Jordan will equip farmers with solar pumps.
Under an agreements signed in June, 2017, the Jordanian Minister of Agriculture tasked the NERC (National Energy Research Centre of the Royal Scientific Society) with designing, supplying; installing, running and maintaining a solar energy system to power water pumps for the agricultural sector.
Prior to implementing the programme, the NERC carried out an energy survey and preliminary studies on photovoltaic system use. The work, performed in partnership with the Jordan Valley Authority and the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, was based on a needs and feasibility study carried out in 350 farms.
Once the results had been collected, the project entered a new phase with preparations to replace 300 inefficient water pumps with pumps fitted with solar panels: 200 in the Jordan Valley and valleys of the south and 100 on the high plateaux (Azraq, Mafraq, Madaba). Four companies will be involved in installing the equipment over a period of around eight months: Blue Stars for Green Energy BSGE, Izzat Marji Group IMG, Jordan Climate Change Consultancy Co JCCC and Mustakbal Clean Tech.
Using solar energy will reduce the water pumps’ energy consumption while at the same time encouraging farmers and farming communities to take up clean energy sources. “It will enhance awareness of better management of both energy and water,” says the NERC.
In addition, the programme will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve livelihoods in rural areas.
Some of the pumps will be connected to the Jordanian electricity grid. Using a net metering system, the farmers will thus be able to partially offset their electricity bills by reinjecting into the grid any electricity produced by the solar panels that is not used.
The project, the cost of which is estimated at €7.1M, has received financial support from the European Union as part of its REEE II programme.