Jordan launches the Middle East's largest solar energy project

Published June 9th, 2015 - 06:00 GMT

The Shams Maan Solar Photovoltaic Project “is the largest solar energy project not only in Jordan but in the Middle East”, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said Monday, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Speaking at a ceremony in Amman to launch the project, attended by HRH Princess Sumaya and several senior officials, Ensour said the government encourages innovative projects in the governorates in line with Royal directives, and is focusing on alternative energy projects.  

The premier noted that the project is needed as Jordan has suffered from the repercussions of the Arab Spring, especially with the halt in Egyptian gas supplies, leading to losses estimated at JD3 billion.

He noted that Jordan has been leading the region in drafting the Renewable Energy Law in 2012 as part of the national energy strategy for the years 2015-2020.

The national strategy seeks to diversify energy sources, setting a 10 per cent renewable energy contribution to the total energy mix by 2020.

Ensour also cited the solar power projects established at the planning and transport ministries, as examples of the government’s commitment to renewable energy.

The prime minister highlighted the importance of establishing the project in Maan, 330km south of Amman, which has one of the world’s highest annual daily averages of solar irradiance, Petra reported. 

Jordan has an estimated 330 days of sunshine per year.

The 52.5 megawatt (MW) project, with investments worth around $170 million, is being built on a 2-million square-metre area, and is expected to cover 1 per cent of the Kingdom’s total annual consumption of energy upon completion.

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