The Iranian Energy Ministry along with some of the country’s private contractors inked memorandums of understanding (MOUs) for collaboration in the creation of renewable power facilities with a total capacity of 10,000 megawatts (10 gigawatts) around the country. Senior energy officials, including Energy Minister Ali-Akbar Mehrabian and Head of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization (SATBA) Mahmoud Kamani, were present at the signing ceremony, according to IRIB.
The MOUs were signed in response to the Energy Ministry’s public request for business sector participation in a project to establish renewable energy plants in the nation. According to SATBA, private enterprises have submitted 153 applications for the production of 90,000 megawatts (MW) in response to the ministry’s public call.
“When the private industry invests in this business [renewables], the government is required to refund the same of the investment with its interests to the investor,” Ali-Akbar Mehrabian, the energy minister stated at the signing ceremony. In the budget legislation for the upcoming Iranian calendar year (which begins on March 21), the government has budgeted more than 30 trillion rials (around $101 million) for renewable energy development, according to Mehrabian, which is an unparalleled budget in this field.
“Export of renewable power is a goal which has been prioritized by the government,” SATBA Head Kamani said later in the ceremony, referring to some of the Energy Ministry’s objectives for the advancement of the country’s renewable energy industry. “It’s also being seriously examined to build renewable power facilities for cryptocurrency miners,” he added.
Kamani announced intentions to build 10,000 MW of new renewable power facilities across the nation within the next 4 years in December 2021. He estimated that the country’s renewable power plants had a current capacity of 905 MW, despite the fact that they barely represent 1% of the country’s total power-producing capacity.
“Right now, renewable energy sources contribute 30 percent of the world’s electricity demands, and some governments have even announced 2030 as the year when fossil fuels will be phased out,” he said.
“In the growth of renewable energy, we are way behind the international standards,” he lamented. Kamani mentioned another initiative for the expansion of alternative energies in the domestic market, noting that the Energy Ministry has declared that it will buy excess electricity generated at an assured price to support households to build such power plants.
He went on to note that another goal of the SATBA and Energy Ministry is indigenization of knowledge for the construction of equipment used in renewable power plants, saying, “Currently, the production of wind power and solar panels plants is entirely indigenized, and we must reinforce our producers to eventually be able to build all the essential equipment from start to finish, and certain firms have indicated their preparedness in this regard, of course.”