‘Developing renewables industry requires govt. support’

January 4, 2020 - 14:54

TEHRAN - Director General of the Office of Economic, Social and Environmental Studies at Iran’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization (known as SATBA) says the country’s renewables industry needs government support to reach the desired level of development, IRNA reported on Saturday.

“Renewables industry’s current situation indicates that there is a lot of backlog in this sector and that it needs government support. Of course, the government support cannot last forever, so the renewable power plants, themselves, must have more economic justification to expand,” Reza Samadi said.

According to the official, the country’s total power generation capacity currently stands at 85 gigawatts (GW), at least four gigawatts of which should be supplied by renewable power plants based on the country’s Sixth Five-Year National Development Plan.

“However, currently the total capacity of the country’s renewable power plants stands at 800 megawatts,” Samadi added.

For an oil-rich country like Iran which is mostly relied on oil, the development of the renewable industry is a lot harder than other nations.

According to Samadi, in Iran, the fuel for thermal power plants is completely supplied by the government for free and they don’t even make any payments for damaging the environment, so the newly established renewable power plants cannot compete with these hugely-supported plants.

“Development of renewable industry requires special government support because selling the electricity produced with renewable power plants at the same rate as the electricity produced by fossil-fueled plants won’t be economically justifiable,” he explained.

Renewables, including hydropower, account for just six percent of energy generation, versus natural gas’ 90 percent share.

Overall, in the next five years, Iran is aiming for a 5,000 MW increase in renewable capacity to meet growing domestic demand and expand its presence in the regional electricity market.

According to SATBA, the number of small scale solar power plants across the country which are used by households or small industries is being increased noticeably as Iranian households and small industries have embraced the new technology with open arms and investors also seem eager for more contribution in this area.

Head of SATBA Seyed Mohammad Sadeqzadeh has announced that Iran also plans to add electricity generated from renewable sources to the export backset.

EF/MA

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