By cutting down their yearly petroleum consumption of 320 million tones by only two percent, Arab countries could save around 6.5 million tones of petroleum with a value of $1.5 billion, Wael Sabri, minister of energy and natural resources, said on Sunday.
Sabri spoke at the opening session of a two-day workshop on the development of domestic energy strategies and the role of the water sector in the Arab world.
A high population growth rate and increasing demand for energy on the one hand and the lack of natural resources on the other, does not leave Jordan much space for manoeuvring, former minister of energy and natural resources, Hisham Khatib told the Jordan Times.
“The only scenario which we have is to emphasise energy conservation in the future. In all sectors in Jordan, there is a potential for energy conservation, particularly in the transport sector. It should be our target to improve efficiency,” he said.
Khatib believes that government subsidies, lack of awareness and education about energy conservation strategies, lack of efficiency of the departments collecting payments and the exclusion of several government departments from paying their electric bills counteract energy conservation efforts.
In order to develop Jordanian energy resources, the government adopted several steps that seek to develop efficient utilisation of energy, restructuring of institutions involved in the energy sector to work on a commercial basis, attracting the private sector to invest in energy, and connecting the national grid to that of neighbouring countries, Sabri said in his speech.
The increasing demand for water required in the evergrowing municipal sector is coupled with an increased demand for electricity.
Jordan currently uses 18 per cent of total power consumption for pumping water from underground aquifers and transporting it to the consumer. Taking into consideration the water conveying system from the Disi aquifer to Amman for supplying the capital with freshwater, this percentage is expected to further increase.But there are also plans to use water to generate electricity.
“Part of the Wihdeh Dam will be a hydroelectric power plant with [generation of] eight megawatts of power per day,” said Hatem Halawani, minister of water.
During the workshop, scientists from around the world are presenting papers on the subject.
The workshop is organised by the Arab Thought Forum in cooperation with the UN Economic and Social Committee for West Asia and the Arab Fund for Social and Industrial Development and is held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Hassan.
( Jordan Times )