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OSLO: British renewable energy investor Quercus said it will halt the construction of a $570 million solar power plant in Iran due to recently imposed U.S. sanctions.

The solar plant in Iran would have been the first renewable energy investment outside Europe by Quercus and the world’s sixth largest, with a 600 megawatt capacity.

Iran had been trying to increase the share of renewable its energy mix, partly due to air pollution and to meet international commitments, hoping to have 5 gigawatt in renewable energy production installed by 2022.

In June, before the US-imposed sanctions, more than 250 companies had signed agreements to add and sell power from about 4GW of renewable in the country, of which only 602MW was installed, Iranian energy ministry data showed.

Washington re-employed sanctions last week after pulling out of a 2015 international deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear programme in return for an easing of economic sanctions.

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2018