French firm to promote solar energy in Kingdom

Published October 19th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

A French firm, specialised in designing solar power systems, has opened a regional office in Amman to promote the production of solar energy in the Middle East.  


Pierre de Cernon, Middle East project manager of Total Energie, said photovoltaic solar power — whereby photovoltaic modules directly convert light from the sun into direct current that can be used as a power supply — is an important source for renewable energy that makes power generation available, independent and resistant to natural conditions.  


“The long-term benefits of renewable energy are important, because it is environmentally friendly, and at the same time it makes energy available, [thrifty] and easy to maintain, “ de Cernon told the Jordan Times on Tuesday.  

However, he said, that the system is not an alternative to traditional power plants, but a complementary device to enable countries to produce energy independently.  


Member states of the European Union, he explained, are required to produce 10 per cent of their energy demand from renewable energy sources, and for this reason “we are developing in Europe a solar system connected to the grid.”  

“Using renewable energy will give more independence to the countries which do not have enough sources of natural energy,” de Cernon said.  


The energy derived from this process is stored in a battery bank and can be tapped on demand during the night or when sunlight is weak.  


Jordan depends on Iraq as it is the Kingdom's sole provider of oil, under a bilateral agreement. But the government has been in contact with several international energy producers to explore parts of the Kingdom for alternative natural energy sources.  


According to the company's brochure, a regulator protects the battery against ill-effects of overcharging or excessive discharging.  


Total Energie systems could be used, among other things, in the fields of telecommunications, rural telephone networks, microwave repeaters, navigation systems and road and railway signals and water pumping.  


Based in France, Total Energie is a worldwide assembler in the field of photovoltaic systems. The firm, a subsidiary of French Petroleum group TotalFinaElf, is involved in designing, marketing, installing and maintaining photovoltaic power systems, especially suited for remote locations.  


By Suha Ma'ayeh  

© 2000 Mena Report (

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