Vegetables grow in the desert in Aqaba, Jordan, at a recently opened station as part of the Sahara Forest project. The sun, saltwater, and carbon dioxide are used to grow food and produce clean energy and freshwater. The new 3-hectare plant will be able to grow about 130 tons of vegetables a year and produce more than 11 liters of water a day, InHabitat states.
The main ones for the Sahara Forest project are the technologies of cooling greenhouses with saltwater, concentrated solar energy, and the practice of plant reclamation in the desert. They will open the way for larger facilities at the station in Aqaba, which already boasts a flowering greenhouse. The station occupies an area the size of four football fields and includes two greenhouses with a total area of 1,351 m2. The plot also has 3,200 m2 for growing plants in the open ground.
Photovoltaic panels will generate solar energy at the station, and salt ponds will be used to produce salt. Job creation is an advantage of the project, as the Sahara Forest aims to fight poverty and promote development through green jobs.
Vegetation in the Sahara project. Photo by Anders Nyboe
The Norwegian government and the European Union are the two most significant founders of the program. Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Vidar Helgesen said: “The project demonstrates that the innovative use of technology can revolutionize land use in a way that benefits the climate, people and businesses.”
Salt pond. Photo by Anders Nyboe
The Sahara Forest has completed a pilot project in Qatar and is working on a facility in Tunisia since 2017. Eventually, the organization intends to open a 20-hectare Jordanian center, so they consider the station they launched just the beginning. Joakim Hauge, the Sahara Forest Project CEO, said that Jordan could soon become a hub for green growth systems.