Iran to generate 7% of electricity from renewables, or face fines
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 3
By Dalga Khatinoglu – Trend:
Iran has to generate 7 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020, otherwise it can face fines under the Paris climate deal, the spokesman of Iranian parliament’s energy commission Asadollah Gharekhani has told Trend.
Iran has committed itself to decrease CO2 emissions by 4 percent in 14 years by investing $17.5 billion. By absorbing further $35 billion of international investments, Iran says it can reduce CO2 emissions by 12 percent, based on the Paris climate deal, known as the COP21, achieved in late 2015.
The power sector with a 33-percent share of CO2 emissions is one of the major areas that Iran has a massive plan to optimize, both for curbing CO2 emissions and decreasing energy intensity.
So far the COP21 agreement doesn’t threaten any country with sanctions, but once it is signed by 55 nations, the major CO2 producers may face punishments in the future.
Global carbon dioxide emissions in 2014 were about 35,900 million tons. Iran ranked 10th among the major CO2 producers in the world with 602 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Statistics from Iran’s Oil Ministry
Gharekhani told Trend that Iran plans to generate 5 gigawatts (GW) of electricity from renewables by 2020.
“Geothermal, wind and solar energy sources have really good potential in Iran. Sun shines for long hours in Iran. We also have wind tunnels in different parts of the country. And some geothermal projects have started. As of now, 13 wells have been dug in Meshkin Shahr (northwest of Iran) and five of them will be operated at 5 megawatts of capacity,” said Gharekhani.
Iran’s current nominal power generation capacity stands at about 76 GW, but the actual generation is about 59 GW. The share of renewables is 0.32 percent of nominal capacity.
Based on an Energy Ministry document, seen by Trend
For the current fiscal year, Iran plans to add 105 MW to its renewables capacity, but the cumulative renewables capacity would reach 3.54 GW by March 2020 and the figure is expected to reach 5 GW by March 2021.
Hamid Chitchian, energy minister of Iran, told Trend in August that Iran plans to increase the renewables capacity to 7-10 GW by 2025.
Also Gharekhani said Iran plans to increase the generation capacity of the combined-cycle power plants (CCPPs) by 20 GW by 2021. An official document, seen by Trend, also indicates that a huge amount of new power plants (26 GW), projected to be commenced in the next five years, are CCPPs.
Currently, CCPPs share 27 percent of Iran’s total nominal power generation capacity. Iran’s CCPP power generation capacity is about 19.46 GW. So the share of CCPPs in nominal power generation would stand at 40 percent – or even more – in 2021, because Iran plans to convert a part of its ordinary thermal power plants to CCPPs as well.
Based on Energy Ministry’s official statistics
Gharekhani also said that Iran plans to increase the efficiency of thermal power plants (currently at 37.2 percent in average) by using F-class turbines.
“Efficiency of this kind of turbines is over 58 percent, about 25 percent more than the currently installed turbines (E-class) in Iran’s power plants.”
Iran recently received its first F-class turbine, made by German Siemens, to be installed at a 1 GW power plant in Bandar Abbas.
Thermal power plants share about 84.8 percent of Iran’s total power generation capacity, which wouldn’t change by 2021.
“Our policy is aimed at building plants which have advanced turbines with increased efficiency. We can save fuel consumption by 26 percent if efficiency of power plants is 58 percent,” Gharekhani said.
For current year, Iran plans to deliver about 65 billion cubic meters of gas to power sector, which would share 93 percent of total fuel burning in thermal power plants.
Dalga Khatinoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Iran news service, follow him on Twitter: @dalgakhatinoglu