The European Investment Bank and Palestine Investment Fund have signed a loan agreement worth $18 million to finance the installation of rooftop photovoltaic systems on 500 public schools in the West Bank. The EIB’s investment, which falls under the Economic Resilience Initiative will generate 35 MW of clean energy enough to power more than 16,000 houses across the West Bank.
Courtesy of EIB
The financing agreement was signed in a ceremony hosted by the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg by Emma Navarro, Vice President of the EIB, Dr. Mohammad Mustafa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the PIF, and Azem Bishara, CEO of Massader.
Navarro said, “The agreement will help to harness the energy from the sun to power houses as well as schools. This will improve the availability of electricity supply in the West Bank. As the Bank of the European Union, we seek to promote renewable energy with the purpose of improving living conditions of Palestinian residents and improving infrastructure for business.”
Dr. Mustafa added, “PIF aims at contributing to laying the foundation for an innovative, sustainable and knowledge based Palestinian economy. We are proud of this agreement and aspire that this would be the start for a strong and solid cooperation between PIF and EIB.”
The EIB’s financing will be used for the installation of rooftop PV panels on schools dispersed throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Massader, a PIF’s wholly owned subsidiary, will implement the project. The company will use the electricity generated to power schools at no cost, as offset against using the rooftops, and will sell the remaining electricity at a competitive tariff to four electricity distribution companies operating in the area.
This project, which falls under the European Union External Lending Mandate to the EIB, contributes to the development of social and economic infrastructure and climate change mitigation. It supports economic resilience of Palestine through a long-term investment in decentralized energy systems and it contributes to a reduced reliance on electricity imports. It will result in relative emissions savings estimated at 31000 tons of CO2 equivalent per annum, based on the avoidance of electricity generation from the existing and new thermal plants.
The ministry of education, which will enjoy electricity for the relevant schools, will raise awareness of children about climate change and the benefits of renewable energy as a source of sustainable energy.