The Palestinian dimension of the regional energy landscape

“The dynamic regional context creates opportunities for synergies between Palestinians, Israelis and other regional actors in the field of energy,” Ariel Ezrahi, Energy Advisor at the Office of the Quartet Representative told the International Oil and Gas Conference on Thursday (20 November 2014).

Ariel Ezrahi

In his presentation to the conference at the Dead Sea in Israel, Ezrahi gave an overview of the Palestinian energy sector including the current capacities, future demand, and potential opportunities for investment and development. He said that development of the Gaza Marine offshore gas field would constitute an important source of revenue for the Palestinian Authority, and fuel Palestinian power generation projects for years to come. The Gaza Marine field would not only be a cost-efficient solution for domestic power generation, but also a more environmentally friendly solution than the present sources of fuel, said Ezrahi.

He also noted that the West Bank currently has no power generation capacity whatsoever. Electricity usage is currently around 860 megawatts, but demand in the West Bank alone is expected to reach around 1,300 megawatts in 2020. Gaza currently receives between 150 to 210 megawatts, while demand is closer to 410 megawatts. By 2020, Ezrahi said, demand will hit 855 megawatts.

“There is a lot of room for cooperation in the energy sphere between Palestinian actors and Israel and other regional counterparts. I think it’s a very exciting time and that the energy sector can hopefully act as a bridge to overcome some of the political constraints. And that would be in everyone’s interest,” he told participants.

“Israel needs to see the Palestinians as an asset as they strive to join the regional power grid, and as a bridge to the Arab world.” Ezrahi emphasised that the Gaza Marine field should not be seen as a competitor to Israel’s fields, but rather, it provides a potential additional source of gas and opportunities for cooperation between the neighbouring countries. More

Related Links

  • Presentation on the Palestinian dimension of the regional energy landscape
  • ‘Israel’s bridge to the Arab world: Palestinian natural gas?’ article in Haaretz English Edition
  • ‘Gaza marine development could help deliver Israeli security,’ article in Rigzone
  • Ariel Ezrahi interivew with TheMarker (Hebrew)

One has to question why Gaza and Palestine would want to give their energy generation to Israel, the occupying power, or in fact help Israel sell their gas through Egypt. Using the gas from the Gazan fields would at least give both Gaza and Palestine energy independance and insulate them from the withholding by Israel of their tax receipts, see Editor


GRID-Arendal Highlights Blue Forests Project Launch

December 2014: GRID-Arendal's interim marine newsletter highlights the launch of the Global Environment Facility's (GEF) Blue Forests Project, which will explore how to harness the value of carbon and other coastal ecosystem services to improve ecosystem management.

The Blue Forests Project aims to increase recognition of the role of mangroves, seagrasses and saltmarshes in climate change mitigation and adaptation. It will also address knowledge gaps on the role of blue forests in storing and sequestering carbon and sheltering towns from storms. The project will be implemented in Ecuador, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well as in a to-be-determined location in Central America.

The newsletter also highlights: the Norwegian Blue Forests Network, an initiative that focuses on harnessing the potential of blue forests to capture and store atmospheric carbon as well as other ecosystem services; and a GRID-Arendal and Blue Climate Solutions report, ‘Fish Carbon: Exploring Marine Vertebrate Carbon Services.' The report highlights the potential of marine vertebrates to address climate change and prevent global biodiversity loss and presents eight “fish carbon” mechanisms.

GRID-Arendal also announced that it will begin producing a common newsletter for all its programmes beginning in January 2015, making this newsletter the last one focused solely on marine issues. More

[GRID-Arendal Newsletter] [GRID-Arendal News on Blue Forests Project] [Blue Forests Project Website] [GRID-Arendal News on Norwegian Blue Forests Network] [Publication: Fish Carbon: Exploring Marine Vertebrate Carbon Services]