By Mohammad Ghazal – Jun 30,2015 – Last updated at Jun 30,2015

AMMAN — The government announced Tuesday that it signed 13 agreements to build several wind and solar power plants with a total capacity of 317 megawatts.

The projects, expected to be operational in 2018, will boost the country’s reliance on renewable energy, Energy Minister Ibrahim Saif said in a statement sent to The Jordan Times.

According to the minister, the government is currently in discussions with several companies to reach agreements for wind-run power plants with a total capacity of 318 megawatts.

In addition, a solar project with a capacity of 75 megawatts and another wind project with a capacity of 66 megawatts are being implemented, Saif added.

Energy Ministry Spokesperson Haidar Gammaz said the projects are in line with the national energy strategy that entails increasing reliance on renewable energy.

“By 2018, electricity generated by renewable energy projects will reach about 1,000 megawatts,” Gammaz noted, adding that this volume will represent 20 per cent of the generated capacity by 2018.

The ministry is also assessing bids for more solar projects with a total capacity of 200 megawatts, while work is under way to go ahead with a project to expand the grid capacity, which will allow for more renewable energy projects, he said.

Jordan recently received a grant to do so.

According to the national energy strategy, renewable energy projects are expected to generate 1,500 megawatts of electricity by 2020.

Jordan imports about 97 per cent of its energy needs annually at about 18 per cent of the gross domestic product, according to the ministry’s figures.

The Kingdom has one of the highest annual daily averages of solar irradiance in the world with an estimated 330 days of sunshine per year, while wind speeds in the country are as high as 7.5 metres to 11.5 metres per second in hilly areas.

World Bank supporting solar energy projects in Jordan

By JT – Jun 25,2015 – Last updated at Jun 25,2015

AMMAN — The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group, is backing the development, construction and operation of four solar power projects in Jordan, adding 50 megawatts of clean, renewable energy generation capacity to the country’s grid.

The plants in Maan and Mafraq benefit from a 20-year power purchase agreement with the National Electric Power Company, according to a MIGA statement released Wednesday.

MIGA’s investment guarantees of $15.6 million cover equity investments by private-equity fund Adenium Solar Jordan for up to 20 years against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, breach of contract, and war and civil disturbance, the statement said. The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation is also supporting the projects as a lender.