0529 GMT November 27, 2020
Jafar Mohammadnejad Sigaroudi wrote on his Instagram page that currently, renewable power plants with the total capacity of 835MW are operational in the country, IRNA reported.
He added that the construction of 72 power plants is underway in 23 provinces of the country and, based on this, by March 20, 2021, 200 MW of renewable power plants will join the national power grid.
Iran’s Ministry of Energy has said that the capacity for using solar energy will increase in the country through a plan to encourage heavy consumers of electricity to use rooftop panels.
A ministry spokesman said on October 15 that the government would pay for the interest and other costs of the loans offered to households for setting up rooftop installations to encourage the use among electricity customers.
Mostafa Rajabi said that heavy consumers would need photovoltaic (PV) panels that generate 400-500 watts of electricity per hour, saying those panels normally occupy 2-2.5 square meters of space and can be mounted on top of swamp coolers that are widely used in Iran for air conditioning to simultaneously serve as a shed to increase their efficiency.
“This would be a major component of our strategy to develop renewable energy in the country,” said Rajabi, without elaborating on the actual costs of the project, which is expected to cover millions of electricity users in Iran.
Iran is a major producer of electricity although renewable capacity is currently around only one percent of a total power capacity of 84 gigawatts (GW).
However, solar and wind farms keep mushrooming across Iran as the government seeks to cut back on a massive energy bill in thermal power plants where natural gas and precious fuels are burnt to move the turbines.
Expanding the rooftop solar, a field in which Iran has hardly made any progress in recent years, would boost the share of renewables in the country’s power generation sector.
The new plan comes a month after the government announced it would stop charging nearly eight million customers for the electricity they use to encourage low usage of power among households.