Energy for the future. Evaluating different electricity-generation technologies against selected performance characteristics and stakeholder preferences: Insights from the case study in Jordan (MENA SELECT Policy Paper).

Release date: 2018-07

Energy transition towards a more significant share of domestically generated resources will inevitably lead to a societal transformation in Jordan, which will affect interests of existing and emerging electricity-generation industries and other stakeholders. To be sustainable, such a transition should also address issues of environmental protection and its contribution to socio-economic development. Therefore, it is necessary to develop compromise solutions to mitigate the risk that differences in views about electricity-generation technologies needed for energy transition will turn into conflicting opinions. Also, energy transition should address not only national energy security targets, but it should also integrate interests of local communities in the vicinity of future electricity-generation and transmission infrastructure.

This report is based on the assumption that human factors play an important role in energy transition. These human factors include perceptions of different risks connected with the use of certain technologies as well as views about benefits and impacts generated by different technologies. An innovative methodology was developed to address these views. This methodology allows us to assess the relevance of Jordan’s electricity-generation technologies, such as utility-scale photovoltaic (PV), concentrated solar power (CSP), onshore wind, utility-scale hydro-electric, bituminous coal, heavy fuel oil, shale oil and natural gas against a set of criteria, which reflect environmental, social and economic components of sustainable development.

The results show that stakeholders prefer utility PV technology over all other technologies. The results also show that at the time of writing, the discourse in Jordanian society is dominated by economic rationality, such as electricity costs, supported by concerns about safety during operation and maintenance of electricity-generation power plans. The results also show a strong desire of all stakeholder groups for an opportunity to engage in decision-making processes on energy transition as the alternative of being simply compensated for the installation of electricity-generation and -transmission technologies does not appeal to local communities.