Jordan has a total population of 9.7 million. In recent years, the nation has faced fiscal deficits and debt crisis. By the end of 2017, Jordan’s debt accounted for roughly 68% of its GDP, going up 30% compared to 2016. Meanwhile, Jordan’s economy experienced sluggish growth due to rising prices of consumer goods. The GDP growth rate was only 1.97% in 2017, dropping by 0.034% compared to 2016. S&P and Moody’s, the world renowned credit rating agencies, assigned Jordan a credit rating of B+ and B respectively, indicating a stable future outlook.
Jordan has abundant sunlight, with average daily radiation reaching 4-7kWh/m2. Across the whole country, southern region has the strongest solar radiation, reaching 6-7kWh/m2. In northern, central, and western Jordan, the solar radiation is around 4.5-5.5kWh/m2.
Limited by geographical factors, Jordan has insufficient natural resources. Over 97% of the energies rely on imports. Therefore, the nation has made efforts to wean itself off its dependency in pursuit of energy independence.
The National Energy Strategy Plan, implemented for 2005-2020, aims to source 10% of electricity from renewable energy by 2020. Targeting mainly solar and wind power, the Jordanian government expects each project to achieve an installation of 800MW, which will be able to satisfy 20% of the nation’s energy demand.
The Jordanian government has launched three rounds of auction with a total installed capacity of 533MW. The first and second auctions have been completed, achieving a combined installation of 403MW. Projects of the first round had completed grid connection in the first quarter of 2016. Projects of the second round have to complete installation by mid-2018. For the 150-MW Round 3 auction, winning bidders have yet to be announced.
Net-Metering is applicable for projects with a scale smaller than 5MW. Aside from self-consumption, small producers are allowed to sell their surplus electricity to certified power companies at the retail rate.
Wheeling allows off-site projects to connect to the grid, which can offset the energy consumption bill.
Direct Proposal Scheme targets projects with a scale of over 5MW. It allows individuals and enterprises to submit renewable energy project proposals directly to the Bureau of Energy or other commissioned office. The applicant is required to provide a project description and buy-back plan. Once the proposal is approved, the applicant can proceed with the project.
As Round 2 projects’ deadline for completing grid-connection was mid-2018, installation demand was less urgent, resulting in fewer newly-added installation in 2017 compared to that in 2016.
By 2017, Jordan’s cumulative installation has reached 395.5MW. The newly-added installation in 2016 was 280MW. Compared to 2015, the significant installation growth in 2016 was mainly driven by the grid-connected capacity from the first round of auction and the net metering policy.
According to PV InfoLink’s Chinese customs database, China’s total module exports to Jordan stood at 364MW in 2018. Judging from the 2017-2018 export volume, Q1 and Q3 are the peak season, while Q2 is the low season.
Multi module is currently the mainstream product for Jordan, representing 66% of total export while mono module took up 34%. Other types of modules accounted for less than 0.5% of the total export.
Affected by the geographical location as well as the lack of natural resources, Jordan endeavours to promote energy development to become an energy-independent country. Stimulated by policies, Jordan’s PV demand has increased substantially in recent years.
As 2020 is the deadline for the policy, the Jordanian government is likely to release new policies before 2020. By then, demand is expected to increase again.
However, the debt crisis and economic downturn facing Jordan in recent years has also put the nation’s PV development in uncertainty.
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