Despite operating in precarious conditions as a result of the conflict with Israel, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is one of the players to have shown greatest interest in the creation of a common market in line with the European system.
With the setting up in 2010 of the Palestinian Energy Regulatory Commission (PERC), the West Bank has taken its first step towards creating a competitive internal market through the development of new energy policies and the introduction of new and more incisive legislation. Projects already launched by the PERC include consultancy schemes to establish a rate model to provide to energy providers, new procedures to increase the quality of services with the aim of boosting the confidence of external and internal investors, and the PERC's new position as the sole competent authority and point of reference for investors, providers and final users. "After establishing PERC, the consumers started to feel the changes in their relations with the utilities. The utilities are not anymore responsible for determining the tariff and the connection fees. Also, we started to educate the consumers of their rights and obligations. PERC will launch a comprehensive awareness program targeting the end users," Zafer Milhem of the Palestinian Energy and National Resources Authority (PENRA) tells ANSAmed. One of the main challenges that the PERC has tackled and continues to face is Israeli occupation, which has hindered the setting up of a common market between the two territories, especially in so-called Area C of the West Bank, which is under complete Israeli control. Another problem that could slow down the implementation of energy policies is the upcoming separation of the PERC from the sphere of other government organisations and its subsequent financial independence.
"The Palestinian Authority is looking to the MedReg scheme with great interest," said Milhem. "The possibility to operate under the jurisdiction of a common regulatory body with the same rules and obligations will bring great advantages to the Palestinian economy and will help the PERC to improve its expertise in a number of fields such as training, capacity building and the sharing of its know-how with other regulatory bodies". (ANSAmed).