Iran is located in the Middle East, bordering the gulf of Oman, the Persian gulf and the Caspian sea, between Iraq and Pakistan. The total land area is 1648Mkm2 with a population of 68,017,860 (July 2005 estimation). The total electricity produced by the country in 2002 was 129BkWh (CIA Facts). As of February 2004, its total installed capacity was 33,110MW and relevant distribution by plant types is as follows: 1446MW from steam (44%); 4763MW from combined cycle (14%); 9080MW from gas (27%); 4400MW from hydro (13%); and 1533MW from diesel (2%) (Gharavy, 2005). The electricity produced during 2002 totalled 140,759GWh, consisting of oil (25,076GWh); gas (107,598GWh); and hydro (8085) (IEA Energy Statistics, 2002).

In 1929, the first hydro power plant was constructed in Iran in the city of Hamedan by the German Kakamjin Freisch Company. The country has a gross theoretical potential of 20,047, and an economically feasible potential of 16000MW. Development till April 2005 has been 5045MW, which is just 20% of the potential – leaving a major gap for expansion.

Several more hydro power plants, with a total capacity of 8540MW, are under construction now, and several others (with total capacity of 10,000MW) are at the feasibility or reconnaissance study stage.

Educational programmes

• Power & Water Institute of Technology, a centre for holding technical and training courses, was formed northeast of Tehran in 1971 to increase the proficiency of technicians working in the field of power and water. Various courses at different levels are offered. Short-term activities consist of professional training courses at technician and Bachelor of Science levels at the institute or the company’s offices. There are two departments, Power Plant Engineering and Water Engineering. Although there is no specific hydro power programme, courses are offered that are similar, for example River Engineering, Dam Engineering and Power Engineering.

• At Sharif University of Technology, under the department of Civil Engineering, there is a postgraduate course named Water Resource Engineering (Master of Science level), spread over four semesters. The Masters degree is awarded upon completion of eight postgraduate courses plus seminars and thesis. This course includes subjects like River Engineering, Hydraulics of Dams, Drainage Systems and others.

• There are courses in the field of hydro power at the University of Tehran (UT): the Water Engineering programme in the Civil Engineering department, and (under the department of Mechanical Engineering) a Masters course named Hydro Machines. Recently, UT has developed an institute called Energy Planning and Management Institute. Furthermore, a Hydro Power Machine Institute is being developed within the Mechanical department.

• Isfahan University of Technology offers a Water Engineering Master of Science under its department of Civil Engineering.

• The Ministry of Energy in Iran arranges a national workshop on Hydro Power Design, Construction and Operation annually. Courses include Hydraulic Structures, Hydro Power & Power Stations and Power Stations.

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