When thermal and combined-cycle power plants cannot meet the high electricity demand during the peak hours of summer when the temperature and consumption both shoot up, renewables can help generate the required electricity, a board member of Iran Renewable Energy Association said.
“Iran’s renewable power production capacity has surpassed 700 megawatts, but issues, such as the reimposition of US sanctions and problems in financial transactions, have increased the risk of investment in the country, hence foreign investors are not eager to cooperate with us,” ILNA also quoted Mohammad Javad Mousavi as saying.
The US reimposed strict sanctions on Tehran after it unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal last May. The first round of sanctions came into effect last August before tougher restrictions on the oil and banking sectors were enacted last November.
The prospect of meeting a sizable share of electricity demand through renewables requires the banking system’s stronger support.
Mousavi noted that if domestic banks provide long-term loans to (state-owned or private) companies active in the renewable field, the green energy sector can expand faster, “but unfortunately so far, no aid has been received”.
“The country has a diverse climate of vast windy lands and more than 300 sunny days a year, which makes it ideal to tap into wind and solar energy,” he said.
Iran meets more than 80% of its electricity demand from thermal power plants that run on fossil fuels. Of the total 81,000 MW capacity, 710 MW are derived from renewables.
The Energy Ministry hopes to launch 1,000 MW of renewable capacity a year through 2022 with the help of the private sector.