The Tafila Wind Farm, which takes its name from the local governorate, started commercial operations on 16 September, after 21 months of construction and testing. In the shadow of conflict or civil unrest in neighbouring Syria, Iraq and Egypt, the USD$287 million project defied regional instability just as surely as its towers stand unbent by the desert gusts.
The project’s financial backers, which include the European Union’s bank, the European Investment Bank, believe Tafila’s towers are the sentinels of a new industry that will transform the country’s economy. Jordan aims for renewable energy to contribute 10 percent of its needs by 2020. That’s vital to a country whose energy costs eat up 20 percent of its gross domestic product.