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Electricity in Iran in 2022

Global Ranking: #101
5.9% #162 Low-carbon electricity
481.44 watts #84 Generation / person
487.04 gCO2eq/kWh #127 Carbon Intensity
Net exporter Electricity imports

As of 2022, Iran's electricity consumption is heavily dominated by fossil fuels, making up over 90% of the energy mix. The significant majority of this comes from gas, with an overwhelming 79% of the total share. Coal makes a minute contribution of not even a quarter of one percent. In stark contrast, Iran's low-carbon energy sources only contribute just below 6% of the total electricity usage. Among the low-carbon energy sources, hydropower takes the lead with close to 4.5% of the national electricity supply, followed by a small yet pivotal nuclear energy contribution of not quite 1%. In terms of wind and solar energy, Iran's contribution is close to none, both producing less than half of one percent. Despite its low domestic usage of clean energy, Iran is a net exporter of electricity, exporting more than it imports.


One way Iran could increase its proportion of low-carbon electricity generation is by learning from the successful policies of other nations. Countries like France, Ukraine, and Slovakia have managed to generate more than half of their electricity from nuclear power. Given Iran’s existing experience and infrastructure in nuclear energy, emulating such models could reap substantial benefits. Furthermore, countries like Denmark and Ireland, where wind energy contributes over a third to their respective national grids, could also serve as inspiration for Iran. These countries, much like Iran, also have ample potential for wind generation. Additionally, solar energy has proven to be a beneficial energy source in regions similar to Iran like Jordan, Yemen, and Chile where it contributes up to 17% of the national mix. With its sunny climate and vast desert spaces, Iran has huge untapped potential in this area.


Diving into Iran's history of low-carbon electricity, the country’s journey started in the early 1990s with hydropower. The sector saw a series of increases and decreases throughout the years, with significant growth happening between the years 2002 and 2006. A notable slump happened in 2008, quickly followed by a rebound in 2010. The country first delved into nuclear energy in 2013, when it contributed an extra 2.8 TWh to the grid. This figure slightly increased in 2016, demonstrating the potential of nuclear energy in Iran's electricity sector. However, the country saw significant declines in both nuclear and hydropower electricity generation in 2021, showing the ongoing challenges that face Iran's sustainable energy sector.

Data Sources

For the years 1980 to 1984 the data sources are EIA and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1985 to 1989 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 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.