Whilst the Middle East may be known worldwide for its oil, many nations are now starting to look to renewables for a sustainable source of energy. Jordan, which ironically made headlines for its peaceful nuclear plans, was recently granted € 71 million from the European Commission to assist the development of renewable energy, education and knowledge-sharing programmes. A report on the state of Lebanon’s energy sector also noted that renewable energy was vital to the country’s future development.
Jordan relies heavily on foreign imports for its energy and is attempting to wean its self from this dependence by expanding its nuclear energy and also developing renewables energy projects. The money from the European Commission is intended to help Jordan achieve its energy saving targets of 20 percent by 2020 and support renewable energy. The remaining € 23 million will be used to train teachers and develop the education sector as well as encouraging knowledge and skill sharing programmes between Jordan and its member states.
In Lebanon, a comprehensive report by Blominvest has exposed the challenges facing the electricity sector and noted that the reliance on oil instead of natural gas and renewable energy sources is hindering the development of the sector. Issues with blackouts and the fact that the five-year plan by the Ministry of Energy and Water doesn’t assign any government funding for renewable energy schemes were also highlighted.
The report went to reiterate the importance of renewable energy and states: “Developing renewable energy power production to promote new non-fossil fuels for electricity generation, such as solar, is of utmost importance for Lebanon and stands as the ultimate solution for the country to become self sufficient and meet the existing and growing electricity demand at an economical operating cost, through alternative options such as thermal power plants, wind farms, and photovoltaic.” (emphasis added)
: Image via Hakan Dahlstrom/Flickr.
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