Israeli solar energy ingenuity is involved in solar plants like this one in California, but not so much in Israel
Despite being a world leader in the innovation of renewable energy systems, including solar energy with companies like Arava Power, (launching next Sunday), wind energy projects on the Golan Heights, and even ocean wave generated energy, Israel still lags behind most other countries in actual implementation of its solar energy ideas. The irony of this issue, which never ceases to amaze many people, is that so many European countries are keen on obtaining at least 20% of their energy needs from both solar and wind energy.
In the case of solar energy, the number of sunny days, coupled with less solar radiation (especially northern European countries) would seem make these energy sources less attractive than in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries, where the sun shines more than 260 days a year and more direct solar radiation is available.
Even the USA, still heavily addicted to oil and other fossil fuels, is now leaning more to developing renewal energy projects, with as many as 94% of surveyed Americans interested in solar energy for their own homes.
So where does all of this leave Israel, where solar energy innovators partnered with companies like BrightSource (founded in Jerusalem) received the go-ahead and large sums to money to build large solar energy farms in California?
Sun rising over Germany to France and Spain
According to a recent documentary program, France and Spain are investing large sums of money to construct both solar energy and wind farms, as well as thermal energy plants to tap into underground thermal energy from hot springs and even volcanoes.
These countries have set goals to obtain at least 20% of their total energy needs from renewable energy within the next ten years. The Israeli government, for its part, has talked about launching projects to supply at least 10% of the country’s total energy needs with renewable energy. But so far, as sadly noted in a recent Haaretz opinion article, a lot more can be done to promote the use of renewable energy; and this despite the dedication on June 5th of Israel’s first commercial solar energy field.
The Arava Power Team
The project, built by Arava Power and located in Kubbutz Ketura in the southern Negev region, will be inaugurated to commemorate Israel’s participation in World Environment Day. The solar plant is one of several that Arava Power will eventually complete as part of a recent deal between Arava Power and 15 Negev kibbutzim and other settlements to supply them with solar energy plants of various sizes.
The Haaretz opinion article challenges the Israeli government to put their words into more action and set course for the construction of solar and other renewable energy projects to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, and make the country more energy independent. In fact, this could lead to the Prime Minister declaring a “Six Day War” to transform Israel’s energy security and international standing.
Read more on Solar and other renewable energy projects in Israel:
94% of Americans Want Solar Energy: What About Israel?
Israel Signs Landmark Agreement With Arava Power
SDE Energy and India Make Waves With Tidal Power