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Analysis of 100% renewable energy for Iran in 2030: integrating solar PV, wind energy and storage

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The devastating effects of fossil fuels on the environment, limited natural sources and increasing demand for energy across the world make renewable energy sources more important than in the past. The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference resulted in a global agreement on net zero CO2 emissions shortly after the middle of the twenty-first century, which will lead to a collapse of fossil fuel demand. The focus of the study is to define a cost optimal 100% renewable energy system in Iran by 2030 using an hourly resolution model. The optimal sets of renewable energy technologies, least-cost energy supply, mix of capacities and operation modes were calculated and the role of storage technologies was examined. Two scenarios have been evaluated in this study: a country-wide scenario and an integrated scenario. In the country-wide scenario, renewable energy generation and energy storage technologies cover the country’s power sector electricity demand. In the integrated scenario, the renewable energy generated was able to fulfil both the electricity demand of the power sector and the substantial electricity demand for water desalination and synthesis of industrial gas. By adding sector integration, the total levelized cost of electricity decreased from 45.3 to 40.3 €/MWh. The levelized cost of electricity of 40.3 €/MWh in the integrated scenario is quite cost-effective and beneficial in comparison with other low-carbon but high-cost alternatives such as carbon capture and storage and nuclear energy. A 100% renewable energy system for Iran is found to be a real policy option.

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Adiabatic compressed air energy storage


British Petroleum


Capital Expenditure


Combined cycle gas turbine


Carbon capture and storage

CO2 :

Carbon dioxide


Conference of the Parties—the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference


Capital recovery factor


Concentrating solar thermal power

E curt :

Curtailed excess energy

E demand :

Electricity demand

E gen :

Annual electricity generation

E stor,ch :

Electricity for charging storage

E stor,disch :

Electricity from discharging storage


US Energy Information Administration

el :

Electric units


Full load hours




High voltage direct current


International Energy Agency


Installed capacity




Kilowatt hour


Levelized cost of curtailment


Levelized cost of electricity


Levelized cost of storage


Levelized cost of water

m3 :

Cubic meter


Middle East and North Africa






Megawatt hour


Open cycle gas turbine


Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries


Operating and maintenance expenditures

Opexfix :

Fixed operational expenditures

Opexvar :

Variable operational expenditures


Pumped hydro storage




Solar photovoltaic


Cost of ramping


Renewable Energy






Synthetic natural gas




Storage technologies


Seawater reverse osmosis

t :



All modeled technologies


Thermal energy storage

th :

Thermal units


Sum of power ramping values


Total primary energy supply


Terawatt hour


Coordinated Universal Time


Weighted average cost of capital

η :





For all


N-Ary summation


Small Element Of


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The authors gratefully acknowledge the public financing of Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) for the ‘Neo-Carbon Energy’ project under the Number 40101/14. The authors would like to thank Michael Child for proofreading.

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Aghahosseini, A., Bogdanov, D., Ghorbani, N. et al. Analysis of 100% renewable energy for Iran in 2030: integrating solar PV, wind energy and storage. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 15, 17–36 (2018).

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