Renewables Help Curb Greenhouse Emissions

Renewables Help Curb Greenhouse EmissionsRenewables Help Curb Greenhouse Emissions

Close to 1.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity have been generated from renewable sources since June 2009.

According to state-owned Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization, aka Satba, this electricity has helped the country reduce greenhouse emissions by as much as 1.25 million tons in this period, Mehr News Agency reported on Tuesday.

Giving a breakdown, Satba added that power production from sustainable sources, including wind and solar plants between Dec. 22, 2017, and Jan. 20 amounted to 48 million kWh. Satba noted that between Nov. 22 and Dec. 21, 2017, the country curbed its greenhouse emissions by 33,000 tons. According to the report, the electricity generated since 2009 has helped the country save as much as 514 million cubic meters of fossil fuels, which are the main cause of air pollution.

Moreover, renewables have helped save 398 million liters of water in the last nine years, of which 11 million liters were saved between Nov. 22 and Dec. 21, 2017. Thermal plants turn water into steam and spin a steam turbine to produce more than 80% of Iran's installed power capacity of about 77,000 megawatts. The share of renewables stands at a meager 400 MW, yet measures are being taken to generate 7,500 MW from solar, wind, geothermal and biomass renewable power plants by 2030. According to Mohammad Sadeqzadeh, the head of Satba, over the next four years, renewable energies should make up 25% of new installed power capacity. Sadeqzadeh believes the target is feasible, thanks to the launch of several solar plants in recent months as well as a slew of factories for manufacturing photovoltaic panels. Small-scale solar plants with a capacity ranging from 7 megawatts to 30 MW are operational or in different stages of development. In July 2017, a 20-MW photovoltaic power complex, dubbed Mokran, was launched in Kerman Province.

  Global Average

According to Iran Meteorological Organization, the country’s greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 3% in the past decade and the average temperature has risen by 1.8 degrees Celsius since 1750, considerably higher than the global average of 1.1°C. 

A climate change roadmap unveiled by the Iranian government in 2016 states the need for significant policy reform in the energy sector, which is responsible for over 90% of Iran’s greenhouse gas emissions. However, policy reforms must also be accompanied by modern technology.

In the UN climate change talks in Paris in 2016, which led to the signing of the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Iran pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 4% relative to the business-as-usual scenario by 2030, while suggesting that it could increase its pledge to 12% with financial assistance from the international community. Official estimates suggest that $17.5 billion in investment are needed to ensure Iran meets its unconditional pledge, i.e. without international aid, of 4% reduction in emissions by 2030.

To meet the conditional pledge of 12% reduction, it would need about $35 billion in international aid.


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