5000 MW by 2015? Iran wants to launch the largest solar power plant in the Middle East. A solar plant is in the works is in Shiraz, Fars. Image via SUNA
About 27 people die every day in Tehran, from its shocking levels of air pollution according to our Iranian blogger Mehrdad. Some anti-regime environmentalists, by the way, have joked that they hope this will eventually be the end of their jogging president. This week, however, Iran’s Renewable Energy Organization says it will launch the largest solar power plant in the Middle East by 2015.
The organization’s head Yousef Armodeli told Press TV that Iran’s solar power plant in Shiraz in the province of Fars, will go online by 2015. It is being upgraded from a 250 kW plant to a 500 kW plant (Wikipedia). This conflicts with press reports saying the Shiraz plant will be the biggest in the Middle East.
Back earlier in May Iran launched a 484 MW solar thermal combined cycle power plant in Yazd, the province famous for those windcatchers. This new plant is the first in the world to combine natural gas and solar energy, according to Iranian media.
Iran is one of the world’s most important suppliers of fossil fuel, and along with Saudi Arabia recognize that Peak Oil is approaching. Saudi Arabia is also going solar.
About 80 percent Shiraz plant has been built locally by Iranians, known for their science smarts. According to the article the “Islamic Republic has made great strides in generating energy from renewable sources, mainly solar and wind power.”
The country ambitiously aims to produce 5,000 megawatts of electricity from renewable energy resources, about 3 percent of Iran’s over all needs. A little cleaner air for Tehran, maybe. Less greenhouse gases certainly, unless the population continues to grow and westernizes.
But like much of the propoganda that comes out of Iran, we will wait to see if its promises on renewables come to anything real. Meanwhile it’s heartening to see solar panels in front of nuclear smokestacks.