Jordan: Effective funding schemes for small-scale PV

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The Kingdom of Jordan’s Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Fund (JREEEF) is paving the way for innovative funding schemes, by making clean technologies affordable and accessible for all.

So far, it has deployed JOD 50 million (US$70 million), which not only accelerates renewable energy implementation processes, but also creates permanent job opportunities, mainly within contracting companies, which construct and maintain the projects.

Bottom-up approach

Household end users are encouraged to install small PV systems, where the fund grants 30% of their costs, and provides subsidized loans to cover the remaining part in cooperation with many local banks.

Here, JREEEF has facilitated 188 local NGOs and civil society groups to reach out to citizens. The idea is to make the installation and use of these systems, which are designed and constructed by pre-approved contractors and suppliers, an easy and simple process.

In addition to its focus on the household sector, JREEEF supports projects in a variety of other energy sectors. The fund’s programs, for example, target factories and hotels where they assist in auditing and conducting feasibility studies to identify the best alternatives to reduce energy consumption.

In another project last month, it allocated a special fund for the agriculture sector in cooperation with the Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture, where over 200 farmers will be able to access PV technology used for water pumping applications. Financial support will be coupled with technical assistance to help agricultural facilities and farmers to switch from conventional to solar energy.

Funding sources

Apart from the funding that JREEEF receives from the Jordanian government, it has many partnerships with international Development Financial Institutes (DFIs). Just a year after its commencement, for instance, JREEEF obtained two multimillion dollar grants from The Canadian International Development Agency and the European Union.

CEO Rasmi Hamzeh told pv magazine that the fund is in the process of receiving accreditation from the Green Climate Fund, which will help to boost activities even more.

From solar schools to green municipalities

JREEEF is currently targeting schools in the coldest areas of Jordan, helping to provide better insulation and lighting in addition to PV systems and solar heaters. Currently, 138 schools have benefited from JREEEF’s support with a total funding of JOD 10 million.

These projects improve learning environments and allow public schools to save significantly on their energy bills. Continuing one of its most successful programs, JREEEF has also supported 430 mosques and churches around the kingdom by installing small-scale PV systems covering their electricity requirements.

In 2019, JREEEF is planning to start a new campaign supporting 100 municipalities in Jordan by installing 20 KW rooftop PV systems in each. This campaign will concern energy efficiency measures to lower energy consumption.

What is JREEEF

JREEEF is the outcome of the 2012 Renewable Energy Law in Jordan. It came into effect in 2015 as a legitimate institution with the main goal of funding renewable energy and energy efficiency small-scale projects. It approaches all relative stakeholders, including utilities, financial institutions and most importantly civil society organizations and associations.

By Amjad Khashman, Masters candidate in Energy Economics and specialized in renewable energy in the MENA region, with technical background