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We should talk about Iran


05 April 2016 by Zi Wang, Solarplaza

The land of the Lion and the Sun is possibly the next superpower of renewable energy in the Middle East


Iran


After years of isolation and  sanctions, the framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries (the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, France and Germany) in July, 2015 has become a historical turning point for this ancient civilization. Consequently, the UN lifted its sanctions against Iran in early 2016. However, the official removal of sanctions by the US and EU is still pending on the final evaluation results of the International Atomic Energy Association on Iran’s compliance to international obligations, according to Council on Foreign Relations. 

Iran might very well become the next solar energy superpower in the Middle East. 

Iran is home to almost 82 million relatively young inhabitants with an overall median age of 28.8 years. In 2015, Iran had a high Human Development Index of 0.766, higher than those of Turkey, Mexico and Brazil. 72.4% of Iran’s population (over 59 million) are urban dwellers and urbanization has been proceeding at an approximate rate of 2%. From 2012 onwards, both urban and rural inhabitants have gained full access to electricity.

Iran might very well become the next solar energy superpower in the Middle East. The country is well endowed with solar irradiance —about two thirds of Iran’s geographic territory in the south has an average annual sum of sun irradiance of at least 1,800 kWh/sqm*a during the 13 years from 1999 to 2011. Provinces along the Persian Gulf are particularly rich in solar exposure, while regions in the north, adjacent to the Caspian Sea, receive less solar irradiation in general. 

Early 2015, a consortium comprised of enterprises from Iran, India and South Korea set up a plan to construct a super energy park with a generation capacity of 1 Gigawatt in the northwestern province of Khuzestan. 

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IEA) estimated that Iran’s solar PV capacity reached 17.3 MW in 2009 and then stagnated up until 2014. Nevertheless, several deals between Iran and some of the most important global PV players might change the country’s solar energy landscape completely. 

Early 2015, a consortium comprised of enterprises from Iran, India and South Korea set up a plan to construct a super energy park with a generation capacity of 1 Gigawatt in the northwestern province of Khuzestan. 

A German company also signed a deal to construct several power plants with a combined capacity of 1.25 Gigawatts in three cities close to Tehran. 
Spanish project developer Bester has agreed to assist Iran in developing various renewable energy projects, with solar power being the main focus. 
German consultancy company BBB GmbH signed a deal with Iran-Wind Group to provide consulting services for wind energy.

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WP


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