‘Total capacity of renewable energy projects expected to reach 1,600MW by 2020’

By Mohammad Ghazal – Dec 14,2016

Energy Minister Ibrahim Saif speaks at a conference organised by Edama Association in Amman on Wednesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Jordan on Wednesday invited expressions of interest in building six wind and solar energy power plants with a total capacity of 300 megawatts (MW).

Companies with experience in the field are invited to apply to build four solar-run power plants with a total capacity of 50MW each and two wind plants with a 50MW capacity each, Energy Minister Ibrahim Saif said at a conference by Edama Association to launch the first Clean Technology Sector Report for Jordan and the Clean Energy Investment Policy Review of Jordan.

With these projects, total capacity of renewable energy projects will reach 1,600MW by 2020, which is in line with the government’s energy strategy in this regard.

In 2014, Jordan cancelled plans to accept proposals to build four renewable energy power plants with a capacity of 100MW each and plans to accept proposals to build five wind-run power plants with a total capacity of 400MW due to the limited capacity of the national grid.

But Saif said Wednesday the ministry will soon complete the tendering procedures of a new project to expand the grid’s capacity by an additional 1,000MW.

“We are working with all relevant stakeholders on the update of the second National Energy Efficiency Action Plan and developing the first National Renewable Energy Action Plan, which develops priority action areas across sectors and… a comprehensive set of enablers,” the minister said.

He added that the current legal framework has generated momentum for energy projects. However, there are issues that could limit the sector’s further growth.

“We have initiated action to address the existing bottlenecks, particularly relating to the grid limitation and absorption of increasing quantities of renewable power, as well as targeted studies and development for the environmental concerns and regulations,” Saif said.

Stressing the importance of the two reports released Wednesday, Ruba A. Al Zu’bi, CEO of EDAMA Association, said EDAMA requested the support of USAID Jordan Competitiveness Programme to map clean tech companies, classify them according to international classification system and then establish a database to be updated on a regular basis that reflects annual changes in the market.

The report is made up of a qualitative overview of the clean tech sector and the enablers that allowed Jordan to become a destination for clean energy investments.

“In this part, we highlight the progress in the legislative and regulatory framework, workforce development, green financing mechanisms, new market opportunities and many others,” Zu’bi said.

“While part two is dedicated to provide a full description of more than 365 companies operating in the clean technology field, 86 per cent of which fall within the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors,” she explained.

The findings indicate that 82 per cent of the surveyed companies are fully owned by Jordanians. The report also showed that those businesses employ 12,913 people; 72 per cent of whom are either engineers or technicians.

Only 16 per cent of the sector’s employees are females; 53 per cent of whom are reported as engineers.

Out of the JD755 million revenues for renewable energy and energy efficiency companies in 2015; around 46 per cent came from professional, scientific and technical services, while a modest 11 per cent came from manufacturing activities.

Thirty-seven per cent of the reporting companies export their offerings, with the highest exported service being architectural and engineering activities and technical consultancy related to renewable energy projects and green buildings.