Sharif Energy Research Institute
Comprehensive energy studies were initiated at Sharif University of Technology (SUT) when the Plan & Budget Organization (PBO) of the Islamic Republic of Iran sponsored a project on developing “Comprehensive Energy Plan of the Country” in October 1992. The results of the study indicated that rising energy demand, short term unbalances of energy demand-supply and reallocation of energy subsidies would be challenging issues in the energy sector of the country and lack of reliable data and information on energy flow in various sectors were identified as major problems in the process of developing energy policies of the country.

Studies on Comprehensive Energy Plan were then followed by detailed analysis of energy flow in various social and economic sectors in 1995. Detailed analysis of energy flow in various sectors was sponsored by Plan & Budget Organization (PBO) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). JICA collaborated in establishing an energy auditing laboratory at the SUT. The energy auditing systems were available for analysis of energy flow in various energy sectors. Energy flow in six energy intensive industries (i.e. Iron & Steel, Cement, Oil Refinery, Food Industry, Petrochemical Plants, Glass Production Units) were audited by the energy research group at SUT supported by Institute for Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) and Energy Conservation Center, Japan (ECCJ) in the period 1994-95. Energy research group at SUT has been implementing energy auditing in industrial plants and household sectors since then.

Rising energy demand and development of energy databases of the country through energy auditing indicated that there existed high potentials of energy saving. It was realized that enhancement of energy efficiency would present itself as an optimal solution for the immediate and long term energy problems of the country. But energy subsidies were considered as a major obstacle for promoting energy efficiency. Hence, the energy research group at SUT was asked by the Ministry of Petroleum to study the reallocation of energy subsidies in 1997. Therefore, a detailed program for reallocation of energy subsidies were prepared and proposed to the government in 1997-8. It was also pointed out that development of infrastructure for energy R&D, D&D of energy efficient technologies, analysis of energy sector in the framework of sustainable development and set-up of a think tank for energy would contribute to building analytical capacity and establishing a solid knowledge base in the country. It was also noted that human development and training of highly educated researchers would be necessary if energy-economy-environment issues and challenges were to be tackled properly.

Following the implementation of the project on the reallocation of energy subsidies it was proposed to SUT and Ministry of Petroleum that the institutionalization of research activities in the field of energy could contribute to capacity building for sustainable development. This proposal was welcome by SUT and Ministry of Petroleum. Therefore, SUT concluded a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Petroleum in 1998. SUT committed itself, with the support of Ministry of Petroleum, to establishing Sharif Energy Research Institute (SERI) and developing a graduate program of Energy Systems Engineering.

Further development of cooperation between SUT, Ministry of Petroleum and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) led to conclusion of the second memorandum of understanding in 2004 according which NIOC provided financial resources for construction of a new building for SERI and equipping the institute. SERI was also made responsible for development and application of energy models. Therefore, SERI has been the outcome of the institutionalization of energy researches at the university.

Important Dates:

  • Date of Establishment; According to the memorandum of understanding between Sharif University of Technology and Ministry of Petroleum
  • Preliminary Permission of Establishing SERI - Ministry of Science, Research and Technology
  • Permanent Permission of Establishing SERI - Ministry of Science, Research and Technology
  • Approval of Organizational Structure – Board of Trustee of the University