Conventional energy in Palestine can be unreliable and incredibly expensive. As a result, alternative energy is being utilized and explored to avert a potentially large energy crisis. In 1993, the Palestinian Energy and Environmental Center (PEC) was established for research and implementation of renewable energies and energy efficiency in Palestine.
There is already a wide use of solar energy for water heating. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, more than 60% of households use solar water heaters. The widespread use of solar energy is a matter of economics for Palestinian households. When one considers that there is at least 300 days of sun in Palestine, solar energy is far cheaper than electricity.
Hybrid wind and solar electricity generating systems are being installed in poor West Bank villages like Susya, located in the south of Hebron. The Community, Energy and Technology – Middle East initiative is helping to make this happen. To see more, as well as view a video of wind and solar butter churning, go to: http://www.comet-me.org/prioract.html
So popular is solar energy that engineering students from the Palestine Polytechnic University built a solar car in 2010. A project for graduation, the 3.7 by 1.7-meter single-person vehicle uses hundreds of photovoltaic solar cells to convert sunlight into electricity. This is then stored in batteries.
Besides solar and wind technology, other forms of renewable energy are in use. These include thermal energy (which is a form of kinetic energy producing heat), photovoltaic energy (a technique for converting solar energy into electricity) and geothermal energy (the pumping of air from the earth to either heat or cool buildings). In rural areas, bio-mass is common. Bio-mass uses agricultural waste for heating and cooking.