By Laila Azzeh – Oct 01,2015

Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ibrahim Saif (second left) speaks at a press meeting to announce a November forum on renewable energy for industry in Amman on Wednesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN – Shifting the industrial sector’s energy consumption trends will be the highlight of a forum slated to be held later this year in a bid to encourage better utilisation of renewable power.

Deemed the third largest energy consumer in Jordan — 17 per cent of the national power consumption — the industrial sector’s energy bill stood at nearly JD4.4 billion in 2014, an amount experts hope to decrease through more reliance on renewable energy resources by industrialists.

“This will be the main aim of the forum, which will bring together presidents and members of local industry chambers and bodies concerned with energy and environmental sustainability,” said Ayman Hatahet, president of the Jordan Chamber of Industry (JCI), on Wednesday.

He made his remarks during a press conference to announce the details of the conference, titled “Energise Jordan 2015”, which is organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ).

The one-day event, to be held on November 17, will provide a platform to discuss solutions to the industrial sector’s energy challenges and announce the official opening of the chamber’s energy and environmental sustainability unit, according to Hatahet.

The unit was established earlier this year with the support of the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Programme in response to difficulties facing the sector in the areas of energy, water and the environment.

“Participants at the forum will be acquainted with the best international practices in renewable energy and optimal utilisation of renewable power resources,” noted head of the conference’s preparatory committee, Eyad Abu Haltam.

Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ibrahim Saif said the forum will be an invitation to the private sector to reduce its electricity expenses as it consumes 24 per cent of the total electricity consumption in the Kingdom.

“We expect to discuss very innovative energy solutions during the forum,” he said.

Organisers noted that taskforces will be formed to follow up on the recommendations and outcomes of the forum, to be held annually.

The development counsellor at the German embassy, Nina Lutter, said the German government is keen to provide support to Jordan to move yet another step forward in exploiting solar energy as a “sun-blessed country”, stressing the important role the private sector can play in this area as a driving force for sustainable businesses.

At the same time, GIZ Country Director in Jordan Michaela Baur noted that the agency is supporting several ventures in the Kingdom to help it better respond to climate change and contribute to realising the country’s international obligations in the area.
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