Iranian First Vice-President Mohammad Mokhber announced that the nation has established a comprehensive plan for the construction of solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants, which will generate 15GW of electricity.

The plan will now seek approval from the economic council and require $8.3bn of private sector investment in three phases.

The nation is also planning to increase its solar panel production capacity. According to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), a 1.8GW solar panel production line is going to be inaugurated in the near future, helping to increase production capacity to 2.3GW a year.

Mokhber told the IRNA that 23,000 hectares of land will be set aside for solar farms and that the value of solar panels constructed will be $1.3bn annually.

“Iranian solar panels are produced with the highest quality and efficiency,” she said.

Iran is looking to the power source to resolve its energy imbalance and reduce the consumption of liquid fuel in thermal power plants, according to Mokhber. The move is part of the country’s shift toward renewable energy.

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By 2025, the Iranian Energy Ministry wants to add 10GW of renewable energy capacity, 13-times more than in 2021.

Renewables currently account for around 7% of the country’s total energy generation, while natural gas constitutes 90%.

In a report released earlier this year, the Research Centre of the Iranian Parliament said: “Due to the lack of diversity in the country’s electricity generation portfolio and its high dependence on gas and gas fuel supply limitations, the current situation cannot meet the electricity required for the country’s economic growth, therefore, diversifying the electricity generation portfolio is essential and one of the country’s priorities.”

It added that renewable energy production will be easier in eastern and south-eastern provinces such as South Khorasan and Sistan due to the abundance of sunlight and wind in these areas.