S Korean firm voices readiness to build solar power plant in Tehran
Tehran, Iran, August 29
A South Korean firm has expressed willingness to construct a major solar power plant near the Iranian capital city of Tehran as the country is pressing ahead with an ambitious agenda to use renewable energy resources, an Iranian deputy minister said.
The Korean firm is keen to construct a power plant with an annual production capacity of 100 megawatts in an industrial town near Tehran, Sadeq Najafi, the Iranian deputy minister of industries, mining and trade, said on August 29, IRNA news agency reported.
He added that the project will be developed through a BOT (build-operate-transfer) contract. But he did not unveil the company name.
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 (Renewable Energy Organization of Iran) 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.