Renewable energy system for operating life-saving medical devices for needy children.
Approximately 70,000 people live in unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel, with no connection to the electricity grid. Residents operate outdated diesel-run generators that cause air and land pollution. The cost of electricity produced by a diesel generator is ten times higher than the price of grid-power. Generators are therefore operated from nightfall until bedtime – about 6 hours of electricity per day. In unrecognized villages there is also a higher percentage of sick children. Medicine cannot be refrigerated and life-supporting equipment cannot be operated for the chronically ill without a regular supply of electricity.
Clean, renewable and cheaper solar energy is available for these. Once photovoltaic and aggregation systems are installed – the power is virtually free. A 500 watt solar power system is capable of providing electricity for 24 hours a day, and allows operation of medical devices, computers and internet access during daylight hours. The cumulative financial cost of solar power is lower than electrical generators after several years – and project “Power of the Sun” provides a technical solution and financing for the expensive installation phase.
The global micro-financing organization “Planet Finance” and the Bedouin social health organization AJEEC, have joined forces with the “Good Energy Initiative” and “Interdan Solar Energy”, and together we have provided about 100 solar systems including batteries and converters to 100 Bedouin households. Many of the families received a micro-loan to finance 40% of the system, and all of them received a 20% grant for preventing the emission of 130 tons of greenhouse gases from the operation of generators. The loans have been returned and may be renewed to expand the circle of beneficiaries.
The drastic decline in the price of solar systems in 2011, and the substantial increase in fuel prices, created a clear and immediate financial motive for the integration of solar systems, and many Bedouin families have made the switch to solar power without assistance. The project has ended, and we have directed our efforts to separating organic waste in the Bedouin sector.