Renewable Energy in Jerusalem

A Dream of Resilience and Development

By Jamil Koussa

Photo by Shareef Sarhan – ©UNDP/PAPP.

 

Over the past years, organizations in East Jerusalem have been resilient against existing challenges. Their main concern was to maintain their existence and contribute to providing quality services to Palestinians wherever they are – this is what distinguished Palestinian hospitals in the holy city. The development of organizations was a dream. Restrictions, financial challenges, lack of support, and debts are factors that have limited the efficiency and sustainability of organizations.

 

 

Drawing on this dream of development and existence, we must find solutions that mitigate and decrease financial burdens, operating expenses, and other problems. Within this comes the importance of environmentally sustainable solutions for operating buildings such as St. Joseph Hospital in Jerusalem – solutions that can contribute to decreasing operating expenses and reinvesting the surplus in saving a poor patient’s life or even in implementing our strategic plans.

St. Joseph Hospital is always in pursuit of innovation, development, and environmental preservation. As a result, we had the idea of utilizing a sustainable resource such as the sun to generate electricity through the use of solar panels. This project is the first of its kind for a public building in East Jerusalem and the second personal initiative by one distinguished Jerusalem resident.

We have always noticed the fast process of development for utilizing sustainable and innovative solutions. This vital project, with a capacity of 100 kW, will generate energy that will contribute to decreasing the consumption of electricity purchased originally from Israel. It will also contribute to our understanding of climate change and respect for the environment.

 

After installation, a worker connecting the solar panels for energy generation. Photo by Shareef Sarhan – ©UNDP/PAPP.

 

The initiative, which is part of the FAIR programme, is generously co-funded by our friends, the OPEC Fund for International Development, a leading organization that supports the efforts of human development, especially the initiative Energy for All. The project is implemented by our partners, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which has played an immense role in raising awareness about new sustainable strategies that support resilience and development, while creating new opportunities for the private sector.

Consistent with our goals to create a holistic vision, this project enabled us to invest also in implementing a Building Management System and to seek new concepts such as increasing energy efficiency and rationalizing consumption. These integrated interventions were distinctive, even at the national level, as they complemented each other.

We are proud of the hospital’s achievements as one of the historical organizations in East Jerusalem, whose role is not only limited to providing high quality medical services but also in adopting valuable initiatives and determination for development. The establishment of the new maternity section will be an important step in the development of the Palestinian health sector in Jerusalem. Our ambitions extend towards achieving sustainable and effective institutions.

Our vision for development has been implemented through projects that include capacity building for our staff at the medical, administrative, and service levels. We partnered with the OPEC Fund for International Development and UNDP to develop staff capacities through a comprehensive program that can be used as a pilot to serve other institutions.

The dream of steadfastness and resilience does not eliminate the motivation towards innovation and development. No doubt, we are not less fortunate than others. Thank you to all our friends and partners for their trust in our vision. We look forward to more creative initiatives that support our Jerusalem institutions. We were the first to introduce such initiatives, and we hope that we will not be the last.

  • Mr. Jamil Mikhail Koussa was born in Jerusalem in 1961. He received his master’s degree in financial management from the United States, and served as dean of the Business Management Faculty at Bethlehem University from 1991 to 1998. Since 1998 he has been director general of St. Joseph Hospital.

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