The Race for Solar
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|Tafline Laylin||July 18th 2012|
The disruption to Jordan’s natural gas supply from Egypt has finally awoken a sleeping giant: renewable energy. Long focused on oil shale and nuclear energy instead of renewable sources, the Kingdom has recently entered negotiations with no fewer than 20 international wind and solar-energy suppliers.
These are mostly small or medium-sized firms that will provide up to 80MW each. Among them, China’s Trina Solar has expressed willingness to invest $200 million on a photovoltaic plant.
Details of the Trina solar agreement have yet to be announced. For example, it is unclear where the Chinese energy giant would install the PV plant, or how much energy it would generate.
Nonetheless, the announcement that Jordan’s Ministry of Environment has entered negotiations with a variety of clean energy suppliers demonstrates that the Kingdom is finally taking alternative energy seriously. Despite having a near ceaseless supply of solar-energy, Jordan has prioritized the development of oil-shale and nuclear energy plants to supplement Egypt’s gas supply despite enormous public opposition to nuclear.
But now that Jordan is receiving only 10 percent of its 300 million cubic feet fuel requirement from Egypt each day, adding wind and solar energy plants to the mix has taken on a new urgency. New legislation will also make it easier to bring international investors on board. Long delayed by bureaucratic hurdles, Parliament passed the Renewable Energy Law in May to fast-track renewable energy projects and offer attractive tax incentives.
Tafline Layfin writes for Green Prophet, from where this article is adapted.