Honors Theses

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Vivian Ibrahim

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

As the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan continues to host the third largest Syrian refugee population in the world, the state’s infrastructure and its people are taking a toll. Before the war in Syria began, Jordan was already suffering from a weak economy, resource scarcity, and an enormous population boom. Since accepting nearly 2.5 million refugees, these issues have compounded year after year—nearly reaching a breaking point. I propose an unconventional solution to some aspects of the refugee crisis: renewable energy. Renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels, consume less water in electricity generation, emit fewer greenhouse gases, and promote job creation and diversification. Better yet, Jordan has enormous potential for renewable energy, especially in solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind. In this study, I evaluate Jordan’s readiness to implement renewable energy, analyze a case study of the Za’atari refugee camp (which recently transitioned to running entirely on solar energy), and make basic projections on potential job creation and water conservation by switching from coal and natural gas to PV and wind. I find that Jordan has successfully paved the way for jumpstarting its renewable sector, Za’atari has benefitted from solar energy, and the outlook for job creation is good, and water conservation even better. There are also some smaller, indirect positive impacts that renewable energy can have on combating the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan.

Comments

A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the Croft Institute for International Studies and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

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