By Mohammad Ghazal – Sep 06,2017

AMMAN — Jordan currently produces around 500 megawatts of electricity from solar and wind energy projects, and the volume is expected to increase by around five times by 2020, according to Abdel Fattah Daradkeh, director general of the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO).

Several solar and wind energy projects in various parts of Jordan are currently operational and connected to the grid with a capacity of 500 megawatts, the official said at a recent event held by EDAMA Association on renewable energy in Jordan.

“Several projects will be announced in the near future and work is under way on several others as we are keen on optimally utilising renewable energy,” he said during the event.

The Kingdom has one of the highest annual daily average 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, according to environmentalists.

By 2020, solar and wind energy projects will be operational and connected to the grid with a total capacity of 2,400 megawatts, Daradkeh added.

According to the official, there has also been an increase over the past few years in the number of installations of solar systems to generate electricity at facilities, which led to a decrease in the number of subscribers with electricity companies.

Daradkeh added that around 3,800 megawatts of electricity are generated by conventional energy resources.

The figure will increase to 4,300 megawatts by 2018, with the expansion of some power plants and the start of operations of a 470 megawatts oil-shale fuelled power plant, he added.

Work is under way to expand the capacity of the grid as more electricity will be generated from these plants, he said during the event, where discussions focused on challenges and opportunities in the field.