Electrification for Refugee Camps

The first 2MW of a 5MW solar PV plant that will provide power to the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan (which houses 20,000 Syrian refugees) has been switched on by UNHCR. This €8.75 million plant was funded by the IKEA Foundation’s Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign. The solar farm will provide energy to 5,000 shelters in the camp, in addition to providing employement and skills to residents at the camp, 50 of whom have been trained and are working with Jordanian company Mustakbal to build and maintain the farm.  plant will generate important cost savings for UNHCR - as much as USD 1.5m per year initially - while allowing the organization to provide electricity free of charge to camp residents. Once the solar plant is running at full capacity, it is expected to not only cover all of the camp's energy needs, but also to contribute to the host country's energy needs by sending unused electricity to the Jordanian grid, to which it is connected. The plant at the Azraq camp illustrates the critical contribution of renewable energy technologies in meeting the world’s rapidly changing electrification needs.