Oil-Rich Iran Planning To Spend $60 Million On Solar PV This Year

By James Ayre

The US’s sometimes pseudo-antagonist, Iran, is apparently planning to spend $60 million on solar PV power projects this year, according to recent reports.

That represents a pretty significant uptick in the country’s investment into solar energy — up from “just” $12 million last year.

The focus is reported to be on rural areas that are otherwise completely dependent on diesel-powered generators — a good strategy, remote rural areas are certainly one place where solar PV really shines (no pun intended).

According to one of the senior officials at Iran’s Energy Ministry, the country recently passed a number of new laws intended to encourage and support domestic and foreign investment into renewable energy projects there. Notably, one of these is a feed-in tariff that just launched at the beginning of 2014 — which will be financed via surcharges on electricity bills.

The Iranian government has also apparently been installing large numbers of solar panels on rooftops around the country — everywhere from mosques, to schools, to government buildings — at over a 1,000 new locations.

This report follows on the country’s previous announcement of its plan to install over 5 GW of new renewable energy capacity by the year 2018. Spread out amongst solar PV and wind energy the new capacity would represent a significant increase in the country’s total renewable energy capacity.

While a large portion of the new capacity will surely be via wind energy, 500 MW of it will be via solar energy, as that portion of funding has been set aside for solar already.

For more information on that story, see: Iran Going Big With Renewables! 5,000 MW Of New Solar & Wind Capacity By 2018?

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Mirrored from Cleantechnica

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TeCHn0loGy: “Iran embarks on major solar energy drive”

6 Responses

  1. Since the future value of oil will be far higher than present day oil (primarily for petrochemicals, not fuel), it only makes long term economic sense for Iran to use its current wealth to convert most of the country to non-oil energy (nuclear, wind and solar) and leave as much oil in the ground for future wealth production as possible. Oil left in the ground is literally long term wealth storage, so this is a very, very good long term economic plan.

    This is similar to most non-US countries that are trying to lower the cost and increase the availability of non-oil energy in their countries fro long term economic viability. The US is pretty much the only illogically blind country on the earth when it comes to non-oil energy. One of the reasons solar energy is decreasing in cost is because there are so many countries both implementing non-oil energy and so many researching better solar technology. Given the technology base in Iran, I would not be surprised if Iran comes up with some new solar technology. Right now China is the leading producer of older solar technology, leading to very low production costs, but other than manufacturing innovation, I have not seen a lot of NEW energy technology innovation breakthroughs from China.

    Since the US has used Iran’s nuclear energy program to create a boogieman, I wonder how Iran’s solar energy program will be used by the US for propaganda.

    • ” I wonder how Iran’s solar energy program will be used by the US for propaganda.”

      How about “Those sneaky Arabs have the gall to try to avoid our righteous sanctions by daring to steal solar energy that by rights they should be paying the Empire for!”

      • Nicely put since it slights everyone in the middle east in one short sentence – Both Arabs and Persian (Iranians).

        BTW – As I pointed out at the start of 2014, the third-party sanctions on Iran are falling apart more each day. Since smuggling and nullifying trade laws has been around as long as humans have been here, there was zero chance the US sanctions would survive very long. This is just basic business 101 – Every market opportunity will be fulfilled, regardless of draconian laws. The only thing the laws do is raise the profit of those that ignore the laws, which is why prohibition laws are worthless.

        Just as the Brits completely failed to control the trade in the colonies, the US will fail to control trade with Iran. In fact by restricting Iranian oil trade and causing the other oil suppliers to deplete their stock quicker, the US may have dramatically increased Iran’s long term wealth!

  2. Note that while non-oil energy production technology is progressing OK, energy storage technology is essentially stalled, meaning that solar and wind must be heavily augmented, usually with hydrocarbon and nuclear technology. Maybe this is an area where Iran could apply its technology innovation.

    Of course the US could also do this if it was willing to actually FUND the research. Very likely in the coming years, Americans will be providing a large profit to many other countries because the other countries will invest in research and the US will not. I wish Iran well with their investments in non-oil technology. It would be ironic if the US eventually had to pay a premium for Iran energy technology.

  3. The Intersolar trade show is in San Francisco this week. In the panel mounting components area, there are a good number of US companies. BUT in the core components (PV panels, Inverters and water heating) well over half the exhibitors are non-USA. Americans are going to be paying other countries for their long term energy supplies.

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