Palestine, perpetually short of electricity, turns to solar

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:From orderly rows of solar panels in a field in the West Bank to the chaotic rooftops of Gaza, Palestinians are hoping that harnessing the energy of the sun can reduce their dependence on Israel for electricity.The West Bank only gets around three-quarters of the power its 3 million people need, imported mostly from Israel and, to a far lesser extent, Jordan.In the Gaza Strip, power generation is so paltry that, even with imports from Israel and Egypt, it gets just one-third of what it needs – so the 2 million Gazans struggle on with an average of just four hours of electricity a day.Individuals have taken it on themselves to install solar panels, trailing cables down the side of buildings to keep fans whirring or to power televisions and other appliances.The number of panels in the enclave has increased four-fold in four years and they are now dotted on most rooftops and balcony on homes, schools, hospitals, shops, banks and mosques in a place where the sun shines 320 days a year.In Gaza’s Nusseirat refugee camp, Sabreen Abu Shawiesh said installing solar panels on the metal roof of her one-floor house had changed her family’s life: “We almost had no electricity, nowadays fans are working all day.”The sun may be free, but the technology is not, and Palestinians say their ability to import solar panels has been hampered by Israeli border controls.Entrepreneurs in Gaza say they have sometimes been banned from importing various kinds of batteries – including those used for solar power – by Israel, on the grounds that they might be used for military purposes.In the West Bank, ruled by President Mahmoud Abbas’s Western-backed Palestinian Authority, the public and private sectors have launched projects to diversify power sources to get cheaper electricity and more self-sufficiency.The Authority’s Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) plans to build three solar farms and put solar energy into 500 schools. The three new plants will generate 22 megawatts per day. The West Bank needs 1,400 megawatts but currently only 1,100 megawatts are available.Larger solar projects would require more land but it is scarce because, under the Oslo peace accords of the mid-1990s, Israel retains control of much of the land of the West Bank.“We will be in a good position if we reach 5 or 10 per cent of the required electricity supply for Palestine in general from solar energy,” said Azem Bishara, chief executive officer of Massader, a subsidiary of the PIF.Bishara said Massader intended to invest $200 million in renewable energy over the next six years to generate an additional 200 megawatts.The Gaza Strip only has one power plant, which generated 140 megawatts in 1999 when it was built but now only produces 23 megawatts. The enclave imports 30 megawatts from Egypt and 120 from Israel. This is less than a third of the Strip’s daily needs – estimated at up to 600 megawatts a day.Last week the European Union completed Gaza’s biggest solar farm which will provide 0.5 megawatts per day to fuel the Southern Gaza Desalination Plant, also funded by the EU.More: Palestinians turn to the sun to reduce their power shortfall Palestine, perpetually short of electricity, turns to solarlast_img read more

Danny Willett hot on heels of Rory McIlroy

first_imgWorld number three Rory McIlroy will be an interested spectator as the third event of the European Tour’s Final Series gets under way in China on Thursday. Press Association “If we can go to Dubai somewhere close or in front, or hopefully in front by a good ways, it will make it really good,” said Willett, who carded a brilliant final round of 62 in the WGC-HSBC Champions last week to reduce his deficit to McIlroy by more than 320,000 points. “I’m just going to try and do the same as last week, knuckle down and work hard and hopefully can have another good week this week.” Willett won the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the start of the season and the Omega European Masters in July, a week after finishing in a tie for sixth in the Open Championship at St Andrews. The 28-year-old from Sheffield admits his form dipped slightly after finishing third in the Italian Open, but has bounced back with a share of 11th in the Turkish Airlines Open and a tie for third across the city at Sheshan International on Sunday. ” I had a bit of a lull before that,” the world number 22 said. “I was working on a few things and it took a little bit longer to bed in, but hopefully it’s on the way back up now to where we’ve been and I can keep moving forward. ”It would be great to win the Race to Dubai. It’s nice to win tournaments and to play certain events, but an Order of Merit means you’ve played great over a 12-month period, not just a one-off.” Rose, who finished top of the money list in 2007 and third in each of the last two seasons, added the BMW Masters to his schedule after winning his eighth European Tour title in Hong Kong three weeks ago. ” It is always nice to pick up a win late in the season and pick up some points and obviously that gives me a better shot at the Race to Dubai,” the former US Open champion said. “I feel very good about my game. Getting back from Hong Kong, it was more a case of relaxing and recharging the batteries before a bit of travelling and one final, last-ditch effort to try and overtake Rory and Danny and a couple of the other guys ahead of me. “If I win any of the last two events that puts me ahead of them, depending on what they do. For me it’s fairly simple – I need to play well for the next two weeks.” Rose was fourth at Lake Malaren last year, missing out on the three-may play-off won by Germany’s Marcel Siem by a shot after recovering from a nightmare start. “Last year was an interesting tournament for me,” the 35-year-old added. “I was four over through the first four holes of the tournament and went on a tear from there, and I was 23 under par for the next 56 holes before Sunday got pretty tricky. Then I bogeyed the last to miss a play-off. “Hopefully it’s a course that does suit my eye. It’s a course that you have to drive the ball well on and distance definitely helps around here. The closing stretch is obviously tricky and 17 and 18 typically play into the prevailing wind from what I remember. That caused some trouble last year for a lot of guys coming down the stretch. I played the par fives well and I think that helps build a good score around here.” McIlroy leads Danny Willett by just 74,213 points as he looks to win the Race to Dubai for the third time in four years, but is not playing in the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren. Willett can claim top spot heading into the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai by finishing 28th or better in the 78-man field in Shanghai, while Shane Lowry, Louis Oosthuizen and Justin Rose need to finish second or better and Branden Grace requires a win. last_img read more

