See two green pioneers from the Middle East featured on CNN this weekend.
Yosef Abramowitz, from the Israel-based Arava Power Company, was chosen as a leading environmental figure by the CNN television network from among a global pool of candidates. Over multiple broadcasts in July, Green Pioneers will air on CNN with a focus on six diverse individuals who are guiding significant environmental projects in their respective countries. Other Green Pioneers include a princess from Oman, Princess Sayyida Tania Bint Shabib Al Said who is leading efforts to preserve Oman’s nature reserves and turtle populations.
“It is an honor to represent Israel as a Green Pioneer, said Abramowitz. “The choice of an Israeli for a program focused on environmental issues is proof that world looks to us as an example for environmental technology and innovation. With the help of the government of Israel and its support for solar energy, we will continue to be a renewable light unto the nations.”
Shortly after relocating to Israel from Newton, Massachusetts with his wife and five children in 2006, Abramowitz founded Arava Power Company at Kibbutz Ketura with partners Ed Hofland from Ketura and David Rosenblatt of New Jersey – years after Abramowitz spent nearly a year on the kibbutz as a young volunteer in 1983.
Arava Power is the solar energy leader in Israel’s $20 billion solar market. The company is developing hundreds of megawatts of projects in Israel’s Negev desert. In June 2011, Arava Power inaugurated Israel’s first solar field, Ketura Sun, at Kibbutz Ketura – the first and only such commercial solar field in Israel and the only medium-size field in the region.
In May of this year, Arava Power reached financial close on 8 medium-size solar projects totaling NIS 800 million. Arava Power is also currently developing a large-size solar field, also at Ketura, which will produce 40 megawatts of power and supply one-third of the electricity needs for the southern Israeli city of Eilat.
Abramowitz also directs his energy at populations in need, both within Israel and internationally. He is at the forefront of the campaign for solar energy for Israel’s minority Bedouin population. Outside of Israel, Abramowitz is a central partner in an international forum led by former US President Bill Clinton to develop a solar energy industry in Haiti as part of the rehabilitation of the country’s energy infrastructure following the 2010 earthquake. Abramowitz and his family recently volunteered in the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, where he instructed youth about the potential of solar energy.
The Green Pioneers program will air tomorrow on CNN – Friday, July 13 at 15:30; Saturday, July 14 at 13:00 and 20:30; Sunday, July 15 at 09:30 and 20:30; Monday, July 16 at 03:30 and 07:30; Tuesday, July 17 at 09:30 and 16.30; and Wednesday, July 18 at 04:30.
All times are GMT.