2 August 2017

World Bank to fund Solar Rooftop-PV program in Gaza to mitigate energy crisis

World Bank announced a partnership with the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company and the Palestinian Authority to launch a $2.5-million solar roof pilot program in Gaza.

In an effort to improve the ongoing energy crisis in Gaza, the World Bank,  in collaboration with a multi-donor trust fund called Development Partners, will contribute in total $11m.

The Solar Rooftop-PV programme aims to install PV systems of 1kW each in more than 1,000 households.

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, another 1MW of additional solar generation could be installed at 34 critical units within 10 hospitals in the region at a cost of $4m.

Sara Badiei, Energy Specialist in World Bank emphasised that the pilot programme is designed to be rapidly scalable, aiming to trigger private investment for further growth.

She added that the solar initiative will offer the most sustainable means of electrification to meet the country’s power needs, which by 2030 are estimated to reach 900MWh daily.

The energy crisis started when the Palestinian Authority announced that it would stop paying for Gaza’s imported electricity from Israel.

Gaza’s energy crisis highlighted the energy security argument in the energy transition discourse, and the role of renewable energy sources play within it.

“The initiative will help ensure lifesaving health treatments, link telecommunication systems, improve water supply, bring adequate sewage treatment, enable business development – and most importantly, ensure consumers remain connected to electricity, even if a subsection of the grid is damaged during armed conflict”, Badiei said.

“Overall, adoption of solar energy should be maximised; not only to improve quality of life, but to put power back into the hands of ordinary Gazans”.

According to a new study by the World Bank, entitled “Securing Energy for Development in the West Bank and Gaza”, more than 150MW of solar power can be produced in the Gaza Strip contrary to the current 60MW of solar installed capacity.

As of May 2017, approximately 310kW of rooftop solar have been already installed in health facilities in Gaza.

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