Jordan’s growing economy has been hobbled by the fact that it currently imports 95 per cent of its energy needs.
During the “Energy Security in the Middle East and the Gulf Region” seminar held in the capital Amman earlier this week, a number of analysts stated that the country could benefit by shifting its resources to embrace the renewable energy sector.
Ahmad Azzam, heading a World Bank-financed study estimating potential renewable energy sources and their costs for Jordan told attendees that Jordan’s theoretical potential to benefit from wind and solar energy surpasses that of the U.S., Britain, France, China and Russia combined, quipping, “So if we utilise our renewable energy resources, we may be able to secure a permanent seat in the UN Security Council,” the Jordan Times reported.
Energy Charter Secretariat senior expert Patrice Dreiski commented that Middle Eastern nations are “the most promising” in the field of renewable energy, emphasising in particular solar power as a significant resource and “potential for cooperation,” observing, “Sunshine is abundant in Jordan. It offers great prospects as a resource that can be exploited.”
The seminar was organised by the Arab Institute for Security Studies, in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and the Energy Research Program. KAS Resident Representative Martin Beck said that the purpose of the two-day forum was to survey regional examined energy problems from the region’s “point of view,” away from Western interests and influence.