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MENA Solar Brief

Palestine Solar Update

With an acknowledged scarcity of conventional energy resources, high population growth and volatile energy prices, many worry that there is a future energy crisis developing in the Palestinian Territory.

The energy situation in Palestine is very different from other Middle Eastern countries because of the lack of natural resources, current economic conditions, and political instability. At the same time, demand for energy is growing exponentially as a result of rising living standards, high population growth, and rapid industrial expansion.

The Palestinian Authority spent $374m on energy in 2009, with the majority of fuel and electricity being imported. The Palestinian population also pay a relatively high price for energy. Electricity constitutes about 10% of the average household income, which is much higher than the 2% of neighboring countries like Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

The Palestinian Energy and Environment Research Centre (PEC), established in 1993, is affiliated with the Palestinian Energy Authority (PEA). It conducts a range of research on increasing the efficiency of energy usage and developing renewable energy in the Palestinian Territory. Another problem, according to the General Director of the centre, Ayman Ismail, is that 26% of energy is lost in transit due to poor infrastructure and theft. Ismail estimates that 15% could easily be saved if energy were transported and used more efficiently.

The use of solar energy for water heating is already common. According to the latest survey on household energy by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, over 60% of households use solar water heaters, the highest level in the region. Solar water heaters also apparently cover 40% of hospitals’ water heating needs and 25% of hotels’ needs. However, the widespread usage of solar water heaters does not necessarily imply an awareness of renewable energy. With 300 days of sun a year, solar water heaters are a cheaper alternative than using electricity for water heating. 90% of the solar water heaters are manufactured locally.

Key Contacts

The Palestine Solar Industry Association (PSIA) in association with Estidama seeks to organize the efforts of the private sector to invest in renewable energy in Palestine. Its goals include the encouragement of private investment, to create legislative and policy incentives in renewable energy in coordination and consultation with public sector authorities, and to contribute to an increasing level of economic and social development in Palestinian society.

Contact:

Palestine Solar Industry Association (PSIA)
In Association with Estidama
Eng. Fadi Bkirat
Email: fadi@palestine-sia.com
Palestine, Al-Bireh, Aljenan 21
Mobile: +972 542199030,
Palestine mobile 0597 434259
Website:  www.palestine-sia.com

Resource Links

Background - http://www.ecomena.org/renewables-palestine/
Blog - http://business-ideas-palestine.blogspot.com/2013/03/solar-energy-in-palestine-reloaded.html
Conference Programme on Private Sector Investment in Renewable Energy by KAS
Palestine Solar Initiative project document by PENRA
A 2010 paper by Portland Trust on Renewable Energy
Heinrich Boell Stiftung Gatherings on Renewable Energy
The Feed-In law passed by PA’s minister’s council in 2012
The home-owner’s brochure published by PERC for the PSI

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