Power play: Jordan revs up on renewables

Published June 6th, 2016 - 10:00 GMT
Jordan has set ambitious targets for the development of domestic shale, renewable energy and nuclear power. (Shutterstock)
Jordan has set ambitious targets for the development of domestic shale, renewable energy and nuclear power. (Shutterstock)

Jordan’s need to reduce dependence on oil and gas imports drove the government to draft the 2007 National Energy Strategy (NES), which presents a road map for energy development through to 2020. It seeks to boost reliance on domestic sources from 4 to 40 per cent by then.

In short, it recommended the development of domestic shale, renewable energy and nuclear power. The targets are ambitious and it remains to be seen how much Jordan can achieve. In electricity generation, the NES stipulated 7 per cent for renewable energy by 2015 and rising to 10 per cent by 2020. Later, nuclear energy would add its contribution too.

To support the NES, Jordan passed the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Law, aiming “to streamline investment procedures and paves the way for citizens to sell electricity back to the national grid”. The investment required to achieve the aims is estimated at $14 billion to 18 billion overall. In renewables, the estimates are from $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion, in oil that would be $3.4 billion, in gas $2.4 billion and in electricity $4.8 billion to $5.8 billion, according to a Brussels Invest and Export report dated August 2015.

In 2014 Jordan had 10-MW of renewable energy capacity. But there were 15 projects in progress to raise installed renewable capacity to 500-MW.

In 2011 the government asked investors to show “expression of interest” to build 1,800-MW wind, 600-MW solar and 30-50-MW waste and biomass fuelled power plants. The conditions regarding technologies and plant sizes were set by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and investors were to submit a competitive feed in tariffs. At least 2,000-MW of wind and solar are therefore expected to be operational by 2020.


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