Energy Sector

Jordan is increasingly looking within to achieve its energy security, by promoting and increasing investments in the renewable energy field.

Subsequently, the government has implemented policies, laws and programs to diversify the energy sources available. This step will not only reduce Jordan’s high energy costs, but will also make affordable energy solutions more readily available to local sectors, allowing them to continue to thrive in line with the recently-unveiled Jordan Economic Growth Plan (2018 – 2022).

With few oil, gas and coal resources, Jordan has had to depend on foreign energy sources, primarily oil and natural gas from neighboring Middle Eastern countries. To bring down its high energy bill, Jordan has invested heavily in local energy sources.

Oil Shale

Oil shale represents a significant potential resource for Jordan, as it underlies more than 60 percent of Jordanian territory, with total deposits estimated at 70 billion tons. There are around 26 known oil shale deposits, the eight most important of which are located in west-central Jordan. In this field, the Atarat Oil Shale-Fired Power Plant is expected to be complete at the Attarat um Ghudran oil shale deposit in central Jordan by 2020, making it the first oil shale-fired power plant in Jordan and the second-largest plant of its kind in the world.

 Nuclear Power

To counter the challenges demonstrated by the growing need for electricity in Jordan, the country invested in a nuclear power program to generate energy in a safe, reliable and economically proven way. In 2015, Jordan signed a USD 10 billion agreement with Russia’s state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom to build the country’s first nuclear power plant, with two reactors at a total capacity of 2,000 megawatts.

Renewable Energy Sources

Under Jordan’s National Energy Strategy, renewable energy is a priority. Over the years, the country has fostered numerous public-private partnerships to establish projects that will help diversify the energy mix and reduce its costs. Investments in Jordan’s renewable energy sector have exceeded USD 1.4 billion, prompting the country to achieve its desired goal of supporting renewable energy sources in the total energy mix by 10 percent by 2020.

Encouraging business in this field, Jordan has exempted the systems and equipment of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency from all customs duties and sales tax. As more companies operate in the clean technology and renewable energy field, Jordan can emerge as a regional hub for clean technologies, curtailing energy spending while generating hundreds of job opportunities.

  • Wind

The first project of its kind in Jordan and the Middle East, the Tafila Wind Farm is a 117-megawatt project producing 400-gigawatt hours per year. In 2016, the 86 megawatt Maan wind project was inaugurated with an expectation to generate 200-gigawatt hours per year. In 2017, construction of the 89.1 megawatts Jordan Fujeij Wind Farm began, and it is set to be commercially operational in 2018.

  • Solar

Located within the world’s solar belt, Jordan enjoys one of highest global radiation values, with more than 300 sunny days a year. Small-scale installations of renewable energy systems have long been used in Jordan as a means of reducing electricity bills. Nearly 15 percent of all households are equipped with solar water heating systems with plans to increase this rate to 30 percent by 2020. Additionally, there are plans to install photovoltaic solar systems for power generation at over 6,000 mosques across Jordan. Jordan has also taken tangible steps to promote solar-powered vehicles, inaugurating its first solar-powered charging station for electric cars at El Hassan Science City in February 2012.

The largest privately owned solar photovoltaic power plant in Jordan and the Middle East, Shams Ma’an Power Generation has a capacity of 52.5 megawatts and can produce 160 gigawatts hours per year, accounting for approximately 1 percent of Jordan’s total power generation capacity.

  • Biogas

Established in 1998 through a project supported by the United Nations Development Programme, Jordan Biogas Company (JBC) is the first of its kind in the region. It produces electrical energy while protecting the environment by reducing the quantity of pollutants in landfills. JBC is seen as a model for clean development mechanism (CDM) in the developing world and has been registered in the CDM agreements of the Kyoto Protocol.

Another key area that Jordan is focusing on is energy efficiency, establishing the Jordan Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund, which aims to provide and facilitate the funding necessary for the exploitation of renewable energy sources and the rationalization of energy consumption across the public and private sectors.