JORDANIAN BUSINESS LIKES SOLAR
Is the solar energy industry reaching its long-dreamt-of economies of scale, the volumes of production capacity at which prices fall to competitive levels?
Elias Hosh, general manager of Jordan’s PMC Chocolates, seems to think so: "When we made our decision to install solar heating a year ago, the projected payback period was two years. But with current prices, the payback period was reduced to a year…"
The significance of PMC Chocolates’ experience? Cost and benefit are what get a businessman’s attention and drive his decision-making.
Hosh: "It is important to save the environment, but now the private sector is realising that it actually saves money as well, and that's the bottom line…"
Solar energy is cutting cost, bringing benefit, getting attention and winning favor in Jordan. Demand has reportedly grown by a factor of ten.
OK, here it comes. Already guessed what? The Jordanian government recently created policy supporting the development of solar, exempting it from a 23% customs duty and a 16% sales tax.
A renewable energy fund is expected to be enacted in the upcoming session of Parliament.
Malik Kabiriti, President, National Energy Research Centre (NERC): "This fund will push the application of solar energy even farther and help support the private sector to make the transition…"
Oil-rich Gulf countries are aggressively investing in Jordan’s fledgling solar energy industry.
Jordan’s National Energy Research Centre (NERC) says the Kingdom’s solar potential could increase electricity generation 23,000 times over. With an energy resource like that, a country could run a lot of computers, do a lot of electronic trading, convey a lot of electronic information and – in short – become a pretty sophisticated place.
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Jordan – Businessmen saving money by shifting to solar energy
24 August 2008 (Jordan Times via MENAFN)
The Kingdom of Jordan (His Majesty King Abdullah, benevolent ruler); (Elias Hosh, general manager, PMC Chocolates; Jordache; Millennium Energy Industries (MEI) (Ayman Maaitah, CEO); National Energy Research Centre (NERC) (Malik Kabiriti, President); Jordan Chamber of Industry
- Spurred by supportive new policy, Jordan is developing its solar energy industry and is on track to meet ambitious National Energy Strategy goals.
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- Jordan’s 2020 goals: 50% of Jordanians have solar water heaters, 10% of Jordanian electricity from solar energy.
- PMC Chocolates in Jordan installed its solar system and it expects to be saving 85% of previous energy costs by 2009.
- A draft law establishing the renewable energy fund is expected to pass in the upcoming Parliamentary session.
MEI is based in the UAE.
- The Jordache Textile Factory gets 250,000 litres/day of water heated by solar energy to 60 degrees C.
- MEI has contracts for industrial projects in Jordan for 2008 thru 2011.
- Biggest solar energy applications in Jordan: (1) hot water supply, (2) heat processing and steam production, (3) electricity generation.
- Kabiriti attributes the impetus for the new policy to Abdullah’s leadership.
- The Chamber of Industry is working to stimulate uptake and while keeping inferior products and unqualified installers out of the market.
- Jordan’s renewable energy fund will be an independent body with a board made up of private and public sector officials. It will have a budget provided by donor countries and will be coordinated by the Ministry of Planning.
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- Ayman Maaitah, CEO, MEI: "The demand from the private sector is there and it is increasing…"
- Ayman Maaitah, CEO, MEI: "It may seem strange, but those with the cheapest oil prices are now leading the region, and possibly the world, in solar energy investment…"
- Malik Kabiriti, President, NERC: "Higher oil prices and the customs exemptions have accelerated the quest for solar energy suppliers, and installers can hardly meet demand…"