by Mohammad Ghazal | Apr 13, 2014

AMMAN — More than 1,500 households across the Kingdom have installed solar panels to heat water as part of a nationwide project to encourage citizens to reduce energy consumption, according to the Jordan River Foundation (JRF).

Under the project, which started late in 2013, the number of beneficiary households is expected to reach over 2,500 by the end of this year, JRF Director General Ghaleb Qudah told The Jordan Times on Sunday.

The project is being carried out by the JRF in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

“There has been a great turnout of people, especially in rural and remote areas,” Qudah said.

To benefit from the initiative, Jordanians can apply to one or more of the 70 designated community-based organisations and they have the option of paying for the panels in instalments.

It is envisaged that 5,000 solar panels will be installed over the next five years, according to the JRF.

Qudah also noted that the JRF has put on hold a project to distribute solar power generators to households across the country, due to a lack of finances.

“The idea of the project is to distribute devices that generate power using solar or wind energy to households, which will significantly reduce their consumption of electricity,” Qudah explained.

“We are in the process of looking for financing; once it is secured we will go ahead with the project,” he added.

Jordan has one of the highest annual daily averages of solar irradiance in the world with an estimated 330 days of sunshine per year.

The Kingdom, which annually imports over 95 per cent of its energy needs, is working on a series of renewable energy projects that will increase the contribution of local energy resources to the energy grid from the current 3 per cent to 40 per cent by 2020.