Palestine to Use Biomass for Self Sufficiency

Besieged Gaza has struggled for years with power shortages due to limited fuel access and degraded infrastructure. (Photo: ActiveStills.org)

Palestine is embarking on an ambitious project to produce all of their own energy for internal consumption.

If successful, it would break its electricity dependence on the Israeli government that frequently leaves the West Bank and Gaza Strip without power.  

“This is Palestine’s first investment in the energy field and in strengthening sources of energy,” said Ragheb Abu Diak, Director General of the Ministry of Local Government of the Jenin governorate located in the northern part of the West Bank. The plan is to use decomposing biomass from ZF landfill and convert it into energy.

Over half of the garbage produced in Palestine is organic and biodegradable. 

The energy initiative will be funded by the Palestinian Authority and is expected to cost around US$9 million. Officials expect it to meet the needs of about 30 Palestinian villages. 

Hani Shawahneh, the executive director of the ZF landfill, told Al-Monitor media:

“The project will … produce about five megawatts (MW) of electricity — enough to meet the needs of about 30 Palestinian villages located within the Jenin governorate.”

Amjad el-Qanni, a professor of engineering, energy and environment at An-Najah National University, said:

“Producing clean power from biomass or solar energy is necessary to meet the growth of electricity demand in the West Bank, which increases by 3.5% annually. This is also necessary to help limit power reliance on Israel.”

The completed initiative could mean a stable electrical supply for Palestinian households, an important victory for the government that is reliant on Israel for 90 of its energy supply.

Palestinians have faced a permanent electricity crisis. The Gaza Strip often only receives a few hours worth of power per day.

In 2017, Israel reduced the energy supply to the area, prompting Hamas to label the move “dangerous and catastrophic,” warning that violence there could follow as a result.

The new project from the Palestinian Authority will greatly reduce Palestine’s vulnerabilities during such periods.  

(TeleSur, PC, Social Media)

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