0430 GMT January 23, 2020
Despite Washington’s sanctions on Tehran, Iran has increased its power plant capacity by 3,250 megawatts (MW) and expanded its power transmission network by 1,600 kilometers since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 2019).
In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and reimposed Washington’s sanctions on Tehran.
Mostafa Rajabi-Mashhadi, the spokesman of the Iranian Energy Ministry, added on Tuesday that domestic electricity consumption declined by 3,874 MW during the peak season (summer) in the current year through effective, observable and reliable management and daily coordination between the dispatching center and Iranian electricity distribution companies, IRNA reported.
He noted that thanks to collective efforts by those engaged in the domestic power sector, the national electricity network has experienced no extensive blackout for the past 16 consecutive years, thus becoming one of the best in the world in terms of reliability.
Avoiding blackouts over a long period of time is a sign that Iran’s electricity sector has significantly improved its reliability over the years, consistent with plans to increase output and to diversify generation sources, he added.
The performance of the electricity system in Iran is now much better than those in the US and at least 12 major European countries and several others, the Energy Ministry spokesman said.
Rajabi-Mashhadi said in addition, since March 2019, power plants with a capacity to generate 100,000 MW of electricity have been repaired in the country and the national transmission network has been equipped with 10,000 megavolt amperes of power transformers.
The official noted that since March 2019, the Energy Ministry has managed to pay around $1 billion to private contractors for debt settlements despite strained government finances that have come as a result of US sanctions.
Iran has a massive power industry with hundreds of power plants, many of them of the efficient combined cycle type, providing reliable and affordable electricity to households and industries across the country.
Iran has also become a main electricity exporter to countries of the region in recent years as actual production has exceeded 300 terawatt hours which corresponds to less than a half of the current installed capacity in Iranian power plants.
The industry has major plans for switching to renewables as experts believe a current one-percent share of the total output from solar and wind farms and other sources does not match Iran’s potential in the sector.