By Sarah Abu Zaid – Jan 21,2021

AMMAN — The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is proceeding with plans to increase the usage of solar heater systems for water heating across the Kingdom as only 14 per cent of Jordan’s households use these systems, the government said.

Under an initiative implemented by the Jordan Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Fund (JREEF), the ministry has already provided 30,000 homes with solar heater systems for water heating around the Kingdom, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Hala Zawati told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

The ministry has also provided grants through the fund for several underprivileged families to install such systems, she added.

To increase the adoption of solar heater systems for water heating, the ministry has signed a number of agreements with local banks, associations and the civil consumer establishments to provide those wishing to install the systems with 30 per cent financial support under an initiative by the JREEF, the minister said.

 As part of the ministry’s efforts to increase reliance on renewable energy, the ministry has also been implementing a project through the Fils Alreef, which is a fee added to each kilowatt a household uses, to install electricity generating solar panels for families benefiting from the National Aid Fund, with 100 per cent financial support.

Under this programme, the ministry has installed such systems at 5,541 homes, generating 300 kilowatts of electricity per month.

By the end of the year 2020, approximately 3,000 systems were installed around the Kingdom through the fund’s programmes and projects in cooperation with donors and through banks and funding institutions, she added.

She also said that the ministry targets approximately 5,000 families per year out of total beneficiaries of the National Aid Fund.

“The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is providing full support for the installation of electricity generating solar system, which will help in the reduction of electricity bills, and is working to raise awareness about renewable energy,” she said.

Zawati added that these projects fall in line with the Energy Strategy 2020 to 2030 and the implementation of the National Energy Efficiency Plan, which aims to reduce energy consumption, increase the ratio of solar panels generating electricity and solar heaters in the household sector, improve the economic and social status of targeted households and also in reduction of carbon emissions.

Commenting on the initiatives, Omar Al Shoshan, chairman of Jordan Environmental Union told The Jordan Times that he believes the JREEF is “very helpful for underprivileged families through helping in brining social justice”.

“Around 159 public schools use solar heaters, which helps in cutting costs and in raising awareness among students,” he added.

“The 14 per cent is a good percentage, however we can still increase it, by raising more awareness among people, that using renewable energy will actually benefit them financially,” he said.