Iraq needs to execute new projects that will generate nearly 10,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity to tackle a power shortage that worsened because of internal hostilities, an Iraqi official was reported on Monday as saying.

OPEC’s second largest oil producer currently generates around 20,000 MW of electricity from existing power plants, but actual domestic demand is estimated at nearly 30,000 MW, said Mudhar Saleh, financial and economic adviser to the Prime Minister.

Saleh, quoted by Aliqtisad News and other Iraqi publications, said Iraq is still suffering from a large power shortage although it has invested more than $100 billion in electricity projects over the past 20 years.

“Unfortunately, Iraq still produces just around 20,000 MW of electricity despite the massive investments in the sector….but actual power needs exceed 30,000 MW,” he said.

Madhar said he believes Iraq could become self-sufficient in electricity supplies through new conventional and renewable energy projects as well as by supplies from common power grids with neighbouring Iran and the six-nation GCC.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)