Jordan seeks to invest in renewable sources of energy available in the Kingdom, primarily solar and wind ones, in an effort to reduce imported fuel, and to retain foreign cash which is often spent on purchasing non-renewable energy or its sources such as crude oil and others. The Jordanian Government has therefore quickly promulgated laws and provided facilities for the implementation of renewable energy projects and opened the door to companies active in this field.
This article provides you with a detailed explanation of Jordan’s renewable energy sector, its available sources in the Kingdom, and an introduction to Jordanian universities that offer renewable energy engineering programmes, as well as an introduction to the law enacted to support the investment field in this sector, and finally provides a reference to some research and books on this subject.
Renewable Energy Engineering Specialisation in Jordanian universities
Renewable energy engineering is one of the branches of engineering that specializes in studying the production of energy from renewable sources for use in different areas of life. As a result of the continued rise in traditional energy prices, and the increasing need for energy as the population increases significantly, the demand to study this specialization is getting increased in order to meet the energy requirement from alternative renewable sources that meet the needs of countries, including Jordan with more than 93% of its total capacity are imported.
Academic specializations in renewable energy cover the theoretical aspect that combines electrical, thermal, and mechanical engineering, and addresses the different fields of energy with its various renewable and non-renewable sources, and how to use them with renewable energy technologies such as photovoltaics and others.
Several Jordanian universities teach this specialisation, including:
- Al al-Bayt University (AABU) is an official Jordanian university, founded in 1993, providing an opportunity to study in renewable energy engineering at an acceptance rate of 90.3%.
- Al Balqa’ Applied University (BAU) /Branch of Prince Hussein Bin Abdullah II Academy: offers a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Renewable Energy which was established since 2018 with the aim of providing Jordan with engineers specializing in the fields of renewable energy at an accaptance rate of 80.10%.
- Applied Science Private University is the first private university in Jordan to receive global accreditation of ABET in its engineering programms, including renewable energy technology programme which is concerned studying renewable energy systems from an applied technical perspective, such as solar and bioenergy systems and various energy systems. It includes a research centre for renewable energy which provides students with practical training in this field.
- Philadelphia University: It is one of Jordan’s most important private universities, founded in 1989. and it is ranked the second at the level of Jordanian universities and the first at the level of Jordanian private universities.
- Middle East University: It is a Jordanian private university, founded in 2005. it prioritizes educational research rather than profit purposes, applying its motto “Knowledge is power”, focuses on improving performance and developing strategies that allow graduates to assume leading positions in society after graduation, and provides several programmes including renewable energy engineering at an acceptance rate of 80.0%.
Acceptance rate of renewable energy engineering in Jordan
Jordan’s acceptance rate for renewable energy engineering ranges from 80.0% to 90% depending on the university and the year of application.
Renewable Energy Projects in Jordan
The Kingdom of Jordan is classified as a country that imports energy, meaning considerable pressure on the State budget and a continuing need for foreign exchange; therefore, the Kingdom has began to consider alternative energy solutions which are dominated by renewable energies, especially solar and wind energy because of the Kingdom’s geographical location.
The Kingdom of Jordan is located in the earth-sun belt area, which makes it get a high amount of solar energy, so the number of sunny days in the Kingdom reaches 316 days per year at an average of 8 hours per day, On the other hand, many areas of the Kingdom are a suitable places for the construction of wind power plants due to the arrival of wind speeds between 7 and 8.5 m/s, which are considered appropriate speeds for this purpose.
The Hashemite Kingdom has been implementing these steps on the ground since 2012, with the promulgation of a number of regulations and laws, primarily the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Law No. 13 as a step to encourage this direction, and open up the investment in cooperation with a number of specialized agencies and centres to improve this sector, implement a number of projects and sign a number of agreements for future projects, among the most prominent projects implemented by the Kingdom of Jordan are:
- Tafila Wind Farm: It is Jordan’s first private renewable energy project located in Tafila Governorate, southeast of the Dead Sea, with meeting the energy needs of 80,000 homes.
