A microfinance project with the objectives to reduce the independence of electricity distribution and lower the cost for the households by using solar panels.
Gaza, home to two million Palestinians, is a 360 sq. km coastal enclave that lies between Egypt’s Sinai peninsula and Tel Aviv.
It has no access to the outside world except through Israel, which controls 90% of its land and sea boundaries, and Egypt, which has a narrow land border to the south. Both countries have for years maintained a tight blockade.
Since then, the 2-million-resident coastal enclave has suffered prolonged power outages. To cope with the cuts, private solar panel services have been installed in residential homes, hospitals, industrial and agricultural facilities, sewage water treatment, and desalination plants.
A mother of eight children, four of whom suffer from disabilities, has had a solar panel system since the year 2020. The new source of power was provided by Sun Box, a private company, in return for 1,500 US dollars, donated by an NGO based in Gaza. She is now able to look after her disabled children, who need ventilators and food processors, at home, instead of having to make the trip to the Al Aqsa hospital or the local clinic. (Listen to RFI´s podcast )
The project goal is to cover 30% of the households in Gaza by 2025.
SUNPOWER Progam aims to help families living in Palestine to become less dependent on imported electricity and at the same time use eco-friendly energy with less carbon emission. The ambition is to cover as many households as possible together with other stakeholders and donors using a microfinance model.
In this way, we get a better opportunity to be less independent on important energy and become self-sufficient, with less risk and a faster recovery when disasters hit
In Gaza, demand routinely exceeds 500 MW while supply is typically 180-200 MW. Domestic electricity supply in Gaza is provided primarily from the diesel-fired Gaza Power Plant (GPP) which has a capacity of 140 MW (normal operation at 60-80 MW) and through imports from Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) which provide up to 120 MW. This results in electricity being available for 5-15 hours per day with 90% provided by Israeli imports (Quartett).
The Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO) has been unable to supply some neighborhoods and areas with electricity for several days, due to the difficulty in accessing and repairing the networks, causing a permanent power cut to extensive residential areas. Further, six main power lines supplying the Strip from Israel have been compromised. Gaza’s sole power station produces electricity for around 12 hours a day on diesel, a more expensive and polluting fuel. (Source RelifWeb)
Gaza still suffers from a particularly difficult economic situation with very high unemployment and deteriorating social conditions. In the current economic context, the outlook is uncertain as sustainable sources of growth remain limited. Priority actions require increasing electricity supply and upgrading infrastructure and networks to enable economic growth and improve public services. (Worldbank)
Palestinian Business Network will manage the project organization and financial infrastructure for the microfinance business model making sure that the donations are handled with the best outcome.
Sunbox will manage the installations and uphold the service organization.