Iran is a perfect place for wind, and its capital is choking in pollution


5 MINUTES with Steve Sawyer, GWEC

As wind energy expansion shifts to emerging markets, new hotspots for the industry are joining more established markets such as Brazil or India, Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), tells Recharge.

Wind power in emerging markets is diversifying and moving towards new hotspots. Which ones in particular are of interest to GWEC?

We went through a prioritisation process last autumn. As things appeared to be moving in Argentina, in the run-up to the election there, we put a bet that the right guy (current president Macri) would win and that we would have an opportunity – and we have. So that’s where most of our effort is focused at the moment.

But at the same time, the next two down the list...are Iran and Vietnam.

Iran, because it’s a country at a turning point, re-joining the global community and recognising what its economists have been telling it for a long time: that it needs to diversify its energy supply, it needs to conserve its oil, it has to prolong the income that it can generate from oil for as long as possible, with the idea that it would need a transition away from it.

Iran is close to Europe, it could potentially interconnect with lots of other countries. It has a tremendous wind resource and a very large, well-educated technological class. So it would be a perfect place. And its capital city is choking in horrible pollution and smog.

Of course there are [remaining] difficulties with Iran and its neighbours, and Iran and the West.

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