- Baynouna Solar Power Plant: It is Jordan’s largest solar project in eastern Amman, with annual energy production covering 160 thousand homes, contributing to reducing the emission of 360 thousand tons of carbon gas per year. The project is led by Masdar Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co in partnership with the Government of Jordan, and covers alone about 3% of Jordan’s energy consumption. Follow the video
- Ma ‘an Wind Farm Project: It is a renewable energy project owned by the Jordanian Government with Kuwaiti funding and has a capacity that reaches 200 GWh of clean electricity per hour annually. Watch Video
Importance of Jordan’s renewable energy projects
Jordan’s reliance on renewable sources of energy is getting increased as an alternative to its economic and environmental problems. It has been completing many renewable energy projects and signing agreements for future projects. Also, Jordan has already begun to exploit solar energy for local purposes, namely, to cover the daily energy needs of homes and houses of worship, as well as to introduce them into commercial and industrial sectors.
On the other hand, these projects provide new employment opportunities for Jordanian youth and contribute to reducing the unemployment rate in Jordan as a result of the retention of foreign cash used to import petroleum and its derivatives in the state treasure and its investment in projects that contribute to reducing unemployment.
Renewable Energy Sources in Jordan:
Renewable energy sources in Jordan, mainly solar and wind energy, are multiple due to the Kingdom’s geographical location, as well as biomass and waste:
- Solar energy: means light and thermal radiation resulting from the reaction in the Sun’s center, which reaches the Earth’s surface in the form of different length radiation beams. The Hashemite Kingdom has high solar radiation rates of up to 5-7 kWh/m2 per day and sunny periods of over 3,000 hours per year, especially in the southern and central regions, making investment productive at the level of electricity generation from the sun’s energy.
- Wind Energy: means wind-borne kinetic energy, driven by differences in heat and pressure. Jordan has specific areas in the north, central and south of the Kingdom, blown by winds of up to 8 m/s over the year, making the option to invest and exploit their wind in electricity generation ideal.
- Biomass energy: This energy is confined to the city’s animal waste and solid waste whilw plant waste is poor due to limited land cover and low rainfall in the Kingdom. The Kingdom invests in organic waste as an energy source through transforming the old Al-Rasifa landfill into a biogas production plant to produce electric energy, for example.
- Underground energy: Jordan is known for its rich geothermal energy in most of its regions, but it is low between 40-65 degrees Celsius making it insufficient to generate electric power, but good for other uses such as recreation and agricultural house heating.
Renewable Energy Situation in Jordan
Jordan is criticized for not adequately exploiting its existing energy sources to address climate changes, water and energy resouces scarcity. According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Jordan’s utilization of renewable energy accounted for less than 10% in 2017 (less than 1% in wind and hydro, and less than 4% in solar energy).
Renewable Energy Laws in Jordan
Renewable Energy Law in Jordan
Jordan has been investing in renewable energy since 2012 with the issue of Law No. 13 on renewable energy and the rationalization of Jordan’s energy; The Law includes 19 articles providing facilities for investment in the renewable energy sector and distributing powers to the competent ministry and specialized bodies. It also outlines the full procedures for the sale of electricity generated from renewable energy and related costs and covers the tax aspect related to the renewable energy sector. One of its articles provides for the establishment of the Fund for the Promotion of Renewable Energy and the Rationalization of Energy with limiting the responsibilities of the Fund’s committee and associated appointments and its own financial aspect, and finally the legal provisions governing this Law.
Renewable Energy Conferences in Jordan
Jordanian officials have taken care to reduce the Kingdom’s dependence on importing fuels, which it relied on to produce 97% of its electricity; Jordan has developed a plan to generate 20% of its electricity through renewable energy by 2020 and therefore has begun to host conferences on alternative energy.
Of these conferences:
First Arab Renewable Energy Conference 2011
Amman hosted the conference under the theme “Exploring ways to promote the sector and frame Arab efforts working in the sector”. The conference discussed ways to establish relationships among parties wishing to enter the emerging renewable energy market in the region. Two training sessions were held on the margins of the Conference and the Conference made the following recommendations:
- Adoptation of unified Arab policies for the sector to achieve a strategy that enhances the sector’s contribution.
- Establishment of an Arab fund to support renewable energy research and studies in the Arab world.
- Demand for investment in the sector and create genuine Arab industries in the field of renewable energy.
International Renewable Energy Conference: 2013
The conference was held under the theme “Renewable energy and its future in the Arab world”, and called for the following points:
- Rationalization of energy consumption and relying on renewable energy (solar and wind energy) that is rich in the Middle East.
- Transfer of countries’ experiences in using solar energy.
A number of recommendations were made:
- Providing sustainable energy products in the domestic market at suitable competitive prices.
