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Palestinian Students Hope Sea Waves Can Be New Power Source for Blockaded Gaza

Gaza's two million residents now receive only three to four hours of electricity per day, with schools, factories, hospitals and households affected

Reuters
Reuters
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Seagulls fly during a rainstorm over the Mediterranean Sea near the coast of Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, January 26, 2016.
Seagulls fly during a rainstorm over the Mediterranean Sea near the coast of Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, January 26, 2016.Credit: AP
Reuters
Reuters

As Gaza residents live on barely a few hours of power a day, four Palestinian engineering students are working on using sea waves to generate electricity. They say their idea aims to produce "clean and renewable energy that can fill the deficit, even with small (amounts)."

Gaza's two million residents now receive only three to four hours of electricity per day, with schools, factories, hospitals and households affected.

For the group of engineering students, the idea of using energy from the sea to generate electricity started out as a graduation project.

"It succeeded which gave us a push to continue with the project," said Haitham Mushtaha, one of the students involved. But the tough living conditions in the strip have taken toll on the ambitious project.

Some of the materials that the students needed were not available in local markets so they had to rework parts of old machines and even build some tools from scratch, student Mahmoud Murad said.

"This of course affected the efficiency, in a way that the efficiency of the tools used is not the same as the efficiency of a new tool," he added.

Gaza has been controlled since 2007 by the Islamist group Hamas. Israel and Egypt, citing security concerns, maintain a de facto blockade on the impoverished coastal enclave. The electricity Gaza gets from Israel, Egypt and a local power plant remains under half the estimated 600 megawatts that would satisfy daily needs.

At night, Gaza is pitch black, with no street lights or electricity in most homes. The noise of generators can be heard from some factories and wealthier households, but most cannot afford to run diesel generators 20 hours a day.

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