Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan has a history of environmental stewardship. She will join French President François Hollande as keynote speakers at the opening ceremony of the sixth annual World Future Energy Summit and first International Water Summit today, January 15, in Abu Dhabi. Our Tafline is there as part of the VIP media group. The event is part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW): the largest “green” gathering in the history of the Middle East, taking place January 13-17.
“It is an honor to have Her Majesty as a featured speaker,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, in a press release. “Her Majesty is an influential voice and a strong advocate for sustainable development throughout the region.”
In its inaugural summit, ADSW will address challenges facing global adoption of renewable energy, water security and sustainable development, attracting over 30,000 participants from 150 countries, representing academia, industry and government.
Queen Rania’s participation at ADSW underscores Jordan’s growing commitment to renewable energy.
In 2012, Jordan announced the Middle East’s first feed-in tariff to support production of domestic renewable energy. The policy underpins Jordan’s National Energy Strategy, which calls for 7% of its electricity to come from renewables by 2015, rising to 10% by 2020.
Last year, Petra Solar Inc., Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation, and the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan united to mobilize the first phase of the national Smart Solar Energy plan.
The pilot project, called Let It Shine, aims to jump-start a more sustainable future by encouraging diversification in the kingdom’s energy sources. Jordan imports about 97% of its energy. Presently, less than 1% of the kingdom’s energy comes from renewable sources, but the country has pledged millions of dollars more.
Let It Shine will provide for installation of Petra Solar’s SunWave Smart Solar systems on 1,000 homes in the Tafileh governate, increasing to 20,000 homes by project completion. The rooftop units, generate clean, safe renewable electricity that feeds directly into homes. The project will also implement a wireless smart grid communication network throughout Tafileh, which will render the electric infrastructure more stable and efficient.
“The program to power Tafileh homes with Smart Solar Energy will foster economic development in the governorate by creating jobs and training residents in solar and smart grid installation and technology,” said Shihab Kuran, Petra Solar president and CEO, according to The Jordan Times.
Jordan is also taking steps to address its water challenges, implementing a US$8.3 billion national strategy to sustainably manage its water resources, preserve water quality and increase water security while pursuing economic growth.
Three Jordanian companies are showcasing their energy and environmental projects at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2013, according to ConstructionWeekOnline.
ADSW for instance seeks to position the United Arab Emirates as a global hub for innovation and investment in the fields of water, energy and sustainability. Conference topics include opportunities in renewable energy, the role of water and energy in economic growth, and the interplay between energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Image of Her Majesty Queen Rania from her Facebook page