Impact of Renewable Energy Projects on Palestinian Territories
Renewable energy projects in Israeli settlements have raised concerns as they are often established on lands classified as “state-owned” or seized agricultural lands.
These projects also serve a broader goal of deepening Israel’s reliance on settlement infrastructure through schemes like “Hanegev.”
In the past two years, 14 small solar installations in the West Bank were either destroyed or seized, impacting over 125 Bedouin communities, where approximately 11,000 residents rely solely on solar power.
Renewable energy projects align with schemes supporting settlement expansion.
For instance, a recent project involves paving and upgrading 100 kilometers of settlement roads at a cost of 1.5 billion shekels.
These projects are considered a green light for settlers to claim more of the Area C, which the government, military, and security establishment actively protect and fund.
This contributes to the growth of settlements, aiming to accommodate one million settlers in the West Bank by 2050, equivalent to a quarter of the region’s population.
Monitoring Settlement Expansion:
Aerial imagery analysis by Isa Zaboun, director of the Geographic Information and Remote Sensing Unit at Arij Institute, reveals the extent of settlement expansion from 2017 to the end of 2021.
In 2017, 166,000 solar panels covered 333 dunams, generating 55,500 kilowatts of energy. By the end of 2021, this expanded to 112,000 units, covering 197 additional dunams and producing 37,000 kilowatts.
Current Production Capacity:
The current production capacity of 328,138 solar panels on 630 dunams equals 107,380 kilowatts.
These developments not only deepen settlement presence but also signify concrete steps toward annexation and forced displacement.
Renewable energy projects in Israeli settlements have a dual impact on Palestinian territories, benefiting the settlers economically while undermining the sustainability and autonomy of Palestinian communities.
These projects reflect a broader strategy aimed at solidifying settlement expansion, ultimately challenging the prospects of a Palestinian state.