Jordan’s National Electric Power Company (Nepco) has unveiled plans to develop a 20MW photovoltaic solar project.

Pointing to the country’s heavy reliance on neighbouring countries for its energy needs, Energy Minister Khaled Irani says the project will assist Jordan in becoming more self-sufficient.

According to Nepco figures, Jordan imported 69 per cent of its energy in 2008. In 2009, energy expenditure accounted for 39 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Jordan’s medium-term plan is to bring 100MW in solar power capacity online together with 600MW in wind power capacity.

Jordan has a significant pipeline of wind farm developments including a project at Kamshah and another at a site in Fujeij.

The government recently enacted a renewable energy law that allows it to engage in direct negotiations with developers without the need to enter into a bidding process.

According to Irani, this decision was taken to fast-track renewable energy projects to meet the country’s renewable energy target.

Already, the government has received proposal from several developers such as Germany’s Mena Cleantech, which recently approached the government with plans to develop a thermal solar project (MEED 15:1:10).