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Renewable Energy in Jordan - Desalination of Brackish Water by Solar Energy. By: Salah Azzam Director of Energy Research Program. National Center for Research and Development. Introduction. 1- RE Resource Assessment. 2- Current RE Utilizations in Jordan.

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Renewable Energy in Jordan -

Desalination of Brackish Water by Solar Energy


Salah Azzam

Director of Energy Research Program

National Center for Research and Development


1-RE Resource Assessment

2- Current RE Utilizations in Jordan




key research areas of NCRD include:

I- RE Resource Assessment

Dr. Christina Class, INCOSOL 2012

Map of Global Solar Radiation over Jordan (MEMR) and Royal Geographical Center, developed by Risø in 1989 ,(W.h/m2/day)
solar exclusion map
Solar Exclusion Map

“Action Plan for high priority renewable energy initiatives in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Area” (REMAP), 2007 (REMAP

conclusions solar potential
Conclusions- solar potential
  • With all these restrictions,
  • 5% of the surface of Jordan is estimated to be suitable for developing solar plants. This figure would involve 100 GW = 250 TW.h
  • Solar generation capacity economic potential estimation has been carried out : reducing the economic potentially feasible area to 15 km to the 132 kV grid boundary. ► 1% of the surface of Jordan. This area means 20 GWof installed capacity, with an electrical production of 50,000GWh, being the current annual electrical consumption in Jordan around 12,000GWh
Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR), with cooperation with Royal Geographic Center, has provided wind resource map in Jordan at 50 m height a.g.l.:
exclusion criteria
Exclusion Criteria
  • The application of this filter allows estimating the available area around 41 % of the total surface of Jordan.
  • Distance >1000 m of a Residential areas, noise < 40 db.
  • Distance < 100 m from the axis of a regional road,
  • Distance < 200 m from the axis of highway.
  • Lakes and dams (hydrology). Water covered areas are neglected in the estimation of wind.
  • Distance less than 75 km of a line of electric transmission.
wind power exclusion map
Wind Power Exclusion Map

The application of this filter allows estimating the available area around 16 % of the total surface of Jordan. Taking into account these figures, the wind technical potential is 3.6 GW.

hydro power potential
Hydro-power Potential

1- King Talal dam spanning the river Zarqa, 5 MW.

2- Aqaba thermal power station 5 MW.

3- Khirbit Al Samra WWTP 3.5 MW

The total capacity of hydropower is 13.5 MWe, the total amount of electricity generated, in 2012, by hydro-units was 57.6 GWh.

Proposed RED-DEAD Canal : 800‑1000 MW

biogas organic waste
Biogas – Organic Waste

Summary on potential for electrical power generation in 12 Governorates from 7 substrates, 96.5MW, 273 MW th

solid biomass
Solid Biomass
  • The olive cake represents the solid biomass resources in Jordan.
  • 47203 tons of olive cake is generated every year with a rate of increase of 4.5% every year.
geothermal potential
Geothermal Potential

Most of these wells are discharging thermal water range in temperature from 30 to 62 Co. Azraq Well (Az-1) is the classic example of these wells. Azraq well is located about 2 km south west of North Azraq.

Another well of importance is Smeika -1 well which is located at 17 km north of Safawi town.

The temperature is 57°C and the total dissolved solids are about 600 ppm with high H2S smell. Several wells have been drilled during the oil exploration project by Natural Resources Authority.

ii current re utilizations

Solar Energy – Solar Water Heaters

  • 12% in 2012 according to the last survey done by Department of Statistics (DOS). The total energy output was estimated at 380 GWh yearly.

the total savings in the primary energy was 61, 218 toe.

