Iran’s Energy Ministry’s renewable department (SATBA) says the capacity of electricity generation from household rooftop solar panels increased by 20 megawatts (MW) over the calendar year to late March.
Head of SATBA Mahmoud Kamani said on Thursday that the increase was a significant achievement for Iran as he insisted that the country is still in the initial stages of expanding its rooftop solar market.
Kamani said that total installed rooftop solar capacity in the Iranian household sector had reached 90 MW in some 8,000 homes that generate between 5 and 20 kilowatts per hour of electricity.
Iran has introduced various measures to popularize the installation of rooftop solar panels at homes in recent years, including cheap loans and a solar buyback program that assigns international prices rather than heavily subsidized prices applied to the domestic power grid.
The Energy Ministry has plans to install 650 MW of rooftop solar panels by 2025, including 550 MW of capacity that is targeted at homes in the relatively poorer regions in the country.
The scheme is meant to empower poorer households by offering them monthly payments under the government’s electricity buyback program.
The expansion of the rooftop solar sector is part of a larger project to increase Iran’s total renewables capacity by 10,000 MW within the next three years.
That comes as renewables currently account for just more than 1% of Iran’s total electricity generation capacity of more than 87,000 MW.