TEHRAN – Giles Dickson, the CEO of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), said that renowned European companies are keen to invest in Iran’s renewable energy sector, especially in wind energy sphere.
Dickson made the remarks in an exclusive interview with the Tehran Times on the sidelines of the 4th Iran Wind Energy Conference which was held in Tehran on Tuesday.
Asked about the challenges and advantages of investing in Iran’s wind energy projects, Dickson said that Iran has the potential to generate more than 30 gigawatts (GW) of electricity from wind energy.
EU members are interested and ready to seize this opportunity to transfer their knowledge and technology to Iran and of course to invest in the country’s energy sector, he stressed, recommending that Iran could facilitate the presence of European companies by providing them with straightforward contracts in which land registry, conditional lease and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are clearly stated.
Mentioning the challenges facing foreign investors in Iran, Dickson said that since there are still some obstacles in banking transactions with Iran, the most important challenge facing foreign investors is to overcome such hurdles and to find resources and export credit agencies to finance their projects.
Of course, local finance agencies could help tackle such problems too, he noted.
The CEO also delivered a speech in the conference in which he briefed the audience on the history of Europe’s wind energy industry and European Wind Energy Association.
He also mentioned the investors’ expectations from Iran among which payment guarantees, the conditions for disputed settlement and long term grid development and clarity on costs were mentioned.
‘Long-term interests of investors guaranteed’
Addressing the audience, Iran’s Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian underscored the development of the country’s energy sector in recent years and said that the post-sanctions era has presented a great opportunity for both domestic and foreign investors.
He noted that after the nuclear deal the number of foreign companies interested in investment in the country’s energy sector has increased drastically.
‘Energy ministry has no financing problem’
Elsewhere in his remarks, Chitchian said that Iran has put producing 5 GW of electricity from renewable sources in the next five years on its agenda. In this regard, the ministry welcomes foreign investors and offers its all-out support for them. “The ministry doesn’t have any problem regarding financing,” he said.
He also assured that the ministry will issue payment guarantees for investors, adding that the purchase guarantee period has been extended to 20 years from the previously 5 years.
The minister also emphasized the importance of domestic production and explained that the ministry will raise guaranteed purchase price by up to 30 percent for those companies that use local technologies and equipment.
Hooshang Falahatian, the deputy energy minister; Mohammad Sadeqzadeh, the managing director of Renewable Energy Organization of Iran, known as SUNA; Jan Hylleberg, the CEO of the Danish Wind Industry Association; and Mustafa Serdar Ataseven, the president of the Turkish Wind Energy Association, also delivered speeches in the conference.