By Omar Obeidat – Jun 15,2015 – Last updated at Jun 15,2015

AMMAN – A number of projects will be launched this year to boost renewable energy usage, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ibrahim Saif said on Monday.

Speaking at a meeting Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour held with chief editors of daily newspapers and journalists, Saif cited the National Electric Power Company’s green corridor project as one of the ministry’s top priorities for this year.

To be financed by the EU through a 90 million euro grant extended by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the French Development Agency, the project is a multi-component venture to reinforce Jordan’s high voltage electricity backbone network for the integration of more renewable generation capacity and to improve reliability of supply.

Saif said the ministry would also activate a JD20 million renewable energy fund aimed at supporting solar power initiatives by municipalities and local communities.

The minister noted that 10 community based organisations were recently granted financial support to implement renewable energy projects in their areas.

He added that an initiative to encourage households use solar heaters is among the projects to be launched this year, explaining that the plan aims at securing 100,000 units by 2017 as people can buy them at low prices through easy monthly instalments.