Remember November 1989? The
Berlin Wall came down – and two months later East and West Germany were
connecting their electrical grids. Decades of political stubbornness were
replaced with cooperation between utilities and energy ministries because it
made good economic sense to link these systems. Now we are seeing the same in
the heart of the Middle East between Iran and Iraq.
With the Iraq war over, the many benefits of system
integration outweigh old animosities. In fact, Iran’s geography makes them the
electrical hub for the region, and they are moving forward.
Iranian Energy Minister Majid Namjou says Iran is ready to
supply Pakistan with more electricity to help overcome the South Asian country's
current energy crisis. “Given the great need of Pakistan for electricity,
Iran could export its surplus electricity to the country,” Pakistan faces a
shortfall of more than 5,000 megawatts of electricity and Iran could meet a
portion of the need.
Last year, Minister Namjou said that Iran plans to generate
more than 5,000 megawatts of electricity from renewable energy resources by
2015. The nation is blessed with abundant solar potential.
Iran's electricity network has integrated into the power
grids of six neighboring countries; including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey,
Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Now with Iraq too.
Peace is more
than the absence of war. True peace requires active engagement between
neighbors: cultural exchanges, trade of goods and services, communication
links. The most important and fundamental trust-building activity is the
sharing of electrical power. When you become suppliers and customers of
energy over a 24 hour day, it’s just bad business to shoot at one another. Building
grid interconnections fosters peace and cooperation.
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