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PV systems for the water sector: Increasing energy efficiency while combating water scarcity in Jordan
Breaking sectoral silos and promoting Water, Energy and Food Security
As demand continues to grow along with the human population, a more balanced, efficient, and sustainable use of natural resources is urgently needed. The adoption of an integrated perspective to the management of water, energy and food (WEF) has the potential to increase efficiency and develop more sustainable pathways to ensure the availability of these resources. Acknowledging this, the Nexus approach considers the interlinkages that exist among WEF sectors and proposes solutions that reduce sectoral trade-offs, increase resource efficiency, and integrate planning, management, and governance across sectors.
The Nexus approach represents a major shift from a pure sectoral ethos to solutions that embrace a cross-sectoral, coherent, and integrated perspective. Its adoption to the Jordanian scenario has the potential to address various WEF challenges faced by the country. Particularly, it can contribute to combat the rising energy costs and meet the increasing demand for natural resources, thereby ensuring WEF security in the long run.
Far reaching sectoral improvements and sustained long run benefits
Comprehensive and solid analysis is fundamental for the development and implementation of PV projects.
Enhancing energy management and efficiency not only contributes to moving faster towards renewable energy policy targets, but also reduces operating expenses, which in turns benefits more than 11 million Jordanians through decreasing Reducing operating costs by decreasing the electricity bill of the water utilities, doing so will allow water companies to use the bill difference (saved energy costs) in other areas such as network rehabilitation, new pumps and systems installation, and decrease water tariff. Such potential for securing the functioning of vital sectors for the country’s socioeconomic development while preserving natural resources has been globally recognised. Hence, the PV Roadmap has been included to World Bank's funding assigned for energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, constituting a step forward towards its escalation and dissemination.
THE NEXUS REGIONAL DIALOGUE IN MENA REGION
The Water-Energy-Food Nexus
Together with national and regional partners, the Nexus Regional Dialogue in the MENA region, co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Ministry for Development and Cooperation (BMZ), promotes the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus approach in the region to address these interdependencies and ensure the sustainable management of water, energy and food resources.
The WEF Nexus approach focuses on negotiating trade-offs, inspiring compromises and uncovering synergies to ensure water, energy and food security in the long run. It further promotes policy coherence and cooperation between all three sectors at the regional, local and global level. Since 2016, the Nexus Regional Dialogue Programme in the Middle East and North Africa Region has been working across the region to institutionalise the Water Energy Foof Nexus in public policy and planning in addition to demonstration projects that show the value-added of the WEF Nexus, capacity building activities and the identification of financing opportunities.
Knowledge building and dissemination
A preliminary study on the PV roadmap potential was prepared and provided by the EEWS project and finalized by Dorsch International in 2021. It stressed upon the importance of further verification of the data collected and to double check the site conditions before starting with the implementation of the PV roadmap.
Building on these learnings, ECOSOL’s consultation service complements the work done in the preliminary study. Through sites classification and identification of the most promising business models for PV panels implementation, the activities so far developed have been resulting in valuable lessons for future WEF Nexus interventions, in Jordan and beyond. The project has been demonstrating that funding opportunities are available, but these require detailed techno-economic feasibility study level. Likewise, targeting water facilities with high land availability and electricity consumption reduce several implementation problems, but the process of obtaining permits for renewable energy projects requires intensive follow-up.