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Economists see renewables as new source for jobs

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Nov 21,2022 - Last updated at Nov 21,2022

Representative image (Photo courtesy of unsplash.com/ HYPERLINK "https://unsplash.com/@karsten_wuerth" Karsten Würth)

AMMAN — Beyond its environmental impact, renewable energy represents an effective way to achieve economic sustainability, economists suggest.

Jordan had the highest share of renewable energy contribution in the Arab region in 2021, excluding hydropower, according to the 2022 Arab Future Energy Index (AFEX).

Economists believe that integrating clean energy in all economic sectors and expanding Jordan’s public and private investments in the renewable energy sector is believed to boost the Kingdom’s energy self-reliance, create job opportunities and boost the national economy. 

“Having Jordan as the leading country regionally in generating and using renewable energy incentivises us to expand our investments in renewable energy sources,” economist Hussam Ayesh told The Jordan Times. 

“This is a success for Jordan,” said Ayesh.  However, “one time success is not enough; we need sustainable success which will be achieved through expanded investments”.

“Renewable energy expansion projects will stimulate economic potential by leading a path to new innovations and technology,” Ayesh added. 

Expanding investments in renewable energy will also reduce our national energy bill, Ayesh said. 

According to Ayesh, Jordan does not have large oil and natural gas reserves, unlike other countries in the region. 

“We depend on imports to meet our energy needs,” which increases our energy bill and leads to fluctuating energy prices (based on global prices), Ayesh said.

All of this “creates uncertainty in the market,” said Ayesh.

“Renewable energy offers better energy security, in light of the geopolitical uncertainties the world is currently witnessing,” Ayesh added. 

Another economic benefit of renewable energy is the number of jobs it could create nationwide, he noted. 

“Boosting investments in renewable energy sector will trigger a new set of job opportunities in diverse locations of the Kingdom,” Ayesh added.

Additionally, this creates demand for new majors at universities and vocational training institutions. 

“Renewable energy engineers, mechanical engineers, as well as maintenance technicians, and installation technicians, and many more,” are all specialisations needed, he said.

“The use of wind and solar energy has increased in Jordan in recent years on both corporate and household levels,” Ayesh added. 

Ayesh attributed the increase in renewable energy use to several factors, including attractiveness, cost-efficiency and sustainability. 

Economist Wajdi Makhamreh said that renewable energy sector is growing rapidly, which is a great opportunity for innovation in Jordan. 

“The world is transitioning to renewable energy, and demand will be drawn to building renewable energy projects,” Makhamreh added. 

Makhamreh stated that the solar energy potential in Jordan is enormous, as it lies within the solar belt of the world. “This is a very promising potential investment in renewable energy for public and private sectors,” said Makhamreh. 

“Building clean energy will not only expand our power capacity but will also provide a more reliable source of energy,” said Makhamreh. 

Makhamreh stated that fuel emissions are associated with high levels of air, water, and land pollution. All these pollutants have a direct consequence on the health of the people living in the area.

“This results in additional expenditure for the economy,” said Makhamreh.

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