Iran’s struggle with rising electricity demand reached unprecedented heights, prompting the country to suspend electricity exports.
On state television, Abuzer Salihi, the general manager of Iran’s power distribution business Tevanir, claimed that the company had decreased electricity exports to zero “so that there is no problem in the country’s electricity supply.”
He claimed that in order to meet domestic needs, the electrical supply to Afghanistan’s Herat province, which imports 70% of its electricity from Iran, was entirely shut down.
According to Tevanir’s figures, daily electricity demand exceeded 65,000 megawatts, while production hovered around 54,000 megawatts.
Apart from the summer heat, Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto mining activities in the country, which is known for its generous electricity subsidies to local industry, are cited as one of the reasons for the high demand.
Iran declared crypto mining legal in 2019 in order to license and control miners. However, unauthorized mining has increased in the country, with many unlicensed miners utilizing the electricity system to run energy-intensive mining rigs.
This year, Iran’s first action was to punish crypto miners who used domestic energy.
Following that, mining was prohibited until the hot summer months were passed. The crypto mining ban, announced by President Hassan Rouhani in May, will remain until September to assure access to electricity for residential use. Rouhani further claimed that 85% of mining in Iran is done without a license.
Before halting electricity exports, the country also requested that all legally existing crypto miners cease operations.
The declaration was made by Eshaq Jahangiri, Iran’s first vice president under Hassan Rouhani, during a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Energy. He stated, “We will ensure that electricity is not switched off in necessary and important places.”
In the meantime, Iran continues to tighten down on unlawful mining. More than 7,000 pieces of mining equipment were seized by officials last month at a farm in Tehran’s capital.