Potential of solar energy in Iran for carbon dioxide mitigation

  • A. ShahsavariEmail author
  • F. T. Yazdi
  • H. T. Yazdi


The majority of power plants installed in Iran are normally using the cheapest and most available fuels as input energy sources (e.g., natural gas and oil). Iranian fossil-fueled power plants annually emit nearly 180 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), which contribute to global warming. On the other hand, the use of renewable energy for producing the needed electricity significantly reduces the greenhouse emissions and polluting gases. Therefore, the environmental and health costs of producing electrical energy using fossil fuels are significantly higher than renewables, which are often unseen. Among the best available renewable energy sources, Iran benefits from high solar insolation with around 300 clear days annually and also large areas of available land. This shows that the solar systems utilization in Iran will be very economical. Despite this vast potential, Iran’s solar market has remained undeveloped. The installed capacity of solar energy was around 17.3 megawatts (MW) by 2015, while each kilowatt-hour of solar electricity could save around 715 g of CO2. The utilization of solar energy technologies is increasing around the world, which are due to technological progress, policy changes, the urgent need to reduce reliance on carbon-intensive energy sources like coal, oil and natural gas and the need to reduce greenhouse gases emission to the atmosphere. In conclusion, production of electrical and any other type of useful energy using solar systems can protect the environment. Thus, to achieve a sustainable future they should be employed as much as possible and wherever it is possible.


Greenhouse gas emissions Electricity production Fossil fuels Renewable energies 



The authors would like to thank the Renewable Energies Organization (SUNA) and the Ministry of Energy of Iran for permission to publish the data. Also, authors are grateful to anonymous reviewers for their detail reviews and suggestions which helped the manuscript in its betterment.


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© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Natural Resources and EnvironmentFerdowsi University of MashhadMashhadIran
  2. 2.Faculty of EngineeringFerdowsi University of MashhadMashhadIran

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