Power Sector Potential Untapped

Power Sector Potential Untapped   Power Sector Potential Untapped

Electricity exports should increase from the current annual amount of 12 billion kilowatt hours, deputy energy minister told Fars news agency on Friday, adding the potentials of Iran's power sector has yet to be fully utilized.

"The electricity industry is currently not functioning properly as production in the sector is far from economical," according to Alireza Daemi, who said the low productivity rate has resulted in debt pile-up for power plants and the government.   

Iran has constructed twice as many power plants as the average number of power plants in the world during the past decade. Power generation capacity in Iran has grown by 7 percent annually during the past 10 years. Iran currently swaps power with Turkey, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan (including Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic), Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq.

Also on Friday, an official from the Iran Chamber of Commerce said that Iran's power grid is nearly completed, and the government must take advantage of this to increase its electricity exports to the neighboring countries.

"There is a 30,000-megawatt surplus power generation capacity in summer, and a similar surplus amount is also available during winter," Ali Shams stated, suggesting that the extra generated electricity can be exported to countries like Turkey and Tajikistan.               

Iran seeks to become a major regional exporter of electricity and has attracted more than $1.1 billion in investments for the construction of three new power plants.

Given its strategic geographical position, capabilities in manufacturing power plants and suitable grounds for electricity exchange with the neighboring countries, Iran plans to turn into the region’s energy hub, Daemi announced. Iran’s southern neighboring countries are located in a tropical area while the northern neighbors experience freezing winters, sometimes polar climates, the official explained. “This gives us the opportunity to meet energy demands of neighbors both in the summer and winter."

"Iran can play an important role in supplying the region’s need for electric power,” Daemi stated.

Accordingly, grounds have been prepared for energy exchange with all countries that share land border with Iran, while a series of plans have been also devised to establish such connection with the neighbors south of the Persian Gulf that share water borders with Iran, he added.