In the framework for monitoring the implementation of ongoing projects through the European regional initiative SUDEP-South in six MENA countries in the area of Energy Efficiency (EE) and Renewable Energy (RE), the SUDEP-SM team visited Israel and Palestine between July 2nd and July 7th, 2016.
In anticipation of some logistical restrictions facing the SUDEP-SM team and the municipalities, two conference call meetings were held prior to the actual commencement of the mission with the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government in conjunction with the municipal focal points to discuss the individual project technical and training needs.
Upon the initiation of the visit, the SUDEP-SM team travelled to Palestine-Tubas and Israel-Kfar Saba to view the work in progress while a consultant in Palestine-Abasan AlKabira provided a similar level of feedback on progress due to logistical issues preventing SUDEP-SM from entering the Gaza Strip. SUDEP-SM also met with the Israeli Ministry of Energy and Water Resources to discuss the progress of the Israeli municipalities and subsequently had a joint meeting with a representative of the “Union of Local Authorities in Israel” to discuss challenges in implementing municipal energy projects in Israel and how the results from the Israeli municipalities can feed into a national approach.
The visited projects comprise several activities including the installation of renewable energy, development of an online monitoring platform for measuring facility energy consumption, the introduction of a smart metering and monitoring infrastructure in addition to awareness activities.
The municipalities and their project partners expressed their gratitude for the SUDEP-South support and stressed their interest in pursuing the training programs that were offered by SUDEP-South and made additional specific training requests that serve their municipalities.
During all visits it was noted that the local authorities were invested in the implementation of their projects and the importance of ensuring that their successes are replicable at the national scale by the national authorities. SUDEP-SM signaled its intention to continue providing a high level of support with special regard towards developing the internal capabilities of the municipalities in managing their own self-funded initiatives in the future.