Israel's Grid Will Never Handle Renewable Energy Goals

electric gird israel No green “juice” for your Better Place electric car? Energy expert says Israel’s infrastructure will never be able to fulfil renewable energy goals.

Thinking about buying an electric car like ones being promoted by Shai Agasi’s Better Place? Following my test drive of one of their Renault Fluence ZE Concept cars it turns out that it may be longer than planned before this country will have the electric power grids needed to run large numbers of them, according to comments by people such as Eyal Hadas (who we’ve interviewed), managing director and head of renewable energy at Cukierman & Co. Investment House as told the Media Line recently. 

What Hadas, skeptical of the Better Place car concept, was especially referring to the use of renewable energy, such as solar and wind energy, despite optimistic goals for the use of renewable energy in Israel:

“Israel will never be able to meet its [renewable] energy goal because the power grid is not adapted to handle the demands of renewable energy, since renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy are dependent on changing conditions. The present Israel power grid is not suitable to adapt to these changes, whereas fuel sources such fuel oil and coal are more constant.”

According to the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructure, headed Uzi Landau (touting on UPI that Israel’s new weapon against oil will be green energy), the country’s three main energy sources are coal (69%), natural gas (23%) and oil (7%).

Regarding renewable energy, Mr. Landau’s ministry has set goals for the percentage of power that solar, wind, and even wave energy, being developed by companies like Shmuel Ovadia’s SDE Energy Ltd.   Landau’s ministry predicted that by the year 2020, 10% of Israel’s energy needs will be supplied by renewable energy. In a January article posted on Green Prophet, I asked if energy advances in  Israel are in parallel to those abroad.

In the short run, additional power plants, especially those designed to run on natural gas will have to be built to provide enough energy to power the increasing consumer demands of people using air conditioners and other energy consuming appliances like the mammoth duplex refrigerators that have been proven to be the major energy consumers in most homes these days in Israel.

But those who are involved in promoting renewable energy projects, including Israel’s Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan, are more optimistic in the country’s development of renewable energy:

“We are focusing on promoting goals for Israel. Right now we set a goal that was approved by a governmental decision to have 10 percent of renewable energy but we are punching forward to bring it to 25 percent renewable energy by the year 2030.”

That optimism had better be turning into reality soon, as Better Place is hoping for their electric car infrastructure to be servicing electric cars in the year 2012 – only two years from now. If not enough electricity is available to power these cars, then they will be no better than short run curiosity pieces that won’t be able to travel more than a few kilometers a day, due to power shortages and even major electricity black outs.

::The Media Line (links to site where article can be read without subscription)

Read more on Israeli energy issues:

Are Israel’s Energy Advances Parallel to those Abroad?

Israel, Egypt and Abu Dhabi all set Renewable Energy Goals

Tamar Natural Gas to Drill New Wells to Power Better Place Cars

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One thought on “Israel's Grid Will Never Handle Renewable Energy Goals”

  1. MorinMoss says:

    Perhaps they should have read the Better Place plan more carefully. The cars themselves will act as storage for the grid so the intermittency of renewables is mitigated. Also, Shai has mentioned on several occasions that he wants to implement solar thermal in the Negev desert, which is much more amenable to (non-battery) storage that photovoltaic.
    It won’t be without challenges but this is just jealous naysaying

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