Israel blocks Palestinian solar power initiative

A plan by the Palestinian Energy and Environment Centre to generate 5 MW from rooftop solar cells has been stalled by Israeli authorities.

The three-year project was proposed by Ayman Ismail, general director of PEC, but Israel has added a clause to a 2008 law that requires Palestinians to obtain permits to allow them to install solar panels, and stipulates that these must be linked to electricity companies and cannot be used for self-generation.

The new clause limits the output that can be used to 15 kW for houses, up to 50 kW for schools and hospitals, and farms above 50 kW.

The PEC has called on the Palestinian Electricity Regulatory Council to ignore Israel’s request for permits and continue with the scheme.

Ismail said: “The proposed initiative consists of three phases, through small projects of 5 kW for each project. The aim is to obtain 0.5 MW in the first year; 1.5 MW in the second year, and 3 MW in the third, for a total of 5 MW.”

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