UNIDO participated in the Digital Economy Innovation and Entrepreneurship Thematic Group Meeting organized by the Ministry of National Economy and cochaired by the World Bank. The UNIDO Palestine Programme Office represented by Mr. Ahmed ELFARRA, attended the meeting, and presented the strategic opportunities offered by the cleantech sector specially to support establishing a resilient infrastructure for economic development in Palestine.
Among the broader spectrum of innovations that digital technologies enable, cleantech contributes to the enforcement of energy security and industrial competitiveness by developing solutions that offer reliable, accessible, and sustainable energy sources. By improving productivity and efficiency in the use of natural resources, cleantech also contributes to the optimization of consumption supplies together with limiting the negative environmental impact of pollution and waste.
As Mr. ElFarra explained, the Palestinian context allows for multiple sustainable energy solutions to be put in place. Increasing energy security can be achieved by diversifying energy sources and expanding domestic production using alternative sources such as biogas, biomass, waste to energy, and solar energy. Beside supporting the transition to a zero-carbon paradigm, renewables can also play a major role in achieving economic independence and stability. Water-Energy Nexus is another opportunity that can be addressed not only to treat water, but also to help power Palestinian communities.
During his presentation, Mr. ElFarra highlighted the pivotal role of cleantech in climate action. By providing opportunities to shift away from fossil fuels, cleantech solutions help expand the energy mix through low-carbon sources of energy. Developed on specific local challenges, these bespoke solutions can be exported to regional and international countries that face similar problems, contributing to foster the rise of a new, highly skilled entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Palestine Cleantech Innovation Program implemented by UNIDO provides a bespoke acceleration journey tailored to the context in Palestine to provide the startup with business and technical coaching and networking opportunities with business angels and venture capitalists. Syngas, Eco-Bricks, and Palgy, the CleanTech Champions that were awarded in 1st Edition of the Palestine Cleantech Innovation Competition 2021, said Mr. ElFarra, have already demonstrated with their innovations that valid solutions to energy shortages, waste disposal, and energy efficiency challenges can be identified and effectively scaled up with the right technical and financial support.
“The Palestinian cleantech ecosystem is still in its early stage of development, yet is already marking outstanding achievements!”, Mr. ElFarra stated. “It is already emerging with new, promising entrepreneurs who are developing innovative ideas to tackle our energy challenges. We are working with determination to consolidate this ecosystem, also thanks to our valuable network of partners, and to support our startups so that they can reach their ambitious plans for Palestine and the globe”.