At a time when the future of the Iran nuclear deal seems uncertain, European companies are pushing forward with renewable energy cooperation with the Middle East country.
Norwegian solar modules manufacturer Saga Energy has reportedly signed an agreement with Iran’s Amin Energy Developers for setting up a 2 gigawatt solar power project. The total value of the deal is estimated to be $2.9 billion. Few details are available about the agreement, but the project is likely to be operational in five years.
This is the second Norwegian company to have signed a solar project development deal in Iran. In September this year, Scatec Solar signed an agreement to set up 500 megawatts of solar power capacity in Iran in a phased manner. The first phase of the capacity addition entails the implementation of 120 megawatts of capacity at an estimated cost of $120 million per 100 megawatts.
The country’s total installed power capacity is 77,000 megawatts. In order to diversify its power mix, Iran aims to have more than 5000 megawatts of renewable energy facilities by 2022, which would include 4,500 megawatts of wind power and 500 megawatts of solar power, according to the Renewable Energy Organization of Iran.
Ever since Iran signed up to the nuclear deal that placed restrictions on its nuclear program, several European companies have raced to set up renewable energy projects in the country. At least the interest shown by the the European countries for renewable energy investment in Iran put the country in sync with the rapid renewable energy developments seen in regional neighbors like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.
Speaking of the Middle East region, a recent study by the Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland showed that Iran can play a major role in the development and implementation of a pan-Middle East renewable energy grid. This regional grid would be significantly cheaper than nuclear or fossil fuel+carbon capture systems.