Iran’s power sector is facing “very hard days,” electricity ministry official Mostafa Rajabi-Mashhadi acknowledged on 6 July, adding that the gap between supply and demand has risen to 11GW, with demand at 65GW and the Islamic Republic only able to generate 54GW. The very next day, the capital Tehran and the city of Karaj experienced lengthy, unplanned power outages.

The 54GW figure is a far cry from official claimed installed capacity of 85GW – in theory more than sufficient to cope with current demand. But much of this consists of ageing facilities which are struggling to deal with the current pressure. Moreover the 13.2GW of hydropower capacity (15.5% of the total) is unable to run anywhere close to full capacity during the hot, dry summer months. (CONTINUED - 599 WORDS)