Published on March 18th, 2019 | by Joshua S Hill
March 18th, 2019 by Joshua S Hill
The European Investment Bank and the Palestine Investment Fund announced on Friday a loan agreement worth $18 million to finance the installation of rooftop solar PV systems on 500 public schools in the West Bank.
Announced last Friday, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) revealed the signing of a loan agreement worth $18 million which will finance the installation of 35 megawatts (MW) of solar PV systems on 500 public schools in the West Bank.
The electricity generated by the installations throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem will go first towards powering the 500 schools at no cost (as offset against using the rooftops) and the excess will be sold at a competitive tariff to four electricity distribution companies operating in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The 35 MW of solar will generate the equivalent electricity to power over 16,000 West Bank homes.
“The agreement will help to harness the energy from the sun to power houses as well as schools,” said Emma Navarro, Vice President of the EIB. “This will improve the availability of electricity supply in the West Bank. As the Bank of the European Union, we seek to promote renewable energy with the purpose of improving living conditions of Palestinian residents and improving infrastructure for business.”
“PIF -as Palestine’s development-centric sovereign fund- is leading an impact investment program that covers a diverse portfolio in the strategic and vital economic sectors such as renewable and traditional energy, infrastructure, natural resources, industry, technology and agriculture,” added Dr. Mohammad Mustafa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the PIF. “PIF aims at contributing to laying the foundation for an innovative, sustainable and knowledge-based Palestinian economy.
“We are proud of this agreement and aspire that this would be the start for a strong and solid cooperation between PIF and EIB. We appreciate highly our partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Education, the Palestinian Energy and Natural resources Authority and all the relevant Palestinian stakeholders.”
The EIB’s investment falls under its Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) which aims to help tackle climate change mitigation in Europe’s Southern Neighbourhood — Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, and Tunisia — and the Western Balkans. The ERI is made up of an integrated package of loans, concessional finance, and innovative instruments designed to enable a further €15 billion of investments and financing on top of the €13.5 billion the EIB has already committed to the two regions.