Solar panels at a testing site in Abu Dhabi. (photo by Jesse Fox)
According to a report published this week in Globes, Israel’s public housing company Amidar is set to begin installing photovoltaic solar panels on the roofs of its buildings. And with 72,000 housing units in its portfolio, that could add up to a lot of renewable energy.
The plan, already approved by the company’s board, is to install photovoltaics in three small pilot projects in the south, and later in another ten sites in the center of the country. If everything works as planned, the company will begin installing solar panels on the remainder of its properties throughout the country. Amidar CEO Yaakov Brosh estimated that each building could eventually produce up to 50KW of clean electricity.
Similar projects have had success in places like California and Singapore. The Vatican even hopes to use rooftop solar arrays to help it become the world’s first cabon-neutral state. In Israel, the idea of generating solar energy on the country’s numerous flat roofs is just beginning to take hold.
However, it appears that Amidar, which has been criticized for its (mis)treatment of public housing residents, is focused more on its own bottom line than on looking out for its tenants. Instead of benefiting residents of the buildings directly, electricity generated from rooftop solar panels on Amidar buildings will apparently be sold to the grid, with the profits pumped back into the company’s coffers.
Brosh’s claim that the extra income will help Amidar expand public housing is questionable, considering that Amidar stopped building new public housing years ago, and today makes do with providing those eligible for its assistance with ever-shrinking rental subsidies.
Via Globes (Hebrew link).
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