Yazd Village Runs on Renewables

Yazd Village Runs on RenewablesYazd Village Runs on Renewables

Darbid in the central Yazd Province is the first Iranian village with its power supply coming through renewable sources, Valioddin Sharabiani, head of the rural electricity supply project announced.

With a population of 20 households, Darbid is now running on electricity generated via concentrated solar power plants (CSPs), Sharabiani said, while describing the current rate of electricity supply as "excellent."

The power capacity for each household is estimated at 100 watts, which is enough to supply electricity for all domestic electrical equipments, Fars news agency reported.

However, one kilowatt capacity is now allocated for each household. Storage capacity stands at 70 hours in total. The first renewable electricity supply project dates back to three decades ago. However, no budget or plans were devised to maintain and replace the used batteries, considering their lifespan of only 2-3 years.

This is mainly because the authorities, whose responsibility is limited to construction of power plants and supply of electricity, do not take into account the maintenance, development, repair and overhaul tasks, Sharbiani said.

Currently, natural gas is the largest source of fuel for electricity generation in Iran, accounting for almost 70% of total generation. Oil, hydropower, coal, and non-hydro renewables make up the remaining fuel sources used to generate electricity countrywide. There's also marginal electricity generation from Bushehr nuclear power plant that came online in 2011 but did not start commercial production until 2013.

In recent years, an increasing number of environmentalists have pointed out the disadvantages of fossil fuels and their use in power generation, calling on the government to gradually shift to cleaner energy to help protect the environment.

Under President Hassan Rouhani, the government’s budget for the implementation of solar energy projects has risen five-fold this year, to $60 million, up from just $12 million last year. The government has undertaken to supply electricity from renewable sources to more than 80 villages in the current year (ending March 21).

Iran’s electricity industry is ranked 14th in the world and first in the Middle East in terms of electricity generation with an installed power generation capacity of 72,000 MW.