European and Palestinian investment bodies have signed a €15.85 million loan agreement to fund the construction of solar panels in the West Bank.
The loan, agreed between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF), will finance the building of rooftop photovoltaic systems on the roofs of 500 schools in the West Bank, projected to generate sufficient energy to power more than 16,000 houses. The project forms part of PIF’s Noor Palestine programme, which aims to boost Palestine’s renewable energy capabilities.
Dr. Mohammad Mustafa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the PIF, said: “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. 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 investment by the EIB falls under the bank’s Economic Resistance Initiative (ERI), which aims to increase the capacity of national economies in the Western Balkans and the Southern Neighbourhood to respond to unexpected events and crises while achieving growth and sustainable employment levels. The ERI represents the EIB’s contribution to addressing the international challenges of migration and forced displacement.
Emma Navarro, Vice President of the EIB, said: “The agreement will help to harness the energy from the sun to power houses as well as schools. 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.”