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28 Jun

Reducing Social Pressures through Energy Cost-Savings and Renewable Energy Investments

How can Jordan scale up the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in line with the Jordan Response Plan and Jordan’s Economic Growth Plan? The WANA Institute, Chatham House, EDAMA, and the NRC hosted two workshops as part of the Moving Energy Initiative.

The roundtable meeting on 27 June gathered high-level stakeholders from different government entities to discuss how significant energy cost-saving methods for public and community buildings in refugee hosting areas can generate funding to improve services and reduce social pressures.

“Energy efficiency and renewable energy for schools can reduce electricity bills to zero,” Glada Lahn from the Moving Energy Initative said. “Given that Jordan faces an electricity deficit of some JOD5 billion, national implementation of such initiatives would be of long-term benefit to the Jordanian economy.”

Education and health standards would also improve with better temperature conditions in the buildings, hot water all year round, and the possibility to improve the quality of services by investing the generated savings.

Participants discussed potential long-term partnerships with the private sector and raised ideas for how donor aid or soft loans can be used to kick-start sustainable local financing for scaling up green initiatives.

The workshop on 28 June discussed the outcomes from the two Moving Energy Initiative pilot projects in Jordan. The Green Affordable Homes project conducted by the Jordan Green Buildings Council and Habitat For Humanity has retrofitted 48 low-income Jordanian family homes and built 3 new affordable green homes in Ajloun and Salt.

“There are currently 2 million Jordanians and Syrians without access to affordable housing and 1.3 million people in Jordan living in sub-standard accommodation,” Aya Rabab’ah, Programme Manager of the Jordan Green Buildings Council, said. “Retrofitting existing homes in Jordan can improve the quality of life of many families without increasing their energy bill.”

Meanwhile, Millennium Energy Industries has almost completed the solarisation of al-Mafraq Hospital’s water heating system. This is estimated to save the hospital around JOD32,000 in diesel costs per year, which can be spent on improving health care facilities.

“20,281 Syrians were treated in the Mafraq public hospital’s emergency room in 2017, compared to 27,341 Jordanians,” Hisham Mihki, General Manager of the Thermal Unit at Millennium Energy Industries, said. “The influx of Syrian refugees has resulted in a 20% increase of electricity usage in the hospital, despite the energy saving measures the Ministry of Health introduced.”

“The money we save at the hospital will be invested in improving the overall services, equipment, educational programmes and training of the medical staff,” Dr Mohammad Tahan, General Manager of al-Mafraq Public Hospital, said.

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