Keynote Speaker: Prof. Ahmed Al Salaymeh
He is a professor in Mechanical Engineering. Director and founder of the Renewable Energy Master Program at the University of Jordan. Dean for the National University College of Technology (NUCT). Also, the director and founder of Environmental Technology and Climate Change Master Program at the University of Jordan. Ex-Director of Water, Energy and Environment Center at the University of Jordan. Also, Ex-Director of Energy Center at the University of Jordan. A former chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Jordan. A consultant and Expert in the design and selection of a Photovoltaic systems and the instructor of PV course for the master program at the University of Jordan.
He received his Ph.D. degree from Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany in 2001. He organized and participated in many workshops, seminars and conferences in the field of Energy, Renewable Energy and Green building. He is also an expert in the Field of Energy Regulation. He is Certified Energy Manager CEM, and Certified Carbon Reduction Manager CRM. He is the local coordinator for Tempus project on the establishment of Master program on sustainability and the renewable energy and the grant holder for tempus project establishment of a master program in environmental engineering and climate change, in addition to other 4 tempus projects. Also, He is a coordinator of Erasmus + project in the field of capacity building of higher education entitled “Modernization of teaching methodologies in higher education: EU experience for Jordan and Palestinian territory / METHODS”. Also, he is the contact person for 6 Erasmus+ projects at UJ. He is very well-known in the EU project management, Vocational Training Diploma on Electrical and Hybrid Vehicles / ECOCAR, Development of Interdisciplinary training program on Art Therapy in Higher Educational / HEALING Development of
Environmental engineering courses and injection of climate change concept for undergraduate curriculum: EU experience for Jordan and Syria / EGREEN, and Enhancing ICT Competencies of Early Childhood Educators at HEIs in MENA Countries /ICT4EDU
Smart Meters Rollout in Jordan: Opportunities, Challenges, and Recommendations.
The increasing economic challenges, growing population, and rising living standards have made energy security a top priority for governments across the world. For a country like Jordan that suffers from the scarcity of natural resources amid regional instability and conflicts, energy security becomes increasingly challenging.
Securing sustainable energy supply and ensuring optimum utilization of natural resources are among the main challenges addressed in the Energy Sector Strategy (ESS) for 2020-2030. In fact, the ESS aims to increase the contribution of local energy sources to electricity generation to become 48.5% in 2030 as opposed to 15% in 2019. The main local contributors are renewable energy sources and oil shales, and their contribution is expected to reach 31% and 15% respectively by 2030.
Given the increasing domestic demand for energy at a steady pace, the Kingdom imports around 89% of its energy supply, prompting the goal of providing reliable and affordable electricity from locally available resources such as renewable energy sources. Since energy security has social, political, economic, and environmental implications, the consumption patterns need to be addressed while taking into account price distortions and socio-economic implications.
Jordan suffers from a costly energy bill, especially after the Gulf War (2003), making energy costs account for around 20% of Jordan’s GDP. During the Arab Uprisings, the Egyptian-Jordanian gas pipeline was sabotaged and subject to explosions more than 10 times, causing interruptions to the natural gas flow that supplies more than 80% of the electricity thermal power plants, eventually leading to economic losses worth more than USD 7 billion. NEPCO is also still suffering from the repercussions of this huge loss and the resulting debt.
Because of the costly energy bill, the Jordanian government had to lift the fuel subsidy and raise fuel and electricity prices, but prompting the government, at the same time, to find alternative local energy sources such as solar and wind energy. In 2012, the government enacted the
Renewable Energy Law, which increased the deployment of renewable energy (RE) in electricity generation, eventually reaching 20% in 2021.
As a result, the main problem is the high cost of electricity bill in Jordan with a fixed tariff (not linked to the time of use). This urges the need to adopt a dynamic tariff that would transform energy consumption, leading to reduced demand in peak times, better management of distribution networks, and cutting operational costs.
A full transition towards smart meters in Jordan is a key pillar to achieve a compatible smart grid system, which is the best-recommended solution to sustain energy security in Jordan. It will also foster a flat demand curve, which will impact the economy mainly by reducing the cost of power generation.
Smart meters would potentially bring about several benefits to consumers, most importantly reducing the energy bill due to less consumption that is stimulated by improved monitoring of usage. In addition to the efficiency of this system and the enhanced provision of information to consumers, it will also reduce the operational running costs borne by electricity distribution companies such as eliminating the need for site visits to read meters.
This policy paper aims to answer an overarching research question, which is: how can the transition into smart meters in Jordan contribute to achieving the following: economic wellbeing and development; reducing costs; adopting a dynamic tariff system; deploying smart grids; increasing the share of renewable energy; managing the distribution networks more effectively; and ensuring sustainable energy security? Accordingly, the paper will focus on identifying the main challenges, opportunities, and recommendations of this transition.
Until date, much of the debate about the rollout progress has focused on technical issues, albeit there are several socio-economic issues that could potentially either help or hinder the rollout. To accelerate the deployment of smart meters, it is vital to place greater attention to these aspects. This paper, therefore, is highlighting the main opportunities, challenges, and recommendations of the smart meters transition in Jordan, while considering the following key areas:
1. Proposed tariff for the rollout of smart meters
2. Promoting energy saving with the use of smart meters
3. Economic development, cost-effectiveness, and the lifecycle of smart meters