The UNIDO, the European Union, and the Ministry of National Economy held a join roundtable gathering key players in the energy and industry sectors to discuss the potentials to improve the sustainable policy spectrum in support to Palestinian industries. This is considered also vital in reducing GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions and improving energy security and competitiveness in the industrial sector in Palestine through sustainable energy solutions.
A roundtable discussion on policy for sustainable energy was held in participation of H.E. Mr. Khalid Osaily, Minister of National Economy, and in collaboration with the H.E. Eng. Majdi Saleh, Minister of Local Government and H.E. Mr. Zafer Melhem the Chairman of the Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority (PENRA), and in partnership with Mr. Gerhard Krause from the European Union Representative Office in Jerusalem (EUREP), and Mr. Ahmed ElFarra from UNIDO Palestine. The roundtable was conducted virtually via the Webex platform to comply with the safety measures imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The roundtable included all the high-level relevant stakeholders from the Government, private sector, DISCOs and service providers, and invited the partners to discuss the measures that can strengthen the policy and regulatory environment for applying renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions in the industrial sector with the aim to converge toward a common understanding in direct collaboration with all the involved counterparts to develop a systematic and streamlined net-metering application process within the industrial sector.
The MOUSTADAMA Programme aims to set the foundations for a conducive renewable energy and energy efficiency environment in the industrial sector by developing policy, legal and regulatory framework and supporting relevant stakeholders to enforce operational guidelines for a net metering scheme. Complementary measures will address simultaneously both the supply and the demand side for renewable energy and energy efficiency by harnessing the transfer and development of new capacities in terms of design, installation, operation and maintenance. The MOUSTADAMA Programme will be stimulating awareness of different target groups on the opportunities available in the development of a green economy and/or in the adoption production models embracing sustainable energy technologies.
The MOUSTADAMA team presented the key highlights of the assessment conducted by UNIDO experts on the policies, legislation, and applications of renewable energy together with relevant benchmarks, and offered key recommendations to support the industrial sector through strengthening the policies related to RE/EE, with a particular emphasis on net metering application and the impact of energy costs on the sector.
Mr. Gerhard Krause, Head of Cooperation at the Representative Office of the European Union in Jerusalem stated, “We reaffirm the commitment of the EU to sustain the development and policies of the energy sector in Palestine."
His Excellency Mr. Osaily, Minister of National Economy, stated “We continue to work with our partner, UNIDO, aiming to achieve together results that have a sustainable impact in reaching a comprehensive economic development in Palestine.”
Mr. Ahmed ElFarra, Head of Programme Office in Palestine, stated “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.”
The participants welcomed the convergence of all relevant stakeholders toward the implementation of clear standard development for renewable energy projects and net metering in the State of Palestine to support the development of the industrial sector. They also highlighted the importance of developing a systematic and comprehensive net metering application process, along with the need to clearly define industrial tariffs to reduce production costs especially in the efforts to face and recover from the COVID-19 economic impacts.
All interested partners agreed on the necessity of dialogue and continued support for the MOUSTADAMA Programme to better serve the industrial sector and the applications of sustainable energy solutions, to take advantage of these available opportunities. Related line miniseries also reaffirmed the Government of Palestine’s commitment to accelerate the process of developing and reviewing applicable policies, including data collection related to the net metering calculation mechanisms, regulations and standards, in addition to the technical and financial implications. This collaboration will be closely undertaken by the ongoing activities of the technical committee that was recently formed under the Sustainable Energy for Industry Initiative launched by the Minister of National Economy and Chairman of PENRA with support from UNIDO.
The cooperation between UNIDO and the European Union has been essential for maximizing the potential of international industrial cooperation for eliminating poverty through job creation in the real economy and for accelerating the global transition towards low-carbon development.
The MOUSTADAMA Program will apply the UNIDO’s approach to drive Palestine towards energy security and independence through market transformation, leading to wide-scale renewable energy and energy efficiency adoption and business innovation thus promoting green job creation in the energy sector. “The Program will support policy and institutional framework for energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment, demonstrate the benefits of locally-driven, innovative sustainable energy solutions, and facilitate scaling-up of these solutions in the industrial sector” said UNIDO Energy Department Director, Tareq EMTAIRAH. “The Program will also contribute to global environmental benefits by leading to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions”, further noted Director Emtairah.
This Program reinforces the partnership between the European Union, Palestinian Government and UNIDO in a direct response to the national priorities outlined in the country’s National Policy Agenda 2017-2022 and the supporting European Joint Strategy, as well as the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF 2018-2022).