Jordan plans to grow renewables to 30% of energy mix by 2030, minister says

Amman plans to join its grid to Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Palestine

A handout photo of Four Seasons Hotel Amman in Jordan (Courtesy: Four Seasons Hotel Amman) *** Local Caption ***  wk22ja-tr-briefs-amman.jpeg
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Jordan plans to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix to 30 per cent by 2030, as it comes closer to expanding the share of solar and wind to 20 per cent of overall electricity production this year, according to the country's energy and mineral resources minister.

Energy-scarce Jordan currently is deriving 19 per cent of its power from clean resources and is only "months" away from reaching its 2020 target, Hala Zawati told the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, which is being held online this year.

"Our plans are towards 30 per cent in 2030 and remember that Jordan as a country is mainly focusing on solar and wind. And we're doing our best in order to integrate storage in the coming few years to be able to take more and more," she said.

Jordan, which imports over 94 per cent of its energy needs, is looking to become more self-sufficient by incorporating more solar and wind. Around 285MW of wind and 771MW of wind and solar power capacity was integrated into its grid in 2018. The kingdom plans to increase its overall capacity from renewables to 2.7 gigawatts by 2021.

As the country adds clean energy capacity, it also plans to deepen its interconnectivity with the regional electricity grid. Amman plans to link its grid to Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Palestine, Ms Zawati said.

Last year, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with Amman to develop a 164-kilometre electricity grid between the two countries. The two sides are undertaking a feasibility study for grid integration.

Jordan, which already shares an electricity interconnection grid with Egypt plans to add "more capacity", Ms Zawati said.

"Today we are strengthening the links to Palestine, and we're building a connection with Iraq, in order to be able to export electricity. We're also discussing with Lebanon the opportunities of passing electricity through Syria," she added.

Jordan and Iraq are already in discussions to strengthen their energy security through a 1 million bpd capacity pipeline, which connects to a new refinery in the port of Aqaba.

Baghdad has been looking for for alternative routes for the sale of its crude as well as other sources of electricity imports. It currently imports much of its electricity from Iran.

Jordan's plans to supply Lebanon will help the latter tide over a particularly difficult economic crisis. The state electricity company, EDL, does not generate enough power to meet the country's needs.

Plans to connect to other countries align with Jordan's ambitions to eventually be able to export renewable energy as it builds capacity.

"The more we are able to connect to all these grids, the more we will be able to generate renewable energy, and thus for a change, maybe sometime, we will be able to export it to neighbouring countries," said Ms Zawati.