The royal vision for the energy sector expressed by His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Al Hussein through his guidance to successive governments focuses on the need to increase use of alternative energy sources such as wind energy, solar energy, and oil shale, in addition to speeding the establishment of peaceful nuclear energy projects, a mission adopted by His Majesty personally.
The target, as stated by the King is to achieve security of energy supply, to relieve pressure on the Jordanian economy and the general budget, and to counter the negative effects on the living standard of the Jordanian citizen due to the rise in oil prices globally. It also concerns the impacts of this increase on the attractiveness of the Jordanian economy to investors, especially since energy is one of the most important elements of production.Royal Advisory Committee
In January 2007, a Royal Decree was issued to form an advisory committee for the energy sector, headed by His Royal Highness Prince Hamzah Bin Al Hussein, to work on reviewing and updating the national energy strategy in the light of several changes, including the increasing rise of oil prices and the growing demand for energy. The Royal Letter set the following actions for the committee:
- Follow up progress of work in the implementation of the strategy and make proposals and recommendations
- Create a distinction award in the field of energy to help support the initiatives, scientific research and pilot projects in the energy sector
- Prepare studies and presentations of proposals to encourage the parties concerned to support investment in energy projects and programmes of traditional and renewable energy.
- Prepare periodic reports containing proposals and recommendations.
King Abdullah met with the royal committee for the energy sector on 9 December 2007. During the meeting, the national strategy for the energy sector was endorsed by the King, who stressed the need to begin implementing projects that meet the energy needs of the Kingdom and increase reliance on alternative and renewable energy sources.
His Majesty directed the government to expedite legislation necessary to implement the strategy which includes the implementation of vital projects estimated to cost between JD14 and JD18 billion over the years until 2020. To carry out the strategy recommendations, the government needs to issue laws for electricity, minerals, oil and renewable energy and the law of the Royal Jordanian Geological Survey Commission. The strategy seeks to raise dependence on local energy sources from 4 per cent as of 2007 to 25 per cent in 2015 and then to 39 per cent in 2020. The implementation of major projects related to the energy sector aims mainly to achieve security of the energy supply through: diversification of the sources and forms of imported energy; development and utilisation of traditional domestic energy and renewable sources; and the liberalisation of energy markets, including the oil derivatives market and electricity. It would create opportunities for the private sector, encourage investment in infrastructure projects for the energy sector, promote regional linkage projects, maximize the utilisation of renewable energy sources and work to improve the efficiency of energy consumption in all economic sectors.The Establishment of the Jordan Nuclear Energy Commission
Upon King Abdullah’s directives and personal interest, the Jordanian Nuclear Energy Commission was established under the Nuclear Energy Act of 2007. The Commission seeks the transfer of peaceful uses of nuclear energy to the Kingdom and their development, the establishment of investment projects to serve the national economy in the field of nuclear power, its use in generating electricity and powering water desalination, for agricultural, industrial and medical areas or any peaceful purposes and to meet the anticipated increase in demand for electricity in Jordan.
The Jordanian initiative to benefit from nuclear power for peaceful purposes and as alternative energy in generating electricity and water desalination has obtained the support of the International Atomic Energy Agency. His Majesty has confirmed that Jordan will be a model in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and will pursue its nuclear choice in harmony with the international standards and criteria relevant to uses of nuclear energy.
Jordan's interest in this area comes in view of the challenges it faces in the field of energy and its increasing demand for it, in light of the continuous rise in prices and the cost of importing it from abroad, which constitutes an additional burden on Jordan.
Upon the efforts of King Abdullah, Jordan has signed cooperation agreements for the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy with a number of countries. Jordan is currently studying the possibility of building a nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes.