Ramallah, The State of Palestine - The Steering Committee of MOUSTADAMA Program on “Promoting an Energy Sustainable Palestinian Industry” in Palestine held its first, inaugural meeting today to reflect on project’s initialization and way forward.
The higher level of the MOUSTADAMA project governance structure, represented by the Ministry of National Economy, The European Union Representative Office in Jerusalem, The Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority (PENRA), The Federation of Renewable Energy Industries, the Palestinian Electricity Council Regulator (PERC), and UNIDO came together to jointly review the progress, risks and challenges faced by the project throughout the whole implementation process, to further mitigate, measure and coordinate responses to facilitate achievements, promote synergies and monitor implementation and timeliness.
The Steering Committee members include H.E. Mr. Khalid Osaily, Minister of National Economy, H.E. Mr. Tomas Niklasson, Representative of European Union in Jerusalem, H.E. Mr. Zafer Melhim, Chairman of PENRA, together with Ms. Rana Ghoneim and Mr. Ahmed ElFarra, Representatives of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The meeting, which was co-chaired by H.E Mr. Khalid Osaily, along with the H.E Mr. Tomas Niklasson, has been held remotely via the virtual technology platform WebEx to comply with the security measures imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Launched in December 2019, the MOUSTADAMA Program aims to set the foundations for a conducive renewable energy and energy efficient environment in the industrial sector by developing policy, legal and regulatory frameworks and supporting relevant stakeholders to enforce operational guidelines for a net metering scheme. In particular, MOUSTADAMA aims to reduce GHG emissions and improve energy security and competitiveness in the industrial sector in Palestine through sustainable energy solutions by simultaneously addressing both the supply and the demand side of renewable energy and energy efficiency and by harnessing the transfer and development of new capacities in terms of design, installation, operation and maintenance. The Program is funded by the European Union and implemented by UNIDO through its offices at the HQ in Vienna and Ramallah.
The MOUSTADAMA Team provided the committee with the latest developments of the Program and shared UNIDO’s methodology and approach towards. In particular, the energy context in Palestine, characterized by restrictions on imports of RE/EE equipment and the limited availability of solutions in the local market, has been meticulously described in its weaknesses and its potential. Furthermore, the presentation of the four major components outlining Moustadama Program’s methodology has highlighted how the creation of a renewed demand for clean energy cannot be separated from fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in clean technology, and from strengthening the policy and regulatory environment for RE/EE in the industrial sector. In addition, the MOUSTADAMA Team has also detailed the Program’s governance, together with the first results achieved within the inception phase, which includes the release of the Environmental and Social Assessment Plan (ESMP), and the selection of organizations to host the CleanTech hubs located in West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. Finally, the authoritative network of local and international partners - which include SUNREF Project (EUREP and AFD), GROW (Canada), GIZ and Italian Cooperation/AICS, and World Bank (Multi Donors/Trust Fund) - has been presented to the SC.
The members of the Committee reaffirmed their commitment to sustain the development of an innovative sustainable energy sector in Palestine. "The European Union works with the Palestinian Authority, private sector and other relevant Palestinian organisations to develop renewable and efficient energy solutions to address the local demand for energy and contribute to sustainable development goals," said the Acting European Union Representative Tomas Niklasson. "We work side by side with Palestinians to build an independent economy for a future Palestinian State. An independent economy is a significant pillar to deliver security and prosperity for Palestinians, and to ensure a better future for the generations to come", he added. The representatives of the SC expressed their interest and availability to contribute to the Program’s main components.
Taking the current COVID-19 emergency situation, the Program is following all the strict measures highlighted by UNIDO HQ and the Host Government to assure the health of all staff and beneficiaries. Furthermore, the program encourages the adoption of industrial practices that are climate friendly and cost efficient, to realize a better environment in the post COVID era. UNIDO intends to continue working closely with the SC members to ensure a coordinated and efficient implementation of the MOUSTADAMA project and provide locally driven RE/RR solutions and technologies that can contribute to global environmental benefits by leading to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, an increased energy reliability and security, and a strengthened competitiveness of business players on the market.