Iran Turns To Renewable Energy

Country Overview

The Asian country of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) is bordered by Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. The population of Iran is approximately 89.39 million people.

In 2022, Iran’s economy was ranked 29th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of ethylene polymers, other nuts, semi-finished iron, refined copper, and acyclic alcohols.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Iran signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to a 4% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030, relative to a business-as-usual scenario. Iran finally ratified the Paris Climate Agreement on April 22, 2016.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 100% of the people in Iran had access to electricity. In 2022, the state-owned utility, Tavanir used natural gas (79.3%), oil (14.6%), renewable energy (4.9%), nuclear energy (1.0%), and coal (0.2%) to generate electricity in Iran. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Iran.

Recent renewable energy projects in Iran include:

  • 1,500 MW Hydropower Project – The Iran Water and Power Resources Development Company (IWPC) is continuing work on the Bakhtiari hydroelectric project on the Bakhtiari River at a site approximately 250 miles southwest of the nation’s capital.
  • 120 MW Solar Project – In September 2022, Iranian company, Mana Energy Pak commissioned the Mahallat solar project at a site approximately 150 miles south-southwest of Tehran.
  • 61 MW Wind Project – In 2018, Iranian power company, Safa Nicu Sepahan commissioned the Sihapoush wind project, which is located in the northwest region of the country.
  • 50 MW Wind Project – In 2019, Iranian renewable energy company, MAPNA Group commissioned the Aqkand wind project, which is located in the northwest region of the country.


Oil was first discovered in Iran in 1908, in the southwestern province of Khuzestan. In 2023, Iran is the 3rd largest natural gas and the 10th largest crude oil producing country in the world.

Iran has significant renewable energy resource potential, including onshore wind, hydropower, solar, offshore wind, geothermal, and biomass. Iran’s renewable energy resource potential could easily replace all the fossil fuel (natural gas, oil, and coal) power plants, which provided 94.1% of the nation’s electricity in 2022.

Why is Iran developing major renewable energy projects? Economics, pure and simple, Iran intends to use renewable energy for domestic power, preserving oil and natural gas resources for export. Iran is now turning to renewable energy for domestic power.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.


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