AMMAN — Deputising for Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, Energy Minister Hala Zawati on Tuesday inaugurated the sixth international and fifth Arab forum on renewable energy to review the developments of the sector, which is expected to amass $500 billion worth of investments by 2040.

Since 2014, Jordan has developed a legislative environment that has facilitated the creation of renewable wind and solar energy projects, providing “clean electricity” to the national grid at a current capacity of 1,200 megawatts, Zawati said at the inauguration, noting that this figure constituted 12 per cent of electricity generated in the Kingdom in 2018, according to a statement from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

Clean energy sources are expected to contribute 20 per cent of Jordan’s electricity needs by 2022, compared with 1 per cent in 2014, according to Zawati.

The value of renewable energy investments has exceeded the $4 billion mark, the minister added.

The ministry is preparing a “long-term strategy” for the energy sector to last up to the year 2030, Zawati said, pointing to the ministry’s vision for the year 2050, which is to be shared with institutions from the private and public sectors.

The strategy boasts four key pillars, which include reducing the import of energy, boosting reliance on locally produced renewable energy, achieving energy security and diversifying its sources as well as slashing energy costs, Zawati said.

The minister highlighted Jordan’s efforts, through cooperation with neighbouring countries, towards enhancing the connection between the Kingdom’s grid and those of stakeholder nations, allowing for the exchange of energy, especially renewable energy, according to the statement.

In 2018, Jordan ranked first among MENA countries and third internationally in terms of renewable and clean energy market growth, taking into account the presence of the necessary policies and the value of investments within the field, Zawati said, citing BloombergNEF’s Climatescope 2018 report.

“Making the most of renewable energy resources and reducing development and production costs requires more cooperation on the local, regional and international levels,” Zawati noted, pointing to the necessity of “attractive” funding sources that take into account the relatively high investment costs attached to specific technologies, the ministry statement said.