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Electricity in Iran in 2023

Global Ranking: #118
6.0% #163 Low-carbon electricity
27.61 % #109 Electrification
500.01 watts #77 Generation / person
479.33 gCO2eq/kWh #126 Carbon Intensity

Based on the data for 2023, fossil energy, predominantly from gas, constitutes a significant majority of Iran's electricity consumption. Specifically, up to 94% of the country's electricity is produced from these sources, with a staggering 83.52% coming exclusively from gas. Fossil fuels clearly dominate Iran's energy sector, leaving low-carbon electricity generation to contribute just under 6%. Among the low-carbon energy sources, hydropower stands out, providing nearly the entire proportion of the low-carbon sector, at an equivalent of about 6%.


In light of the current global shift towards low-carbon energy, it is vital Iran also takes measures to increase its generation of clean power. Case studies of other countries offer a veritable blueprint for this transition. France, Slovakia, and Ukraine successfully utilize nuclear power to deliver over half of their electricity contribution. Closer to home, Armenia has also notably harnessed nuclear energy to meet 25% of its electricity needs. As Iran shares geographical and climatic characteristics with Armenia, similar results could potentially be achieved. Furthermore, wind power is prominent in countries like Denmark, Uruguay, and Ireland. Considering Iran's vast deserts, which are capable of producing strong and consistent wind patterns, wind energy could also be a plausible alternative to consider, promoting a diversified and resilient low-carbon energy mix.


Iran's history of low-carbon electricity reveals an inconsistent but ultimately promising trajectory. Hydropower surged and ebbed throughout the 90s and early 2000s, with a notable increase of 3.6 TWh in 1992, followed by a decrease in 1994, and then prospering through the years 2002, 2004, and 2005. However, hydropower suffered significant losses in 2008, before rebounding in 2010. A significant milestone was the introduction of nuclear power in 2013, which added 2.8 TWh to the electricity grid. Despite a dip in 2021, nuclear power represents a relatively new and underutilized source of low-carbon electricity in Iran with a potential for expansion. Meanwhile, hydropower displayed remarkable resilience and adaptability, rebounding with an astounding 24 TWh increase in electricity generation in 2019, only to fall drastically by 10.7 and 8.3 TWh in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Despite these wild fluctuations, the overall trend underscores the potential of low-carbon energy, warranting continued investment and exploration in this field.

Electricity Imports and Exports

Balance of Trade

Data Sources

For the years 1980 to 1984 the data source is EIA.
For the years 1985 to 1992 the data source is Energy Institute.
For the years 1993 to 1999 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 2000 to 2005 the data source is Ember.
For the years 2006 to 2016 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 2017 to 2022 the data source is Ember.
For the year 2023 the data source is Ember.
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