Jordan Targets 10% Of Overall Energy Mix From Renewables By 2020
Jordan, a country with significant ancient history is foraging its path towards 2020. There is a new found focus on renewable energy in Jordan. The Ministry of Energy for Jordan has announced intentions to generate 10% of the countries energy needs from renewable sources. Jordan is implementing a strategy to boost renewable energy contribution to the overall energy mix from 3% to 10% by 2020.
Very modest energy ambitions for the sovereign Arab state on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan depends heavily on imports of crude oil and natural gas from neighboring Arab countries as its main sources of energy. According to reports from Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (a democratic political foundation based in German), Jordan currently imports more than 97% of its energy needs.
Growing Energy Pressure
Jordan is strategically located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe. The Dead Sea lies along its western borders and the country has a small shoreline on the Red Sea, but is otherwise landlocked. All the more reason this new initiative makes a lot of sense for the Arab kingdom. Bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north, Israel and Palestine to the west. It’s reliance on such a valuable resource in a volatile part of the world certainly raises cause for concern.
More specifically there are geo-political factors making Jordan’s energy supply a more pressing concern. The influx of at least 1.4 million refugees from neighboring Syria has further strained Jordan’s energy infrastructure.
Jordan’s Energy Potential
With that said, these newly announced renewable energy targets are modest for the sun rich country. The solar energy potential in Jordan is massive. Jordan is a very sunny country, with around 300 days of sunshine a year. Jordan’s leadership seems to be taking a crawl, walk, and run approach to its energy upgrades. Making sure it meets its goals. Western nations like Germany are certainly implementing more aggressive renewable energy targets. In 2016 Germany generated close to 15% of its energy from renewable sources though a mix of solar, wind, hydro, and bio-fuels. It also should be noted that the German government has also abandoned some its more ambitious renewable energy and climate targets in exchange for more modest targets.
First Step Towards Realizing Targets
As part of this new focus on renewables, Jordan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 23 companies to implement a $40 million project to store electricity, according to reports by Bloomberg and The Jordan Times.
The electrical storage project will be located 220km south of the capital and will have the power capacity of at least 30 megawatts.
“The project, which will be financed by the private sector, is very important to Jordan and it will maintain stability in the electric supply system… This project will help Jordan absorb more energy generated by renewable energy projects including solar and wind,” said the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Saleh Kharabsheh.