OpEdNews Op Eds

Gaza's Electricity Crisis

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 3  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 7/16/10

Become a Fan
  (191 fans)

Gaza's Electricity Crisis - by Stephen Lendman

Under siege for over three years, Gaza's humanitarian crisis continues unabated, Israel's bogus easing doing little to relieve it, including a serious electricity shortage, what the Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement addressed in a May report titled, "Electricity Shortage in Gaza: Who Turned Out the Lights?"

Besides earlier attacks, Cast Lead severely damaged Gaza's sole power plant, putting it on the verge of collapse, exacerbated by inadequate industrial diesel supplies and the destruction of power lines supplying electricity from Israel and Egypt.

As a result, Gaza experiences outages of up to 12 hours a day, severely disrupting "normal functioning of humanitarian infrastructure, including health and education institutions and water and sewage systems, as well as the agricultural sector." In addition, faulty generators at times kill or injure users, an untenable situation because of Israeli attacks and siege, in violation of international law.

Chronology of Gaza's Electricity Crisis

In 2002, Gaza's sole power producer (the private Gaza Power Plant - GPP) became operational. In 2004, its potential capacity was 140 megawatts (MW), its remaining needs bought from Israel. In June 2006, IDF aircraft destroyed GPP's six transformers. In September 2006, the company bought 17 MW of electricity from Egypt.

In November 2006, seven transformers became partially operational, a year later reaching its 80 MW capacity not used because of Israeli fuel restrictions, worsened after the June 2007 siege, preventing entry of equipment, spare parts, other essential items, and enough diesel. By January 2008, operations were at 30% of capacity, causing outages up to eight hours daily - now 12 since January 2010 for lack of fuel and funds.

Gaza needs from 240 - 280 MW, almost half purchased through 10 high-voltage Israeli lines, 17 MW (6 - 7%) coming from Egypt to the Rafah area, and the rest (107 MW) supplied internally when GPP is fully operational, hampered by Gaza's dependence on Israeli diesel, severely restricted under siege.

Presently, about 2.2 million liters a week come in, only 63% of GPP's needs for full capacity - hence, outages.

In 2009, GPP produced about 65 MW, creating a 42 MW shortfall, exacerbated by the grid's poor condition, electricity thus lost after transmission through waste. Worse still is Israel's building materials ban, preventing proper maintenance and rehabilitation. As a result, the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCo) has regular, rotating outages throughout the Strip, distributing the burden, not relieving what only a siege lift can accomplish, only possible if public outrage forces world leaders to demand it with harsh recriminations if ignored.

EU Involvement

From summer 2006 - November 2009, the EU and individual member states subsidized GPP's fuel purchases, bought from Dor Alon, Israel's public fuel company. Thereafter, direct financing ended, but some European companies maintained support, prevented by Israel from exceeding 2.2 million liters weekly, far short of what's needed.

Palestinian Authority (PA) Involvement

Since November 2009, the PA Fuel Authority assumed responsibility for funding Israeli and Egyptian supplied power. According to the PA/GPP agreement, it must purchase diesel and pay $2.5 million monthly for operating expenses, requiring a budget of 49 million Israeli shekels (NIS) per month, paid in diminishing sums of 41 - 30 NIS from January - April.

As a result, less fuel is bought, down to 5.6 liters in April compared to almost nine million in 2009 and 14 million monthly to operate at full capacity. According to PA officials, they couldn't meet all financial obligations, wanting Gazans to pay their share, not possible because of the Strip's dire economic condition exacerbated under siege and regular attacks.

Collection Problems

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The McCain-Lieberman Police State Act

Daniel Estulin's "True Story of the Bilderberg Group" and What They May Be Planning Now

Continuity of Government: Coup d'Etat Authority in America

America Facing Depression and Bankruptcy

Lies, Damn Lies and the Murdoch Empire

Mandatory Swine Flu Vaccine Alert

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

An even greater crime is that there is a huge natu... by William Waugh on Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 1:29:47 PM
Bombing the civilian infrastructure to pieces is h... by Richard Pietrasz on Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 7:38:05 PM