Does a country that “promises” to wipe Israel off the map have a right to create nuclear energy for “power?” I must admit, news that Iran is looking to create power from solar energy puts some of my (irrational?) fears of living in Israel aside. According to the Iran Daily, Iran’s first solar powered station has been inaugurated.
The new plant is a concentrating solar power (CSP) plant, similar to one in Spain which reflects light to a central tower.
In the Mehr Iran news agency, Iran’s energy minister Parviz Fattah said: “The country backs the use of alternative and renewable energy sources. In future alternative energy sources will be greatly developed in the country. The growth of investments in this sphere is expected.”
Guardian’s environment blog writes: The solar radiation hitting the Earth contains around 10,000 times the energy needs of the world’s population. CSP is seen by many as a simpler, cheaper and more efficient way to harness the sun’s energy than other methods such as photovoltaic panels. But it only works in places with clear skies and strong sunshine. As such, large CSP plants of up to 20mw each are already in construction in the sunnier parts of the world.
“Spanish firms, in particular, are moving quickly with CSP: more than 50 solar projects around Spain have been approved for construction by the government and, by 2015, the country will generate more than 2GW of power from CSP, comfortably exceeding current national targets. The companies there are also exporting their technology to Morocco, Algeria and the US.”
Ecoworldly reports that photos of the new installation are hard to come by, as is news in English: “English information about the Shiraz plant is hard to come by, but more photos of the plant and information in Farsi is available via the Renewable Energy Organization of Iran.
“Another source, an article in the Tehran Times suggests that the completion of the solar plant was several years behind schedule, having been initially slated for the Iranian year 1383 rather than the current year 1387.”
The news gives hopes for countries with plentiful sun to secure clean energy for the future. While the Iranian plant is not so large (only 250KW, are enough power for about 200 families), it’s a good start.
If you understand Persian (Farsi), you might get a kick out of this video, “It’s Solar Time!”
Video description on YouTube: “King Cyrus Reza Pahlavi Solar 7001 Excerpts from September 24 2007 Roundtable at VOA Persian. Thanks to King Cyrus Reza Pahlavi for telling people of Iran, Asia and the world it’s Solar Time and for his wise suggestion to invest the oil income into free education for all like it was before.”