Finding a better way to get electricity in occupied territory.

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Palestinian solar energy revolution
By María V. R.
From orderly rows of solar panels in a field in the West Bank to the chaotic rooftops of Gaza, Palestinians are hoping that harnessing the energy of the sun can reduce their dependence on Israel for electricity. The West Bank only gets around 70% of the power its 3 million people need, and in the Gaza Strip power generation is so paltry that the 2 million Gazans struggle with an average of just four hours of electricity a day. In the West Bank, the public and private sectors have launched projects using solar power to achieve more self-sufficiency. Over the past four years the number of solar panels has increased by a staggering 400%. They are now seen on the rooftops of most homes, schools, hospitals, shops, banks and mosques.

However, in a place where the sun shines 320 days a year, the sun may be free, but the technology is not. So financial aid is needed, and the Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) plans to build three new solar farms and put solar energy into 500 schools. The European Union is also lending a hand by completing Gaza’s biggest solar farm which will provide power to the Southern Gaza Desalination Plant, also funded by the EU.


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