Israeli physicists supply solar and wind power to Palestinian herders

SUSYA, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Hundreds of impoverished Palestinian herders and farmers living in caves and tents in a remote area of the Palestinian West Bank have been provided free electricity due to the ingenuity of two Israeli physicists.

The goat and sheep farming community of Susya, comprising clans of about 25 large families, had until recently followed a centuries-old tradition of subsistence farming without access to electricity.


But following the intervention of Comet-ME, one of 12 finalists of the BBC's World Challenge, a global competition aimed at projects showing enterprise and innovation at a grassroots level, Susya made international headlines.

Israeli physicist Elad Orian together with fellow physicist Noam Dotan, both pro-peace activists and founders of Comet-ME, have spent the last two years installing a high-grid wind and solar system free of charge in Susya.

"The core of our activity is the provision of basic energy services for off-grid communities using solar and wind power, in a way that is both environmentally and socially sustainable," Orian told IPS.

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