Boosting electricity generation capacity via renewable sources is among macro policies of electricity industry, Deputy Energy Minister Houshang Falahatian said.
Elaborating on new plans to expand and construct small solar power plants in houses as well as commercial and residential complexes, universities and research centers, the official reiterated that there is no constraint on installing solar panels in buildings. Moreover, the panels will be launched on a 1 kilowatt scale.
“The Energy Ministry guarantees to purchase the generated electricity from house owners,” Falahatian said, adding that subscribers willing to have such power plants installed in their building will be entitled to receive 50% of the installation cost as ex gratia loan. The cost of installing each power plant is projected to be about $3,000.
Underscoring the fact that the whole utility will be installed by the Energy Ministry experts, the official noted that implementation of the project will help curb periods of peak demand for electricity in hot summer days. Furthermore, the households with such panels will be exempted from paying electricity bills.
Masoud Khani, manager of Iran Power Generation, Transmission & Distribution Management Company projects, said on Thursday, “According to plans, 10,000 solar panels are due to be installed in this project and contractors are bound to give services to their customers,” Mehr News Agency quoted the manager as saying.
Absence of sound pollution, a lack of need for water, reducing energy expenses and low maintenance costs are among advantages of photovoltaic power plants. In recent years, an increasing number of environmentalists, pointing to the disadvantages of fossil fuels and their use in power generation, have been calling on the government to gradually shift to cleaner energy and help protect the environment.
The government hopes to produce 5,000 megawatts from renewable resources within two years and plans to target rural communities who have been largely cut off from government services. Laws and incentives to encourage domestic and foreign investment in renewable energy projects have been recently passed. Under President Hassan Rouhani, the government’s budget for solar implementation has risen fivefold this year, to $60 million, up from just $12 million last year. Currently, $47 million have been allocated to develop solar energy by making use of solar cells.