Jerusalem24 – The Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) announced Yesterday, Thursday, that the Palestine Investment Fund’s solar rooftop program has won the tenth United Nations Global Climate Action Award.
The UN organization granted the award to the program implemented by the Fund’s Masader Company, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, under the title “Self-Reliance and Solar Energy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip – State of Palestine,” in the category of financing for the purpose of environmentally friendly investments.
The organization stated, “the award-winning project reflect a leadership role in the global climate issue by nations, business, investors and civil society.”
For its part, the Palestine Investment Fund clarified in a statement that “the United Nations Global Climate Action Award is a prestigious global award granted by the United Nations Global Climate Organization since 2011. According to the organization, it expresses recognition and appreciation for the best global models in terms of creativity and volume in the subject matter of global climate.” These projects are considered solutions that not only contribute to resolve the challenge of climate change, but also contribute to advancing sustainable development goals such as innovation and economic opportunities.”
The fund added that this is the second international award the project has won, as it was selected in 2019 by the UAE-based Middle East Solar Energy Industries Association, as the best project in rooftop photovoltaic systems for the Middle East and North Africa region.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Investment Fund, Muhammad Mustafa, said, “This award is an international recognition of the capabilities and capabilities of the Palestinian people and their institutions in advancing, facing challenges, and working despite the occupation and its obstacles. towards building an independent Palestinian energy sector away from economic dependency.”
He added, “The Fund launched the Noor Palestine Solar Program with the aim of generating 200 megawatts of electricity from solar energy that the occupation cannot withhold from us. It is part of a major investment program in the energy sector as a whole, as it is one of the most important strategic sectors that form the spearhead in our battle for self-reliance, independence and disengagement from the Israeli occupation.”
For his part, Palestinian Minister of Education Marwan Awartani said, “this program is in line with the ministry’s vision to develop the educational environment, and it is the result of a joint effort between a group of entities, led by the Investment Fund and the Ministry of Education. This award is a recognition of the importance of implementing this project as part of the development process, and a motive for developing the educational process by providing clean and renewable energy.”
The program to generate electricity from solar energy on school roofs, launched by the fund, aims to generate 35 megawatts of electricity, equivalent to the consumption of about 16 thousand homes, by installing solar cells on the roofs of 500 public schools, with a total investment size of about 35 million US dollars.
The program is one of the components of the “Noor Palestine” program, which has so far succeeded in installing more than 55,000 solar panels in various governorates of the country.
In addition to using the rooftops of public schools, the program includes the construction of plants to generate electricity from solar energy, two of which have been completed, namely the “Noor Jericho” plant in Al-Nweima, Jericho Governorate and the Jordan Valley, on an area of 86 dunums, and containing more than 20 thousand solar panels with a production capacity of 7.5 megawatts. This is equivalent to the consumption of about 3,600 homes, and the “Noor Jenin” plant in Kafrdan, Jenin Governorate, covers an area of 60 dunums and contains more than 13,500 solar panels with a production capacity of 5 megawatts, which is equivalent to the consumption of about 2,000 homes.
For his part, the CEO of Masader Company, Azzam Bishara, said that this award is a tribute to the distinguished efforts made by the work teams and all partners, led by the Ministry of Education, the electricity distribution companies, and of course the developers from the Palestinian private sector who were able to keep pace with the global technological progress and implement the components of the “Noor” program. Palestine” in accordance with the highest international standards.
He added, “we are proud of the fund’s role in leading these efforts, strengthening the private sector, promoting a culture of clean energy, and providing job opportunities for our creative staff and crew members.”
The investment fund stated that “the installation of electrical generation systems and solar cells on the rooftops of 151 schools will be completed by the end of this year, while work is underway on the other hand to complete the schools approved for this year, and to prepare for new schools. Noting that all installations of solar energy systems on the rooftops of the schools are done by developers from the Palestinian private sector.”
The fund added that they succeeded in attracting international institutions to finance this program, such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), in addition to the support provided by the “Finance for Job Creation F4J” project, which is implemented for the Ministry of Finance by DAI with support and funding from the World Bank. Where the objectives of the program intersect with the objectives of these international institutions in contributing to achieving sustainable development and developing sectors that affect citizens’ lives, especially in the energy sector. On the other hand, partnership with them expresses confidence in the credibility, position and role of the Investment Fund and confidence in its governance to achieve the desired impact for the development of the national economy.
The Fund pointed out that, “in addition to the development and financial goals achieved by the program, such as creating specialized job opportunities, contributing to covering the needs of schools and paying the monthly electricity bill, reducing the annual electricity bill of participating schools at an average of $1.2 million annually, transforming consumers into producers, and lightening the expenses on the national budget; it also contributes to improving the educational environment in schools, promoting a culture of renewable energy and developing the educational process.”