UNOPS

15/09/2014

Greening infrastructure and energy at Birzeit University

UNOPS held a workshop on renewable energy solutions with the engineering faculty of Birzeit University in Palestine, as the first stage of a larger initiative to improve the environmental sustainability of the campus.

​Launched by UNOPS in partnership with the university, objectives include greening campus infrastructure, implementing alternative energy systems and strengthening national capacity to address environmental issues through knowledge-sharing programmes.

The faculty was trained in value-for-money methods during the workshop to generate sustainable solutions for the university that promote high returns on investment, in terms of increased capital and access to education. Value-for-money methods help improve decision-making, reduce operating costs and waste, and improve productivity.

Under the project, the university’s engineering curriculum will be modified to concentrate on renewable energy and sustainability issues. In line with UNOPS and its stakeholders’ commitment to promoting sustainability throughout the project cycle, and with long-term results in mind, the new curriculum will enable students to embed sustainability knowledge in their future careers.

In addition, UNOPS will support the implementation of sustainable infrastructure and green energy on the campus to reduce energy consumption and operating costs. The university electricity and fuel bill makes up 3-5 percent of the annual budget, and electricity is often unreliable, disrupting class. By lowering operating costs and implementing new energy systems, the university will be able to offer reduced tuition fees, making formal education more affordable for Palestinian youth, and providing a better learning environment.