Iran launches construction of major solar plant
Tehran, Iran, July 26
By A. Shirazi - Trend:
Iran has started the construction of a major solar power plant in the central province of Yazd as the country is moving forward to use renewable energy resources.
The construction of the plant was inaugurated on Thursday during a ceremony attended by Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian, IRNA news agency reported on July 26.
It will come on stream with an annual production capacity of 30 megawatts and will be completed through an investment of around 300 billion rials.
The plant has around 98,000 solar panels and 12 inverters. The panels are equipped with an advanced solar tracking system, the report added.
Iran is heavily dependent on natural gas and oil to generate power and one of the most energy-intensive countries in the world because government subsidies for fossil fuels encourage inefficient energy use.
Water shortage and air pollution, however, is becoming an acute problem for the country of more than 80 million people, forcing officials to embrace the idea of expanding renewable energy capacity.
Existing wind and solar capacity is tiny. According to SUNA, there are only 15 wind farms in the country where 100,000 megawatts of potential capacity exists from wind alone.
Iran is seeking 5,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020, with more than 4,000 megawatts expected to come from wind power. The country has approximately 141 megawatts of installed wind power.
SUNA is looking to attract $10 billion of direct private investment by 2018 and $60 billion by 2025. The national grid is also being upgraded so it can cope with any influx of renewables.
Energy producers from Germany, Italy, India, Korea and Japan have visited the country to test the waters for possible investment.