EU flicks switch on Gaza’s biggest solar facility

It will provide electricity to a water desalination plant

By Priyanka Shrestha

The EU has completed the biggest solar energy project in Gaza.

It will provide around 500KW of electricity per day to fuel the Southern Gaza Desalination Plant, which currently provides drinking water to 75,000 people.

The figure is expected to increase to 250,000 people by the end of the decade following additional investments.

Two wind turbines will also be installed to supply renewable electricity to the desalination plant.

According to the EU, around 97% of the water in Gaza is unfit for human consumption.

Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations said: “Limited energy suppliers in Gaza are one of the main challenges when improving access to safe and drinkable water to the local population. The photovoltaic solar field is essential to respond to the urgent water needs in Gaza and create dignified living conditions for its people, thus mitigating tensions in a high conflict sensitive area.”

The EU has also allocated €8.5 million (£7.6bn) to reduce water network losses in Gaza from 40% to 20% – improving the networks and implementing leak detection campaigns is expected to increase revenue collection from 38% to 80%.