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Sunny outlook

May 15,2017 - Last updated at May 15,2017

His Majesty King Abdullah Sunday inaugurated several solar energy projects that show the direction of the country in meeting its energy needs and its determination to depend more and more on renewable energy in the future.

The initial phase of the projects includes building the first solar thermal collector, which will extend on a 5-square-kilometre plot in Maan Development Area and will incorporate 10 plants with a generation capacity of 170MW. 

Part of the projects are 12 photovoltaic power stations that will generate 200 megawatts of electricity, and plants will also be built in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone and in Hosha, Mafraq Governorate, generating 10MW and 20MW, respectively.

Given the abundance of sun and wind, vital to generating renewable energy, the country has the potential to become a regional hub for renewable energy production.

The launch of the first round of projects is bound to increase the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix to around 8 per cent at present and to 10 per cent over the next two years.

The international community has been working on becoming more dependent on renewable energy as a basis for its sustainable development goals.

Climate change is no longer a theoretical threat to the planet, but a real danger looming on the horizon and pressing for a major shift in energy policies.

Besides, generating energy by harnessing sun or wind would be the most economical form of energy for countries blessed with abundant such sources.

Lacking sufficient sources of fossil energy may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as the country is moving effectively in the direction of exploiting its unique solar energy potential. 

As energy costs drop gradually, sustainable development becomes a reality.

The added bonus is the fact that all these projects open up much-needed job opportunities to many in the country. 

About 3,000 Jordanians have been hired so far by the above projects during the foundation. With proper training, already offered by the Renewable Energy Institute of Excellence, more youth will be prepared to obtain jobs in the field of renewable energy.

 

Clean environment, fewer unemployed youth and cheaper sources of energy — the benefits are obvious and the direction should be pursued.

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