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Drought takes a toll on Iran’s hydropower

9 July 2015 17:09


Iran’s hydroelectricity generation is flickering out amid a protracted drought which has drained dams across the country to their lowest ebb ever.

Hydropower normally makes up 14% of Iran’s overall electricity mix, but this share has declined to less than five percent, deputy head of Tavanir, Iran’s power generation and transmission company, Gholamreza Khosh-Kholq said.

According to the official, power generation in most of the country’s nearly 50 hydroelectric plants has either stopped or sharply diminished.

On Tuesday, Iran came within a hair’s breadth of 50,000 megawatts-hour “red line” peak consumption as temperatures sizzled above 40 degrees Celsius, pushing the country to the brink of widespread brownouts and blackouts.

Tavanir said it had registered “a historic record of clean energy consumption in Iran and the Middle East” of more than 49,776 megawatts at a peak midday hour.

Hydroelectricity is among the most inexpensive renewable energy resources. Because of the relative simplicity and briskness of the hydro industry, it’s a reliable backup to the national grid when consumption spikes.

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