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Iran earmarks $100mln in annual funds for renewables

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s energy minister says the amount of annual funds dedicated to the renewables is unheard of.

Iran’s energy minister says funds dedicated to the expansion of renewables in the country have increased significantly in a budget approved for the calendar year starting late March.

Ali Akbar Mehrabian said on Sunday that the government has exclusively earmarked some 30 trillion rials (over $100 million) to expand renewable energy generation in Iran in the calendar year 1401.

“This is an unprecedented figure considering the credit exclusively dedicated to the sector,” said Mehrabian, adding that the fund will enable the government to attract more private investment into the sector.

He said that renewables will be responsible for around a third of new power generation capacity planned to be launched in Iran within the next four years.

An administrative government that took office in August has issued tenders for construction of around 10 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power plants in the country until 2025.

Iran’s Energy Ministry said on Sunday that it had received 153 applications for building 90 GW of renewables capacity.

It said that contracts had already been awarded for 10 solar power plants as well as for four wind farms and one hydroelectric power station.

Energy Minister Mehrabian personally attended a ceremony on Sunday to award new renewables contracts, according to reports published in the local media.

Renewables currently account for 1 GW or just more than 1% of Iran’s total electricity generation capacity of 86 GW.

Energy Ministry estimates suggest that launching 10 GW of new renewables capacity will save the country some 5.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas that is supplied to conventional power generation systems every year.

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