Despite Iran's nearly all-fossil-fuel energy infrastructure, the Middle East Institute (MEI) said on its website that the nation has shown "great interest in renewable energy (RE) sources to improve energy security, reduce internal dependence on hydrocarbons and meet its projected growth in electricity demand."
The Energy Information Administration said natural gas makes up 60 percent of Iran's energy consumption, followed by petroleum, at 38 percent, based on 2013 data. In pursuing renewable energy, the MEI said Iran will benefit economically through increased oil and natural gas exports as domestic consumption falls.
The MEI states said the country plans to install approximately 500 megawatts of electricity capacity in the form of photovoltaic solar panels. The MEI said the nation's wind-power development is currently more aggressive than solar development, which is on a longer-term development track. The country also plans to continue developing its nuclear and geothermal generation capacity. The former is expected to be enhanced through the construction of two 1,000 megawatt nuclear reactors at the Bushehr plant.
The MEI said Iran already has attracted investments in renewable energy, though it warns that political and economic stability will be required to continue to attract investors.