With its electricity system in shambles, Gaza hopes to bring back some order for its citizens’ lives through rooftop solar systems supported as part of the Gaza Solar Revolving Fund. The World Bank, which finances the pilot project, hopes to enable businesses and households to get a stable source of power and essential services like medical services can continue unabated. (Photo Credit: Flickr/Arne Hoel/World Bank)
- A pilot project called Gaza Solar Revolving Fund has been launched by the World Bank and Palestine Energy Authority for Gaza
- Initial funding for the project is $2 million that will help install rooftop solar systems for 1,000 households and small-medium sized enterprises in Gaza with a total capacity of 1.7 MW
- Users will be required to repay the cost of the system through monthly instalments that will go to a revolving fund, which in turn will be used to install more such systems here
- It will also have provision for grant to install rooftop solar systems for essential public services to be selected by the WHO, Ministry of Health and development partners
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The World Bank and the Palestinian Energy Authority have officially launched a pilot project called Gaza Solar Revolving Fund to promote rooftop solar installations in Gaza. Started with an initial $2 million, the fund will help more than 1,000 households and small-medium sized enterprises to install a capacity of 1.7 MW. Applications are being accepted currently.
Consumers will be required to repay the entire cost of the solar PV system in monthly instalments. These payments then return to a revolving fund that, the World Bank says, will be used to install more solar systems in Gaza.
Under the fund, there is also a provision for grants to deploy rooftop solar systems for essential public services, such as health facilities that will be selected by the World Health Organization (WHO), Ministry of Health and development partners.
This fund is financed through Electricity Sector Performance Improvement Project (ESPIP), developed in cooperation with the World Bank. Both the fund as well as ESPIP are co-financed by the Partnership for Infrastructure Development Multi-Donor Trust Fund.
A bone of contention between Palestine and Israel, Gaza’s electricity system is in a mess. All of the available power is enough to meet only 35% of the demand leading to as much as 12 hours of power cuts during the day. The World Bank believes this fund will address these challenges and help people get on with their daily lives, businesses to operate, and essential services to continue without suffering problems associated with power outages.
“Increasing solar system installations in Gaza, particularly for households and hospitals, will provide a much-needed safety net for meeting basic electricity needs. In addition, protecting small medium enterprises from electricity shortage is increasing their ability to provide more jobs and contribute to economic activities,” said World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza, Marina Wes.
In August 2017, Palestine launched a $2.5 million solar rooftop PV program in Gaza with funding coming from the World Bank, to install PV systems of 1 kW each on more than 1,000 homes (see World Bank Supports PV Program In Palestine).
One year later, in August 2018, Gaza saw a 0.5 MW solar power system come online powering a European Union funded desalination plant that enables access to clean drinking water for 75,000 people in Gaza Strip (see EU Commissions PV System For Water In Gaza).