range short and charging times long.