According to the Walla news, Jordan, Israel, as well as the UAE (United Arab Emirates) are scheduled to sign an agreement next week in which a solar facility in Jordanian desert is going to generate power for Israel in exchange for Jordan receiving water from an Israeli desalination plant. The accord, which was sponsored by the UAE and the United States, is due to be inked in Dubai on Monday after months of covert negotiations between the two countries.
As per Axios, the nations were supposed to sign the deal two weeks ago at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, but Naftali Bennett, Israeli Prime Minister pushed it back until after the country’s much-anticipated budget vote. The talks, which were supported by the treaties that normalized relations between Israel and the UAE, were claimed to have been facilitated by United States climate envoy John Kerry.
Kerry is slated to sign the agreement alongside Mohammed al-Najjar, Jordanian Water Minister, Karine Elharrar, Israeli Energy Minister, and the Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, UAE’s special envoy on the climate change. According to Axios, the transaction will be one of Israel’s largest-ever ventures with one of its neighbors.
Masdar, an Emirati state-owned business, will build a solar plant in Jordan’s remote desert as part of the proposal. By 2030, it is estimated to produce 2% of Israel’s electricity if fully operational. Israel will pay the Jordanian government as well as the Emirati business $180 million per year. According to a source quoted by Haaretz, the solar farm’s power will exclusively be used in Israel. The agreement ties the power deal to prospective Jordanian water purchases. Jordan plans to treble the quantity of water it purchases from Israel, either via a new desalination facility or existing facilities, according to the report.
Under the previous Israeli Prime Minister by the name of Benjamin Netanyahu, relations between Israel and Jordan, which signed a peace deal in 1994, deteriorated. Since his demise, Israel’s new government has made advances to Jordan. Bennett as well as Jordan’s King Abdullah II gathered covertly in Amman earlier this summer, in what looked to be the first meeting between the two countries’ leaders in almost three years.
The UAE launched ‘Energy Strategy 2050’ in 2017, which is regarded as the country’s first comprehensive energy strategy based on demand and supply. The strategy intends to boost clean energy’s share of the overall energy mix from 25% to 50% by 2050 and to lower the carbon emissions of power generation by 70%, saving AED 700 billion in the process. Additionally, it aims to boost individual and corporate consumption efficiency by 40%.