  • Assuming 24% penetration in the year 2020, The resulting energy savings are projected to be 760 GWh, or primary energy savings of 122436 toe.
solar pv
Solar PV
  • the total installed capacity was 0.5 MW in the year 2006, and 1.6 MW in 2012. Most of these units have been installed in the remote areas of Jordan, for the purpose of lighting, water pumping systems and have the capability of producing 3.21 GWh per year. Therefore, the savings in the primary energy is equivalent to 399 toe.
  • This is expected to rise to 100 MW in the year 2020, equivalent to 182.5 GWh per year, or 45493 toe in saving primary energy.
wind energy
Wind Energy
  • Two wind farms are in operation in the Northern Part of Jordan. The first was installed in Al-Ibrahemya in 1987 with a capacity of 320 kW. The second wind farm was installed in Hofa with a capacity of 1,125 kW. In 2006, the total capacity of these two wind farms was 1.445 MW with output of 3.16 GWhper year, equivalent to 789 toe of primary energy mix).
  • It is expected that 500 MW will be available in 2020, with a capacity of 109.5 GWh. This has a potential saving of 272,957 toe of primary energy.
  • In 2006, the total installed capacity of bio-energy was about 3.5 MW in the Russaifa Biogas Plant, and Khirbit ALsamra WWTP has installed, 6.5 MW in 2011, working on digestion of waste water, a total of 10 MWe is the total installed capacity in the year 2012. Capable of producing 74.46 GWh yearly. This has a potential primary energy equivalent savings of 18561 toe. The Jordan Bio–Gas Company (owned equally by CEGCO and Greater Amman Municipality) has continued to work on the organic waste treatment at the Rusaifa waste land fill.
  • In 2007, the volume of solid and liquid waste treated, reached around 5440 tons, and the amount of electricity generated was 9,494 MWh, The plant consists of two parts, the first part seeks to restrict and use the gas emissions from the Rusaifa landfill for generating energy, and the second part handles the organic waste treatment away from the source. The waste treatment takes place via a special reactor for producing the bio–gas and organic fertilizers.
solid biomass olive cake
Solid Biomass-Olive Cake
  • 47203 tons of olive cake is generated every year with a rate of increase of 4.5% every year.
  • Used for direct firing for domestic heating, fueling boilers, and in cement industry.
  • The heat content in one kg of olive cake is equivalent to 0.46 kg of crude oil. The olive cake resources is equivalent to 21,241 t.o.eand saving 22 359 toe in primary energy.
  • The King Talal Dam has a 10 MW capacity installation, and there is a small hydropower project in Aqaba Water Company,
  • The Khirbit Assamra WWTP installed 2 small micro hydro turbines of 3.5 MW at the inlet of the plant, to utilize the kinetic energy in waste water flows from the height difference between Amman and Zarqa cities.
  • the total capacity of hydropower is 13.5 MWe with output 101 GW.h/year which is potential saving of 250.57 toe of primary energy.
  • Very small power plants could be developed in the urban water supply systems, but only for very small capacities. The only strong potential seems to be in the canal Red Sea – Dead Sea (600 MW), and in pumping storage in Al-Wehda Dam (200 MW).
  • The country has a good potential of RE resources, especially the solar energy.
  • The country has drafted policies and regulations to promote technology deployment, (e.g. the renewable energy and EE has a national priority),
  • The country has ‘Enabling Environment’ to deploy the technology like:
      • The Existence of National Plans for R&D and Innovation,
      • Adequate Human and Financial Resources,
      • The Existence of RE & EE Labs.

Solar/Wind Atlas GIS Model For Data Manipulation and Maps

  • Building Digital Solar/Wind Atlas for Jordan based on Satellite and Land Measurements for DNI (Direct Normal Irradiance), GHI (Global Horizontal Irradiance), and DHI (Diffused Horizontal Irradiance).
  • The development of new/more advanced models for assessing wind resources for wind farm development, wind turbine design, spatial planning, policy promotion, and other uses.
II- WATER Pumping Using Photovoltaic

in Remote Areas

Dr. Christina Class, INCOSOL 2012

~100 PV Installations in Jordan


10 kWp/year

112.1 kWp Water Pumping

72.5 kWp Rural Electrification

21.6 kWp Telecomm.

27.2 kWpBrackish Water Desal.

Total 236.4 kWp

Cost Items for a Diesel Pumping System
  • Land
  • Well digging
  • Well casing
  • Site preparation
  • Guard room
  • Site enclosure
  • Diesel Engine
  • Water pump
  • Water storage tank
  • Fuel storage tank
  • Installation
  • Piping
  • Inspection
  • Service
  • Fuel
  • Fuel transportation
Cost Items for a PV Pumping System
  • Land
  • Well digging
  • Well casing
  • Site preparation
  • Guard room
  • Site enclosure
  • Water storage tank
  • PV array
  • PV array foundation
  • PV array support structure
  • Cabling
  • PV array installation
  • Inverter
  • Piping
  • Submersible electric pump
  • Pump installation
  • Inspection
  • Service
  • Introduction
  • The System
  • System Sizing
  • Measurements
  • Economic Analysis
  • Conclusion


photovoltaic system sizing
Photovoltaic System Sizing
  • example: water pumping
    • altitude difference: 40 m
    • 3 m3/h during 6 working hours
    • recovery rate (RO): 60 %  30 m3/day  3.27 kWh/day
    • taking into account efficiency of the inverter, motor, pump as well as charge and discharge loos rate  required daily output
    • taking into account the efficiency of the PV cells, the daily input is 63.75 kWh/day
    • to retrieve the size of the PV array, we assume a solar radiation of 5.5 m2 / day
    • using the PV array size and panel area, maximum power delivered into load and a safety factor, we calculate the peak power of the PV generator
economic analysis
Economic Analysis
  • PV System
    • capital investment and personnel costs
    • battery exchange every 7 years
    • inverter and charge controller exchange after 7 and 10 years resp

 2.33 JD / m3

  • Diesel system
    • capital investment and personnel costs
    • generator replacement after 5 years
    • filter exchange after 200 working hours
    • lubrication oil exchange 15 x per year
    • overhaul costs
    • Diesel incl transportation

 4.60 JD / m3

  • successful installation of a PV system for RO desalination of brackish water in the Jordan valley
  • has been running for 16 months
  • data collection started and will enable further research
  • economically very feasible approach but high initial investment costs