Iranian Officials Predict Electricity Shortfalls This Summer
By RFE/RL's Radio Farda July 13, 2022
Due to delays in the construction of power plants, Iran will experience a deficit of 15,000 megawatts of electricity this summer, a member of the Electricity-Producers Syndicate told Iranian media.
Payam Bagheri told the semiofficial ILNA news agency on July 12 that to avoid the electricity deficit, 6,000 megawatts should have been added to the country's electricity production, "something that has not happened in recent years."
At the same time, Abbas Jabal Barezi, the deputy chairman of the Industries Committee of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, said that because of the electricity deficit, large enterprises had been asked not to produce for five to six weeks this summer season.
"Right now, some factories are operating at 50 percent capacity, and many at 20-30 percent capacity," he added.
According to statistics from the Energy Ministry, during the last three years, less than half of the government's planned power-plant construction has been implemented. Last year, only one-third of electricity-production growth targets were achieved.
The government had set a target of launching new power plants with more than 5,000 megawatts of capacity this year, while the Energy Ministry figures show that only 648 megawatts of new production was launched in April and May.
Iran's power sector is a money-losing industry due to low electricity prices and the poor efficiency of power plants. Therefore, generation of electricity is a loss for the government, which controls the whole network.
According to the International Energy Agency, Iran is the largest single provider of fossil-fuel subsidy payments in the world. Almost one-fourth of this subsidy is allocated to the electricity sector.
This is far more than what other countries in the Middle East allocate.
With writing and reporting by Ardeshir Tayebi
Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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