Renewable capacity to reach 1,000 MW in Iran by March 2018
"Renewable energy production capacity stood at 100 MW by the end of last year (March 2017).
Moreover, 100 MW of new renewable power plants have gone on stream over the last three months," Mohammad Sadeqzadeh was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Pointing to ongoing development plans, Sadeqzadeh said, "800 MW of renewable power projects are being undertaken and will be launched by the yearend".
All renewable sources, including solar and wind, make up only a fraction of Iran's installed power generating capacity of around 76,000 MW. The country relies on hundreds of mostly aging thermal plants to meet its electricity demand.
According to the official, since the beginning of Hassan Rouhani's first term as president in 2013, effective steps have been taken to encourage domestic and foreign investments in expanding renewable sources of energy, including a pledge by Satba on guaranteed purchase of electricity from renewable power producers for 20 years.
"Those who embark on renewable power projects using domestic equipment will be allowed to sell their electricity at 30% over the normal tariffs," he said.
"Plans are in place to launch 5,000 MW in new renewable capacity by 2022," Sadeqzadeh said, adding that the target is feasible provided the ground is prepared for the private sector's involvement in funding renewable ventures.
Referring to the attraction of $4 billion in foreign investment to develop renewable energy projects in the last four years, he said, "The government has been successful in winning the private sectors' trust to invest in the fledgling industry, yet there is a long way to go to accomplish long-term goals." ■