Proposal for Iran to abolish nuclear and adopt solar program unveiled25. May 2012 | Top News, Global PV markets, Markets & Trends | By: Becky Beetz
In an attempt to persuade Iran to drop its atomic ambitions and instead develop its abundant renewable energy resources, two politicians from Germany’s Green Party have formulated a new strategy to be included in the ongoing nuclear battle between the oil-rich country and western governments.
Hans Josef Fell and Omid Nouripour have submitted a document to Germany’s Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle urging him to consider their proposal for a solar program to be established in Iran. With the help of both Germany and the international community, they argued the country could easily, quickly and more cheaply meet its increasing energy demands via renewable energies, like photovoltaics, than through the use of nuclear power.
In the document, Fell and Nouripour stated that the rest of the world would be "well advised" to make itself independent of Iranian oil and natural gas – which they said could be easily and cost-effectively achieved with renewable energy – particularly since the country "repeatedly" uses its oil and gas deposits as political weapons.
They add that the development of renewable energy in Iran does not affect the country’s right to use atomic energy – under international law, Iran is required to use nuclear energy peacefully – but rather, it "makes it unnecessary to do so". They explain, "It is right, in the current conflict, to focus on diplomacy in order to prevent a war in the region. But, diplomacy should always bring all possible peaceful means to the fore, which includes an offer to Iran to use renewable energies ... This must be the decisive geopolitical strategy."
The two Green politicians further said that the Renewable Energy Organization of Iran (SUNA) is currently investigating the potential of renewable energy in the country. "Already here and now, the world community is open to actively offering to support Iran in a massive development of renewable energy. For this, there must not be a UN resolution," they wrote, adding that both the EU and, specifically, Germany could provide advisory and logistical support for the expansion of renewable energies. However, this would be offered only if Iran dropped its nuclear program.
"Such an offer cannot be rejected with the argument that it is not feasible: a variety of renewable energy technologies are available, including solar thermal power plants, geothermal, wind, small hydro and biogas, wave energy, and now, photovoltaics is available on a commercial, industrial scale," said Fell and Nouripour.
Renewable energies, they further stated, "more quickly and cost effectively" meet the energy needs of Iran, than atomic energy, since the costs of new wind turbines and photovoltaic systems are lower than those for new nuclear plants. The argument that only the development of nuclear energy in Iran is possible was branded by them as "false and easily refutable".
Looking ahead, the politicians believe there can be two outcomes to making Iran a concrete offer for the establishment of a solar program, which is supported by practical implementation, namely:
- Rejection. It would be very difficult for Iran to explain why it rejects the offer of international assistance for the development of renewable energies, said Fell and Nouripour, although they are "significantly cheaper" than the current production costs of new nuclear reactors. Thus, "Iran’s claim to want to use only atomic energy for power generation would lose credibility".
- Acceptance. This reaction would be considered the more peaceful approach to solving the current problem and, in addition to the abolishment of its nuclear program, the world community and/or individual nations would, via the solar program, actively help Iran with its energy problems, said the politicians.
"The effects of an Iran war would be devastating: the permanent risk of large-scale radioactive contamination, the destruction of human life and regions … and possible decentralization of world peace," they concluded.
International talks on Iran’s nuclear plans will continue in Moscow, Russia, on June 18 and 19.
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