Amid geopolitical tensions, Iran’s clean electricity transition hasn’t begun

The Islamic Republic of Iran has met its growing power demand since 2015 mainly with gas and oil generation. Small growth in hydro and nuclear led to the country’s share of fossil generation falling from 93% in 2015 to 89% in 2020.

International sanctions placed on Iran did not help as solar and wind power saw minimal growth. In 2020, their combined share in Iran’s electricity mix was near zero. This was well below Asia’s average of 8% and lower than even the MENA countries’ average of 2%.

Iran is yet to ratify the Paris agreement, as of March 2022. At COP26, Iran announced that it would ratify only after sanctions against the country are lifted. To limit global temperature rise to 1.5C, Iran would need to fully decarbonise its power sector by 2040 and become net-zero by 2050.

Last updated: March 2022

Progress towards clean power targets