EU- Jordan Networking in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
A two-day networking conference on Energy and Renewable Energy was organized within the framework of J-ERA Center (FP7 funded project) activities. The conference was hosted by the National Center for Research and Development (NCRD), under the patronage of H.E Dr Khalid El Shuraydeh, Secretary General of Higher Council for Science and Technology and Acting President of NCRD. The main goal of this event was to build partnerships and exchange ideas on renewable energy and related fields, and to develop cooperative activities in the framework of EU funding programs. The opening ceremony of the conference was well attended by participants from Europe as well as the Middle East, and included several specialists and dignitaries from both regions. H.E. Prof. Adnan Badran, Former Prime Minister of Jordan and current President of Petra University, spoke about global renewable energy facts and statistics, the top seven countries leading in this field and what we can learn from them. He mainly focused on renewable energy global growth, “Solar PVs grew the fastest of all renewables from 2006-2011,” he said and added that “The growth in Biofuels, biodiesel, Hydro, geothermal and other renewable technologies far exceeds the global average.” Prof. Badran also spoke about energy subsidies in Arab countries, mainly Jordan, and renewable energy targets, stressing that we need to “remove” the current obstacles that are preventing the transition to green energy, such as lack of investment in research and development, capacity building, and integrated policy-making. Prof. Walid Salameh, Dean of Scientific Research and Graduate Studies at Princess Sumaya University for Technology, talked about the importance of renewable energy for a country like Jordan. “The demand for energy increases with Jordan’s growing population, economic development and urbanization. Jordan’s energy needs are met almost entirely by imported oil and gas”, he said, while emphasizing that Jordan can in fact become a leading country in renewable energy research. “It is time that we realize that Jordan tops in renewable energy, in Jordan the sun always shines, and the wind always blows, there are many good reasons to depend on renewable energy sources here” The event continued until the evening of February 28th, 2013, and included four main sessions, Photovoltaics, Energy Efficiency, Biomass, and Solar Thermal. Distinguished speakers at the two-day conference include Jordanian ex-ministers and high profile members of the energy and renewable energy fields in Jordan as well as delegates from various universities and institutions from Egypt, Germany, Italy, Spain and Austria. NCRD has ambitious plans for development in renewable energy fields for the coming years, and the J-ERA Center project has proved to be a great stepping stone towards this goal.