Sunday, November 27, 2011

Israel Attempts to Foil Palestinian Initiative for Self-Generating Energy

Ramallah, November 27, 2011 (WAFA) - The Israeli decision demanding Palestinians in the west bank to obtain permits from the Israeli authorities to build solar-cells to generate electricity power, aims at thwarting the Palestinian efforts to self-generate power and stop the reliance on Israel for it, Sunday said an official.

General Director of The Palestinian Energy and Environment Research Centre (PEC), Ayman Ismail, told WAFA that the Energy & Environment Research Center proposed to the Cabinet a three-year initiative, starting from 2012, to generate electricity by using solar – cells, during which the solar-cells, with capacity of 150 Megawatts (MW), will be put on rooftops, and from which 1000 houses will benefit.

Six days after proposing the initiative, Israel demanded Palestinians to obtain special permits that allow them to install solar panels over a required space of 500 square-meters, generate power using photoelectric device, and link it to the electricity companies, according to a previous law enacted in 2008 and imposed only in settlements in the West Bank.

The decision also limits the kilowatts allowed for households, schools, hospitals, and others; houses have only 4- 15 kW to cosume, schools and hospitals up to 50 and institutions and farms 50 kW and over.

Ismail stated that they will demand the four companies providing electricity in the west bank not to deal with the Israeli authorities’ procedures concerning this issue.

He added that the Israeli authority has no right to request permits from the Palestinians and that this request must be addressed and rejected completely.

He added that the PEC is raising awareness on the importance of using the solar power in different parts of the west bank.

He said, “The proposed three-year initiative consists of three phases, through small projects of 5 kW for each project, to be installed on rooftops, whereas the aim of the initiative for the first year is to obtain 0.5 MW from 100 houses and then to expand the project for generating 1.5 MW in the following year. In the last year of the project, an additional 3 MW are generated, to reach a total of 5 MW during the three years, initially.”

He indicated that each Palestinian, who installs this system in his house, will receive a distinctive electricity fee and Incentive rewards. This will be done in coordination with Palestinian electricity regulatory council (PERC), responsible for the organizing of the electricity sector in Palestine.

Concerning the usage of the solar power in the Palestinian Territory, Mohammad Al Helu, Founder and General Manager at Palestinian Solar & Sustainable Energy Society, said that 79% of the Palestinians use solar-cells on their rooftops, thus save 9% of the Palestinian energy bill through solar energy, which is one of the highest rates in the world. It is a Palestinian practice with no legislation or law, he said.

He told WAFA, “The Israeli request has two dimensions; first , it represents the Israeli attempts to dictate that it is the only reference for energy and renewable energy in Palestine, and its efforts to deal with the Palestinian public as detached from the Palestinian Authority, reminding us of the occupations’ measures before Oslo, which is completely unacceptable. The second dimension is concerning the installation of the solar panels and generation of electricity power.”

“As an association we demand to generate electricity power by using the solar power, despite the Israeli rejection,” he added.

He stressed that Palestinians should only refer to Palestinian institutions, on top of which the Energy Authority, in the matter.

He revealed that “the Israeli officer issued this declaration after several Israeli companies completed planning for projects in Area ‘C’, which is under the military and administrative control of Israel, to facilitate the settlements’ obtainment of the solar energy.”
Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA