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Policy roundtable outlines path to reposition sustainable energy in Palestine

The announcement of the Sustainable Energy Initiative for Industry paves the way for big changes in accessibility to sustainable energy in Palestine.

The first year of operations of the MOUSTADAMA Programme set the scene for strengthening the policy and regulatory environment for renewable energy and energy efficiency in the industrial sector in Palestine. 

A comprehensive assessment of national sustainable energy policy was conducted and provided the backdrop for change and advancement in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Extensive consultations with stakeholders resulted in the announcement of the Sustainable Energy Initiative for Industry that was officially announced by three high-level governmental officials: The Minister of National Economy, the Minister of Local Government, and Chairman of the Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority with support from the UNIDO Programme Office in Palestine. By ministerial resolution, a formal technical committee was then established to ensure a continuous platform for regular dialogue and collaboration among all related government partners through the engagement of the MOUSTADAMA Programme. 

A high-level policy roundtable, held at the end of 2020, helped to establish a common understanding of what is needed to advance and upgrade the implementation of sustainable energy solutions in Palestine. The roundtable brought together representatives from government, private sector, DISCOs, and service providers. Among the most important topics discussed was the collaboration that will be needed to develop a systematic and streamlined net-metering application process for the benefit of the industrial sector among other sectors.

The MOUSTADAMA team presented its assessment of the policies, legislation, and uses of renewable energy and offered recommendations to streamline the policies related to renewable energy and energy efficiencies and their implementation. The assessment placed emphasis on net metering and the impact of energy costs on the sector. 

His Excellency the Minister of National Economy, Mr. Khaled AL-OSAILI, spoke of the potential of the Programme. “We continue to work with our partner, UNIDO, aiming to achieve tangible results that have a sustainable impact in achieving comprehensive economic development, " he said.

“We reaffirm the commitment of the EU to sustain the development and policies of the energy sector in Palestine," said Mr. Gerhard KRAUSE, Head of Cooperation and representing the European Union, in his address at the roundtable.

“The Program will ultimately contribute to creating a new market for and within the Palestinian industry, reducing energy dependence through development of local energy solutions, promoting innovations, encouraging entrepreneurship and creating employment opportunities,” said Mr. Ahmed ELFARRA, Head of UNIDO Programme Office in Palestine.

All partners expressed their interest and commitment to accelerate policy upgrade, and most importantly on need to systemize data collection especially related to the net metering calculations, regulations, and standards. Finally, a Policy Intervention Roadmap was drafted in consultation with the newly established technical committee. It points the way towards a more robust use of sustainable energy solutions for Palestinian industries. This is currently being further developed into a detailed Initiative on Sustainable Energy for Industry, specifying roles and responsibilities in line with agreements from the Technical Committee.

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