Proteas set England mammoth 474 to win second Test

first_imgSOUTH AFRICA 1st innings 335 (H. Amla 78, Q. de Kock 68, V. Philander 54; J. Anderson 5-72)England 1st innings 205 (J. Root 78)South Africa 2nd innings (Overnight: 75-1)H. Kuhn c Root b Anderson 8D. Elgar c Anderson b Stokes 80H. Amla lbw b Dawson 87Q. de Kock c Bairstow b Anderson 1F. du Plessis lbw b Stokes 63T. Bavuma c Root b Ali 15V. Philander c&b Ali 42C. Morris c Ballance b Ali 13K. Maharaj c Broad b Ali 1M. Morkel not out 17Extras (b-8 lb-8) 16Total (for 9 wickets, 104 overs) 343Fall of wickets: 1-18 H. Kuhn,2-153 D. Elgar,3-154 Q. de Kock,4-216 H. Amla,5-253 T. Bavuma,6-275 F. du Plessis,7-304 C. Morris,8-307 K. Maharaj,9-343 V. PhilanderDid not bat: D. OlivierBowling: J. Anderson 20 – 4 – 45 – 2, S. Broad 19 – 4 – 60 – 0M. Wood 18 – 5 – 68 – 0, M. Ali 16 – 2 – 78 – 4, B. Stokes 20 – 4 – 34 – 2,L. Dawson 11 – 1 – 42 – 1ENGLAND 2nd innings (Target: 474 runs)A. Cook not out 0K. Jennings not out 0Extras (lb-1) 1Total (for no loss, 4 overs) 1Fall of wickets:To bat: G. Ballance, J. Root, J. Bairstow, B. Stokes, M. Ali, L. Dawson, S. Broad, M. Wood, J. AndersonBowling: M. Morkel 2 – 2 – 0 – 0, V. Philander 2 – 2 – 0 – 0. NOTTINGHAM, England (Reuters) – England must chase down a world-record 474 to win the second test while South Africa have two full days to bowl them out after the tourists’ batsmen provided the strongest possible platform for victory on the third day on Sunday.It could have even better for South Africa who, after declaring on 343-9 just before the close, thought they had Alastair Cook lbw first ball, although the decision was reversed on review.England survived two other frenetic lbw appeals before reaching 1-0, still 473 adrift and facing a huge task on a wearing pitch as South Africa push for the victory at Trent Bridge that would level the four-match series 1-1.No Test team have scored more than 418 to win, while the record at Trent Bridge is a more modest 284-7, which England chalked up to beat New Zealand in 2004.When South Africa resumed on 75-1, England knew they had to take early wickets and will rue the basic error that allowed Hashim Amla to escape at 91-1 when they failed to review a half-hearted appeal by Stuart Broad. TV replays later showed an edge to the keeper.Inevitably Amla made England pay, seldom looking troubled by still difficult conditions to make 87 — his second half-century of the match — before falling lbw to Liam Dawson on review.The bearded right-hander shared strong partnerships with Dean Elgar, who made a steadfast 80 after surviving a sharp early chance to Jimmy Anderson, and Faf du Plessis.Ben Stokes claimed the wickets of both partners: Elgar fell fending away to a ball which rose spitefully while South Africa’s captain was trapped lbw by one that kept low after a watchful 63, dismissals that proved why the high-energy Durham paceman was England’s most potent bowler.The day proved a first real captaincy test for England’s Joe Root, seeking to avoid his first defeat as captain in his second test as South Africa threatened to disappear out of sight.Surprisingly, Root chose not to turn to Moeen Ali, who had taken 10 wickets in the first Test, until 3pm, a decision made more perplexing by his eventual return of 4-78, the best by an England off-spinner on the ground since 1956.Even the new ball failed to check the tourists, with Vernon Philander (42) and Chris Morris increasing the tempo as the sun came out in the final session.Morris fell to a good catch by Gary Ballance off Moeen for 13 while Broad bagged an even better one, tumbling to his left on the boundary to dismiss Keshav Maharaj off the same bowler for 1 as South Africa pushed for quick runs ahead of a late-evening declaration.When it came, their bowlers showed England how tough the next two days will be. The all-time Test record is held by West Indies, who scored 418-7 to beat Australia in 2003.last_img read more