World’s First Solar-Powered Refugee Camp Opens in Jordan
Energy from sunlight is now providing electricity to Syrian refugees at a camp in Jordan.
The Azraq camp is the first in the world to completely operate on clean energy, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency, or UNHCR.
The new power center uses hundreds of panels to collect energy from the sun. The solar power plant cost about $10 million to build.
The money came from the IKEA Foundation, a program that directs IKEA's efforts to help people living in poverty. The Swedish company donated one euro to the UNHCR each time someone purchased certain lighting products.
The power plant began operating in the middle of May. It currently serves about 20,000 Syrian refugees living in shelters. There are plans to expand the service to all of the camp's 36,000 refugees by early 2018.
Until only recently, people living there only had small solar lanterns to light up their living spaces. They also had very few ways to keep shelters and food cool.
In January, Jordan's power system began providing electricity to some of the camp's residents.
Now, the new solar plant will save the refugee agency about $1.5 million a year on fuel costs. U.N. officials say the savings can be used to pay for other much-needed assistance.
Kelly Clements is Deputy High Commissioner of the UNHCR. She says the solar plant marks a great turning point in the lives of the refugees.
"It means lighting for safety, for protection at night, for some cool – in terms of a fan on a hot summer's day - or some heat in the winter during the cold months."
Refugee Farhan Nazzal says having reliable electricity gives his family more individual freedom.
"Before electricity, we could not come and go as we please. At sunset we would be confined to our homes. Now that we have electricity, we can go to our neighbor's house, enjoy the evening, or our neighbors can come over. It is more enjoyable, we have fun and are happier."
Another refugee, Anas Ahmed, said the solar power now gives his children a way to study with the lights on. A fan also helps cool the area. He says electricity also helps the family in many other ways.
"We also have a fridge now, so we have cool water and can preserve our food. And a washing machine. I previously had to transfer water and my wife would wash clothes by hand. It's a lot easier for her now."
Setting up the power plant also provided jobs for about 50 refugees. They were trained and employed to build and set up the solar panels. They may even be able to use their new skills to find work outside the camp.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1.refugee camp 难民营
Troops tried to set up a lookout post inside a refugee camp.
2.clean energy 清洁能源
Some of these nations have already made great strides with the development and deployment of clean energy.
3.washing machine 洗衣机
Her washing machine tends to fray edges on intricate designs.
4.set up 建立
The two sides agreed to set up a commission to investigate claims.
1.Until only recently, people living there only had small solar lanterns to light up their living spaces.
light up 照亮；点亮
He held a match while she lit up.
He took his time lighting up a cigarette.
2."It means lighting for safety, for protection at night, for some cool – in terms of a fan on a hot summer's day - or some heat in the winter during the cold months."
in terms of 依据...；按照...
They have found that, in terms of both salary and career success, the sky is the limit.
There is a convergence between capitalist firms and co-operatives in terms of business strategy.
新能源中心使用了数百个太阳能面板收集太阳光 。建设太阳能发电站总耗资约1000万美元 。
建设资金源自宜家基金会，该基金会的项目致力于帮助生活贫困的人们 。瑞典的宜家公司每卖出一件灯具产品就会向联合国难民署捐赠一欧元 。
太阳能发电站在5月中旬开始运营 。现可为约2万名叙利亚难民供电 。2018年初，这项服务会推广至所有难民营，将惠及约3.6万名难民 。
直到近日，难民们才能使用小型太阳能灯具作为生活区域的照明 。他们依然无法为住所降温及冷藏食物 。
如今，新能源发电站每年可为难民署节省约150万美元的燃料费 。联合国官员称，这些经费可以支援其他急需救助的项目 。
凯利·克莱孟兹（Kelly Clements）是联合国难民署的高级副专员 。她说，太阳能发电站是难民生活的重大转折点 。
难民法汉·纳扎勒（arhan Nazzal）表示，可靠的电力供应让他的家人拥有更多的个人自由 。
“没有电力供应的时候，我们无法随意去想去的地方 。太阳下山后，我们就不得不呆在家里 。现在供电后，晚上可以去邻居家串门，或者邻居来我们家走动，一起共度美好的夜晚 。这样的生活更加惬意，我们也倍感愉快和幸福 。”
难民阿奈丝·阿赫麦德（Anas Ahmed）称，太阳能开始供电后，孩子可以在明亮的灯光下学习 。电扇也可以驱散暑热 。他还指出，电力也便利了家庭生活的其他方面 。
“现在，我们也可以用冰箱冰镇饮料、储存食物了 。还可以使用洗衣机 。之前我必须出门挑水，妻子也只能手洗衣物 。现在洗衣服对她来说简直小菜一碟 。”
建立发电站也为50多名难民解决了就业问题 。他们经过培训后开始建设发电站 。或许他们还可以利用学到的新技能在难民营外寻一份工作 。