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Opportunity to invest in wind energy in Jordan is more promising now

Jun 15, 2007 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - Kahlid Neimat Jordan Times, Amman

The opportunity to invest in wind energy in the Kingdom is more promising now than before, the World Bank said in a statement issued on its website this past week.

As such, the bank said it would provide the government with a new loan of $92.6 million to implement a renewable energy project. The objective of this project is to "create wind energy market in the Kingdom", the bank added.

The Global Environment Fund (GEF) would support the project with $6.35million, according to the bank. The fund was established in 1990 to provide financing and management support to companies that contribute to environmental quality, efficient use of energy, human health and the sustainable management of natural resources.

The statement explained that the project constitutes four aspects. "Development" is based on a preliminary feasibility study showing that "such a project now has a promising opportunity".

According to the statement, the project should be implemented on the build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.

However, in the next stage, the project would need support from the government to take off successfully. It would not be commercially feasible, the statement indicated.

To overcome this difficulty, the bank encourages the government to utilise the renewable energy fund in order to support the wind-energy project in the Kingdom, as a another option rather than increasing the tariff.

"Technical help" would overcome the obstacles confronting Jordan's wind-energy project, the statement said. Such barriers would include the inappropriate tariff, low institutional capabilities and lacking information on wind-energy sources, beside the high risk in financing such projects.

Hence, the bank calls on the government to develop a legal framework. It would work on encouraging academic institutions to focus more on renewable energy in general and on the wind energy in particular.

The bank also aims to increase the renewable energy contribution in the nation's energy portfolio. This project would partially achieve the government's goal of making the renewable energy share in the country's energy portfolio hit 3 per cent in the year 2015.