Always the sun: Jordan should become a renewable energy leader!

At least there is a good side effect for the rise in petrol prices in Jordan. People and institutions are starting to think about sources of renewable energy: solar, wind and geothermal.

Of course, our streets are becoming ever more crowded with Hummers and other gas guzzlers, which is not exactly a sign of energy awareness. But at least there seems to be some official and academic interest in utilizing alternatives to oil. We have plenty of sun in the country and many people do utilize that for hot water. So that’s at least a start.

In my opinion, Jordan should adopt a radical, ambitious policy to invest in renewable energy technology. We have every incentive to do so. Why can’t we become the Middle East’s No.1 renewable energy leader (OK, Israel probably has beat us to that). Aqaba should be the starting point! I imagine a future of a high tech Arabia on the Red Sea..

Today I was excited to read a Jordan Times article about an exhibition of German renewable energy technologies, to be opened on May 15 at the premises of the German Jordanian University. I am pasting it in full as the JT does not have a archive.

AMMAN (JT) — A display of renewable energy technology opens today under the title “Renewables Made in Germany,” focusing on products from the European country that covers almost 5 per cent of the national electricity consumption by wind power.

The exhibition comes at a time when international market prices for crude oil are straining the national budget as well as Jordanian households and businesses, according to a statement released by the German embassy in Amman.

Wind energy, solar power and geothermal heat seem to be promising options in Jordan, and they can be exploited in many ways and at different scales, the statement said.

Solutions range from solar collectors for warm water, heating, and cooling at the household level; over photovoltaic generation of electricity for housing units or remote locations; to energy for the national grid provided by wind farms or solar thermal power plants.

The exhibition, which will be officially opened on May 17, is open to the public from May 15 to 31 at the premises of the German Jordanian University (GJU), currently located on the campus of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS).

Renewable energies and energy efficiency are also the focus of an international conference in Amman on May 23 and 24 bringing together decision-makers from politics, business and science.

The conference, organised by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Amman in cooperation with the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) and the National Energy Research Centre (NERC), will offer a platform to discuss strategies and options to increase the use of renewables and enhance energy efficiency in Jordan.


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3 Responses to “Always the sun: Jordan should become a renewable energy leader!”

  1. salam Says:

    I met with a swiss expert on geothermal energy,I was so impressed with the potential and with the amount of savings that can happen ,with initial costs that are fairly low.I wrote about it here:http://reflections-allmine.blogspot.com/2006/01/5iles-el-solarno-more.html

  2. Kamil Says:

    I truly agree with your suggestions. The renewable energy sources in this country are endless, just like they are in the rest of the world, but our climate promises more abundance.

    One thing I would like you to take into consideration, and this was a project for a jordanian company in 2001. (with the exception of solar energy) The utilization, extraction, and transmission of the energy from those renewable sources such as wind and geothermal energy would cost us as consumers or otherwise the state 6 times the current price for energy sold to the consumer. The initial investment considering all materials have to be outsourced, adding to that the cost of running and maintaining the equipment, would result in being more feasible for us to buy our energy from other states rather than produce it ourselves regardless of the source. Sad, but true. I’m not familiar with the above mentioned exhibition, but I’m sure of the type of costs involved.

    But I agree that it should not stop us from considering alternatives to oil energy.

  3. Batir Wardam Says:

    The momentum for renewable enrgies in Jordan is high. There is concerted effort by the governemnt and privates ector. Solar energy is already on the rise for household use and some facilities. Wind energy is being experimented in the North while geothermal is still in early stages. Energy from biomass is another potential where a Biogas factory has been establish in Russeifa on the previous land fill to extract energy and electricity from organic waste and methane gas. If a renewable enrgy system is designed in a smart way, with good economic incentives (reducing tax on production inputs) in a free energy market the system can provide low cost renewable energy. I am optimistic since the need is being felt now.

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