By JT – Apr 22,2019
Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Hala Zawati on Sunday poses with representatives, experts and officials of Arab countries during a workshop on sustainably integrating renewable energy into regional power grids (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Hala Zawati on Sunday launched a pan-Arab workshop on sustainably integrating renewable energy into electrical grids.

The workshop hosted 40 experts from 10 Arab countries, including Jordan, according to a statement released by the Energy Ministry.

Zawati began the workshop with a presentation on a study tackling the readiness of renewable energy in Jordan, prepared by the International Renewable Energy Agency.

The study will be one of the tools used to evaluate the performance of renewable energy in the Kingdom and will cover the experiences, challenges and opportunities relevant to improving the sector.

“Investment in renewable energy in Jordan will exceed the $4-billion mark by 2021,” Zawati said, adding that “renewable energy will cover a fifth of the Kingdom’s electricity needs by next year”.

The minister affirmed the importance of renewable energy as a contributor to mitigating the costs of imported energy, which constituted 10 per cent of the Kingdom’s GDP last year.

In 2014, the cost of imported energy constituted 18 per cent of the GDP, the ministry statement added.

“Renewable energy is no longer a luxury and is no longer inefficient in cost. Thanks to technological development, renewable energy can compete with, and sometimes costs less than other forms of energy in a country like Jordan, which is 95 per cent dependent on imported energy,” Zawati said.

The minister pointed to a welcoming legislative environment in Jordan for investment in renewable energy. An environment which has fostered several solar and wind-powered renewable energy projects, which pump clean electricity into Jordan’s electricity grid.

Renewable energy projects currently provide a total of 1,100 megawatts of electricity, and constituted 10 per cent of Jordan’s electricity production in 2018. The statement said the ministry expects this figure to increase to 20 per cent by 2020.