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Jordan leading Arab way to renewable energy — experts

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jan 12,2016 - Last updated at Jan 12,2016

AMMAN — Jordan is the leading Arab country in renewable energy and the potential for more projects is greater, officials and experts said Monday.

Compared to Germany, which generates almost a third of its electricity via renewable projects, solar irradiance in the Kingdom is more than double that in the European country, they said.

In Jordan, the annual daily average of solar irradiance ranges from 5-7 kWh/m2, which is almost twice the ratio in Germany, which by mid-2015 generated 34 per cent of its electricity via renewable energy projects, according to officials and experts speaking during the 1st Jordanian-German Renewable Day, attended by public and private sector representatives from Germany and Jordan.

Despite that, renewable energy projects in Jordan contribute 3-4 per cent to the national electricity grid and the figure is scheduled to reach 10 per cent by 2020. 

Meanwhile, the wind speed in Jordan is around 10 metres per second in some places in the country, which makes it a favourable place for wind farms.

"The potential is huge for Jordan and we are on the right track. Several projects are implemented or under implementation and by 2020, we will have solar and wind projects of total capacity of 1,600 megawatts," said Ziad Jibril, adviser to the minister of energy and mineral resources and former director of renewable energy department at the ministry. 

The event was co-organised by the German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Jordan Chamber of Commerce with support from several entities.

The government, Jibril said, plans to open the door for more renewable energy projects during this year, adding that in terms of per capita share of renewable energy Jordan is the first in the Arab world and the 4th globally.

Frank Eibisch, of BC Berlin Consult GmbH and implementation consultant for renewables at the Germany Initiative launched by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, said that by going green, “Germany managed to save around 10 billion euros in 2012 alone”.

Total investments in renewables in Germany reached 16.3 billion euros, he added, highlighting the potential for Jordanian-German collaboration in this regard.

At the opening of the event, Alaa Ezz, executive board member of the German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce and secretary general of the Confederation of Egyptian-European Business Associations, said Jordan was the first country in the Arab world to have legal frameworks governing the renewable energy sector.

“Renewable energy is the future for Jordan even with the current low prices of oil,” Ezz said during the event, calling for collaboration and partnerships to transfer the German know-how in this field to the Kingdom.

 

“This is the right time for that…finance for such a project is available through several financing entities whether at the local or regional level,” Ezz told the audience. 

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