Energy Minister Hala Zawati said that by 2030, 48.5 percent of the country’s electricity generation in the “Energy Sector Strategy 2020-2030” that the government agreed to and unveiled today, Tuesday, will come from local energy sources. The proportion is currently only 15 percent.
Zawati said that the kingdom will gradually reduce dependence on natural gas imported for its power plants by expanding shale oil production, including committing a multi-billion dollar project this year, along with the capacity to generate electricity from renewable sources linked to the network.
She added during the launch of the country’s energy plan that Jordan will reduce imported fuel and increase domestic energy sources as part of its efforts to achieve self-sufficiency.
Jordan currently imports more than 93 percent of its total energy supply and weighs an annual bill of 2.5 billion dinars (3.5 billion dollars), which constitutes approximately 8 percent of the kingdom’s GDP and puts pressure on its economy.
Zawati said that the private sector has invested hundreds of millions in renewable solar and wind energy projects in the past few years that will add a total capacity of 2,400 MW by the end of this year. She added that the number is expected to rise to 3,200 megawatts in 2030.
She said supply security is necessary to mitigate the negative repercussions of relying on a single source of energy in an area ravaged by years of turmoil.
She added that the suspension of natural gas supplies from Egypt in the period from 2011 to 2015, which was a gas artery on which the kingdom depended, forced Jordan to import more expensive fuel to its power plants, which added billions of dollars in debt.
The minister said that the state-owned National Petroleum Company is also planning to expand gas exploration in the Risha field near the border with Iraq, as part of efforts to exploit potential reserves.