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Mon12222014

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Asia

Iran seeking renewable energy investments

Iran, whose economy is currently under sanctions being imposed by the United States and the European Union over its controversial nuclear scheme, is seeking foreign investment to boost its renewable energy sector.

Energy Minister Majid Namjoo said there is a need for greater cooperation between developed and developing nations to spur growth of the sector, according to a report of Islamic Republic News Agency.

“An enabling legal and financial environment has been created in Iran to encourage application of renewable energies,” the minister said.

In 2010, the Iranian government laid its plans to build 2,000 megawatts of clean energy capacity over the next five years. In support, the government has implemented a feed-in tariff scheme for wind and biomass energy at around 13 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Also, earlier this year, the oil exporting nation approved a 500 million euro ($647.6 million) grant from its National Development Fund for renewable energy projects. For its solar industry, the state-sponsored Renewable Energy Organization of Iran has provided a budget of about $60 million.

Iran’s topography puts Iran in the ideal position to generate solar power, by which 90 percent of the region receives sunlight. In 2011, it had a total solar output of 67,000 kilowatt-hours. Meanwhile, just recently, the country unveiled 17 solar power facilities to be built across its different cities, PressTV reported.

Similarly, Iran is also in a region with steady wind streams, enough to match half of the nation’s energy demands. So far, it has an overall wind capacity of 130 MW.

Currently, Iran is highly dependent on nuclear power for its electricity needs. But its nuclear program has been criticized for its alleged failure to meet its international obligations, including the declaration of its sensitive enrichment and reprocessing activities. Sanctions have reportedly negatively affected Iran’s overall economy. – C. Dominguez



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