By Maram Kayed – Dec 10,2018

AMMAN — Energy sector stakeholders have recently gathered in Amman for an Arab Renewable Energy Commission (AREC) conference to discuss the future of the sector, electric cars and smart cities in Jordan.

During the conference, titled the “Fifth International Forum on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency”, participants discussed “the fourth generation of energy and artificial intelligence”.

“Renewable energy is the focus of the whole Arab world now,” Mohamed Al Taani, secretary general of AREC, told The Jordan Times on Saturday.

The commission aims to achieve what they call “a human renaissance based on renewable energy technology”.

Taani pointed out that 80 per cent of power produced in Jordan comes from benzene and other fossil fuels, almost all of which Jordan imports, resulting in “added taxes and costs that could be removed if we were to rely on electricity”, he said.

Turning towards electricity as an alternative energy source was not only a favourable move in Jordan, but in the whole Arab region, with representatives from Bahrain, Algeria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait backing AREC’s plan.

The conference hoped to help Jordan achieve several goals, such as reaching an energy sustainability rate of 30 per cent and increasing energy efficiency by 30 per cent.

It also concluded that electric cars should make up 40 per cent of all vehicles on the road, and that “smart city” characteristics such as recycling rates should stand at 40 per cent.

The plan, although not defined by a clear timeline, was described by Taani as “an achievable, realistic goal”.

When it comes to smart cities, the secretary general said that an increase in recycling needed time to achieve, but electric cars had already been introduced to Jordan, the number of which stands at around 7,000.

In a report made available to The Jordan Times, participants at the event expressed their admiration for Jordan’s progress in the renewable energy sector, calling it “a gateway to investment in the region”.