The massive natural potential in Kahak has intrigued MAPNA technicians to put their technical knowhow into use and exploit the wind power in this area via turbines. The gigantic machines running in Kahak Wind Farm -85 meters their tower, 50 meters their blades- are contemporary versions of their older cousins, the age-old windmills.
What would have been different if there was no Kahak Wind Farm? Akbar Adibfar, CEO of MAPNA Group’s Renewable Energy Generation Company, provides us with some insight. Besides supervising the Kahak Wind Farm project for years, Adibfar has also carried out years of research on wind farms and has written an authoritative book in Persian on the subject.
“If the energy to be generated in Kahak Wind Farm, 100 megawatts, was to be produced through fossil fuels, then we would have needed 11 million trees to absorb the pollutants emitted by the power plant. Also we would have needed 90 million liters of gasoline per day.”
Statistics released by United Nations tell us the same story: that every year of a wind farm operation means an average cutback in emission of 250 thousand tons of CO2, consumption of 2520 thousand cubic meters of water, and 90 million liters of gasoline.
“Kahak Wind Farm is planned to generate 100 megawatts of electricity relying on 40 new generation wind turbines,” Adibfar says. “The turbines are dispersed in an area of 4000 square kilometers across several villages. Of course, only two percent of this area is occupied by our power generation facilities of course, and the rest is for farmers and ranchers to use.”
In March 2017, 22 active wind turbines inaugurated operation in Kahak, generating 55 megawatts of power which is the power needed for over 18,000 households in the area.
Speaking of the existing capacity of wind turbines in Iran, Adibfar says: “While in developed countries where a significant portion of electricity demand is supplied by wind power, in Iran, renewable energies’ share is below 0.5 percent. Compare this to Denmark, which has occasionally reached the ‘golden moment’ where 100 percent of its electricity demand was supplied by wind power. Germany is also a successful country in this area.”
Lack of public awareness is another problem. Akbar Adibfar stresses the key role that NGOs play in raising awareness among citizens about the benefits of exploiting wind power. “Private sector is another missing link in Iran’s energy sector” Mr. Adibfar adds.