Iran’s Renewable Energy Revenues to Hit $60bln

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran expects its installed renewable power capacity barring hydropower to surpass 700 megawatts at the end of the current Iranian year in March 2018, a senior energy official said.
"Iran currently has 77,000 megawatts of power capacity, of which 360 megawatts is renewable energy. Most of the electricity generated in the country comes from thermal power plants which use fossil fuel, Deputy Energy Minister Houshang Fallahatian said.
He said that renewable energy, including hydropower, accounts for about 6 percent of the overall electricity produced in the country where 90% of the fuel used in power plants is natural gas.
“We have planned to allocate part of the country's electricity basket to renewables and as a result, we have decided to bring 1000 MW of renewable energy to the national grid each year in the next five years if possible and raise the country's renewable power capacity to 5,000 MW,” Fallahatian has said.
This paltry figure in a country with over 300 sunny days and an average of 2800 hours of sunshine is while air pollution in major cities, especially in the capital Tehran, has turned into a major dilemma in recent years.
Iran is one of the most energy-intensive countries in the world, where inefficient energy use amid consumer subsidies has resulted in a per capita energy consumption which is ten times greater than that in the European Union.
The national energy blueprint is now based on expanding renewable power generation and improving energy efficiency by reducing domestic hydrocarbon use which would free up more oil and gas for export.
Energy producers from Germany, Italy, India, South Korea, Japan, Spain, China, and Switzerland have visited the country to test the waters for possible investment.
The country also has approximately 141 megawatts of installed wind power. According to SUNA, there are only 15 wind farms in Iran where 100,000 megawatts of potential capacity exists from wind alone.
Officials say more than 4,000 megawatts of renewable capacity to be built by 2020 is expected to come from wind power.