- Directing global workers’ enterprises to provide long-term loans for renewable energy projects of medium and large sizes.
- Raising citizens’ awareness of the need to rationalize energy consumption and preserve the environment.
Sixth Conference on Renewable Energy in Desert Regions 2018
The conference was launched on the importance of energy in Jordan and the continuing increase in renewable energy uses, focusing on renewable energy applications in desert areas and on the discussion of investment topics of alternative energy and related instructions and regulations. The conference discussed Jordan’s energy situation and household electricity consumption, the effects of wind technology on the cost of energy in desert areas, carbon emission reduction mechanisms, and solar transformation techniques.
Renewable Energy Statistics
Jordan’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has announced statistics including the number and capacity of composite renewable energy systems.
The total capacity of renewable energy systems linked to Jordan’s electrical grid was 2063 MW, distributed in three systems (transit system, net measurement system, commercial system)
The electricity produced by these projects covers the equivalent of 20% of the Kingdom’s electricity consumption. It is estimated that the contribution of renewable energy to the electricity mix in 2030 reaches 31% compared to 1% in 2014 according to the statement of the Jordanian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources.
Measurement from 5537 in 2019 & nbsp; to 9018 in 2020.
The statistic shows the expansion of the installation of solar home systems, where the number of installed systems has increased according to the net measurement system from 5537 in 2019 to 9018 in 2020.
According to annual reports of electricity distribution companies operating in the Kingdom of Jordan, the number of solar power systems connected to Jordan’s distribution networks by the end of 2020 was about 24 thousand systems with a total capacity of 651 MW.
The largest share of this connection was within the Jordan Electricity Company concession areas with a total capacity of 380 MW (58.3%) of the total capacity of the projects installed on the distribution networks in Jordan.
The year 2020 is considered the first year which showed a decline in the growth rate of solar photovoltaic systems connected annually, with 124 MW linked in 2020 compared to 2019 (136.7).
Renewable Energy Fund in Jordan and Energy Consumption Rationalization
The Fund was established under article no. 12 of Renewable Energy Law No. 13 of 2012 and is affiliated with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, aiming at providing funding for renewable energy projects and rationalizing energy consumption. In 2015, the Renewable Energy Fund Regulation No. 49 regulating the Fund’s working mechanisms was promulgated.
The Fund has implemented several projects with the aim to increasing energy efficiency and expanding the use of renewable energy in various economic sectors; Its work programmes are divided into one of the following forms:
- revolving loans.
- Guarantee loans and reduce risks.
- Technical support.
- Cash financing.
- Support through concessional funding programmes.
Renewable Energy Companies in Jordan:
- Al-Yarmouk for Energy Solution.
- Awtar for Renewable Energy.
- Friends for Renewable Energy Systems and Solutions.
- Orient Ena’am for Solar Energy.
- Osool mostamera Renewable Energy Solutions.
- Alfa for Renewable Energy.
- Shams Alkafa’a for RE Systems.
- Bayt Al-Ebdaa for Renewable Energy.
- Shamseen for Renewable Energy.
- Al Aqsa Company for Renewable Energy Systems.
Research on renewable energy in Jordan:
In the light of the Kingdom’s growing interest in renewable energies, numerous research and studies have emerged on Jordan’s potential investment in this sector, including:
- Research titled: “Green Jobs – Renewable Energy Sector in Jordan” by Engineer Sahib Abba.
- Research entitled “Assessment of renewable energy readiness – The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”
Books on renewable energy in Jordan
A book entitled “Renewable Energy in Egypt and Jordan – Current Situation and Future Possibilities” has emerged; Co-author of two doctorates: Mohamed El Khayat, Majid Mahmoud of Egypt; Dr. Ahmed Salaimah and Khawla Sevan of Jordan.
The release of this book was a good opportunity to introduce renewable energy systems from Egypt and Jordan to large numbers of beneficiaries, and to encourage the political administration of the two countries to work hard in this sector for a sustainable future.
The book discusses the issue of unbalanced reliance on renewable energy sources and its impacts, and highlights the lack of political implementation in this area despite the Middle East region’s rich sources.
In conclusion, Jordan has begun to take real steps in investing in renewable sectors, in pursuit ofachieving energy self-sufficiency and energy independence. May the rest of the Arab States follow suit and begin exploiting their renewable energy resources. Do you find it worthy of this attention from States, with good results? Comment on the practical steps your State is taking on this path.