Not many people would believe that Iran was capable of becoming a front-runner in renewable energy, but they have changed that idea with its plans to build more solar and wind installations. In the past year, Iran and other countries have started to discuss the use of renewable energy forms instead of predominantly using fossil fuels. Approximately 94% of Iran’s electricity supply is from fossil fuels and the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy will be beneficial for Iran’s economy (Bloomberg). The sudden switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy is due to the lightening of the sanctions that prohibited trade between western countries and Iran because these sanctions gave other governments control of Iran’s policies. Without these trade restrictions, other countries can trade with Iran and allow Iranians to have a say with who they trade with. There are already other countries, such as Denmark and India, which are already interested in investing with Iran to set up clean energy (Tasnim News).
As of right now, Iran is the 11th largest country that contributes a significant amount of pollution. With the lightening of the sanctions, Iran can cut its emissions by 4% by 2030. If the sanctions were completely removed, Iran would be able to triple its efforts and cut its emissions by 12%. Also due to the lightening of these sanctions, Iran should see an increase in wind and solar installations (see graph below). Iran has a lot of windy ridges across the country which will be beneficial for wind installations (Bloomberg).
Iran is also constantly adding new consumers to its energy systems each year. One article reports that 1.4 million new consumers are added each year to the electricity market. These constant additions are causing more carbon emissions and unfortunately the current energy systems now are not efficient enough to keep up. The poor efficiency with the infrastructures causes a huge loss to the economy (over $200 million per one per cent loss during transmission). The addition of solar and wind installments will allow for higher efficiency and less economic loss (Albawaba).
Iran is not the only country to get on board with using renewable energy. Other countries have adapted greener forms of energy and hope to cut carbon emissions by 2030 or 2040. Brazil, China, the European Union, the United States, India, Indonesia, Japan, and Mexico will double their renewable energy efforts due to the plans discussed at the Paris global climate agreement. However in order for these countries to cut down on carbon emissions, approximately $68 trillion will need to be invested in clean energy (Huffington Post).
There is more change that needs to occur in order for definitive results to be seen, but the solar and wind installations in Iran are a huge step forward. As long as other countries continue with their efforts, positive results will develop overtime.