Why does Israel so lag Arab neighbors like Morocco and Egypt in its renewable energy production?
I do not understand how the nation that invented CSP solar thermal – the solar energy that now powers much of the worlds gigantic utility-scale solar plants – can be just now announcing some tiny 35 MW solar project as its “largest ever!” – and Spain’s Solaer group that is supposedly to build it; doesn’t even have a website – when Morocco is building its first 500 MW plant with international energy giant Siemens.
Can anyone tell me what’s going on? I have never lived in the Middle East region, unlike the rest of the local bloggers here at GreenProphet – perhaps I’m missing something that is rather obvious to the rest of you.
In the US, only our fossil states are as backward in renewable energy development.
The more gas and oil and coal a state has, the more feeble its renewable requirements, in something familiar to petrostates as “the Resource Curse”.
In 2010, I suggested that the Leviathan Gas Discovery Could be The Mother of All Resource Curses. At the time, I didn’t really think this could be literally true, but now I wonder.
Like those US states, Israel lags in renewable deployment. It’s first and currently only large-scale solar plant is a 5 MW facility on a kibbutz in the Negev. That is pretty backward. It’s renewable requirements are for only 10% compared with Egypt and Morocco’s 20%. Did Israel’s massive discovery of gas a few years ago turn it instantly into a petrostate?
It is not as if Israel lacks the brains to develop cutting edge solar technologies. The list is long. Israel’s companies dominate any global awards list with with cutting edge technology innovation.
But when it comes to plain old powering up, using solar, Israel might as well be living in the dark ages.
The solar thermal that Israeli engineer Luz invented now powers most of the utility-scale solar projects in operation worldwide. His technology has propelled Spanish giant Abengoa to world leadership with 16 concentrating solar power plants and more than 1,100 MW in operation and under construction around the world.
Luz’s own offshoot BrightSource has literally gigawatts of power under way in the US, but not 1 BrightSource watt powers Israel itself. Why?
In a very slow move to supply 10% of its capacity by 2020, Israel’s Ministry of Energy and Water Resources issued its first solar PV licenses for 19 tiny projects which will have a combined total capacity of only 27 MW of photovoltaic (PV) solar power. By comparison, remember, Morocco is building a 500 MW project this year.
You tell me. What’s going on?