As of 2021, Jordan's average electricity consumption per person sits at 225 watts, considerably below the global average of 412 watts per person. Fossil energy, primarily in the form of gas, significantly outweighs low-carbon electricity, with an average of 171 and 55 watts per person respectively. The country's dependence on fossil energy stands at an overwhelming 76%, whereas its utilization of low-carbon energy sources falls shy at a mere 23%. Such low levels of electricity generation may limit the nation's capacity to establish an energy-intensive industrial sector, which speaks volumes about its economic development capabilities. In addition, its significant reliance on fossil sources can potentially lead to heavy air pollution and intensify the country's contribution to global climate change. Lastly, the country doesn't even manage to generate all of that on its own, as almost 0.6% of its electric power is imported.
Jordan could boost its low-carbon electricity generation by leveraging its high solar potential, expanding existing solar power facilities. The country can take a leaf from the playbook of Denmark and Sweden, each generating around 360 watts per person merely from wind energy. Additionally, although Jordan is a dry country with limited wind energy potential, countries such as the United Arab Emirates, with similar climatic characteristics, demonstrate the possibility of harnessing nuclear energy as well, with a generation of 129 watts per person. Emulating these successful approaches and harnessing nuclear energy as a low-carbon electricity source could be a game-changer for Jordan, equipping the nation with clean, sustainable, and futuristic power generation capabilities.
As far as historical data is concerned, Jordan's track record of low-carbon electricity generation reveals a slow yet persistent push towards clean energy, primarily driven by wind and solar power. Prior to 2015, the country’s attempts at low-carbon electricity were limited to minimal efforts in hydro power that yielded virtually no results. However, a marked shift occurred around 2015, as electricity generation from solar and wind energy started seeing the light of day, albeit on a very small scale. In the subsequent years between 2015 and 2021, solar and wind energy continued to make gains, with solar energy showing an upward trend, albeit at a slow pace. Despite these efforts, the continuous growth of the low-carbon sector remains challenged due to Jordan’s harsh climatic conditions and the need for significant investments, leading to its desultory push towards sustainable electricity generation.